Lincoln Center celebrates 50th

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">  Pedestrians walk through Lincoln Center past the Metropolitan Opera house, left, and Alice Tully Hall, right, Wednesday, March 9, 2005, in New York. As it steps into the 21st century, Lincoln Center is attracting new audiences and new acts to its sprawling campus of buildings.&#40;AP Photo&#47;Mary Altaffer</span></div>
May 11, 2009 3:14:08 PM PDT
The New York Philharmonic played Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" for Lincoln Center's 50th anniversary on Monday, recreating the piece that Leonard Bernstein conducted at the arts complex's 1959 groundbreaking. The anniversary celebration began in the gleaming new 1,100-seat Alice Tully Hall, which reopened in February after a $159 million, 22-month renovation that has been praised for its superb acoustics and design. Trumpet players from the Juilliard School of Music performed in front of the hall as hundreds as guests streamed inside.

The brass section of the Philharmonic, the nation's oldest orchestra, performed Copland's work under the baton of its new music director, Alan Gilbert. The program also included Gilbert conducting the Juilliard Orchestra playing the overture from Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro."

Violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman performed the final movement from Mendelssohn's "Octet in E-flat, Op. 20" with alumni from the music program he founded.

Other performances included soprano Audra McDonald singing a medley of Gershwin's "Of Thee I Sing," "America the Beautiful" and "Somedays," a poem by James Baldwin set to music by Steven Marzullo.

Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis and members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra concluded the festivities with a performance of his composition, "The Magic Hour."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Sen. Charles Schumer were among the 800 people who attended.

Fifty years ago, President Dwight D. Eisenhower stood at Columbus Avenue and 64th Street and pushed a shovel into the earth to break ground for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

The sprawling arts complex was a catalyst for urban renewal and played a significant role in reviving its Upper West Side neighborhood. It is the country's largest performing arts center, home to 12 resident groups including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, the Philharmonic, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Hosted by Tom Brokaw, the program highlighted Lincoln Center's half-century milestones.

Lincoln Center is now in the midst of an ambitious redevelopment of its 16-acre campus, expanding buildings, modernizing its concert halls and enlarging its public spaces.

Alice Tully Hall is the first building to be completed as part of the center's $1.2 billion redevelopment.

The overhaul includes a new pedestrian bridge over West 65th Street connecting the main campus with the building that houses Alice Tully Hall and the Juilliard School.

The main staircase and promenade at Columbus Avenue will be named after the late soprano Beverly Sills, who was chair of Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera.

The fountain in Josie Robertson Plaza, between Avery Fisher Hall and the David H. Koch Theater, will be updated with new lighting and a sleek design.

A new visitors space and information desk near the main staircase will open in the fall, and a new restaurant with a sloping roof is planned near the reflecting pool at the rear of the plaza.

Avery Fisher Hall, home to the Philharmonic, has been approved to receive an interior update, but a start date hasn't been set.

To help raise money for the remaining projects, Lincoln Center has entered into a five-year agreement to host Fashion Week in its plazas and theaters, beginning in September. The twice annual event has been held under tents in Bryant Park behind the New York Public Library since 1993.

Officials say the redevelopment is geared to make Lincoln Center a more open, accessible and vibrant urban destination.

For more on the Lincoln Center festivities, visit

50th Anniversary Events

In a specially created edition of Lincoln Center at Times Center: Times Talks, Lincoln Center leadership and artists are exploring relevant arts-related topics with New York Times journalists in a series of three Talks, the first of which took place on May 4, 2009, with André Bishop, director Bartlett Sher, actress Cherry Jones and playwright John Guare from Lincoln Center Theater.

From May 6 to 23, the award-winning national oral history project, StoryCorps, is bringing its signature Airstream MobileBooth, outfitted with a recording studio, to the Lincoln Center campus, enabling members of the community to share memories of their lives, including those that illuminate the personal significance and impact of Lincoln Center and its history. It is the first time the MobileBooth has ever come to Manhattan.

On June 9, virtuoso cellist and composer Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble are performing in a free concert that also is being broadcast nationally to millions as part of the Live From Lincoln Center series. Located in Damrosch Park, the concert is the first to be held in the newly upgraded Guggenheim Bandshell, built in 1969.

Live From Lincoln Center is made possible by a major grant from MetLife.

Also free is Lincoln Center's Meet the Artist series, which in July, August and September is traveling to New York Public libraries in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island for the first time. The program combines performance, participation and education to provide family audiences with an opportunity to experience the arts firsthand with world-class artists.

Major support for the Meet the Artist School Series is provided by International Flavors & Fragrances and Betty and John Levin.

On view from October 15, 2009 to January 16, 2010 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center: Celebrating 50 Years is the first major exhibit to explore the origins, development and impact of Lincoln Center. Curated by Thomas Mellins, co-author of New York: 1960, the exhibition focuses on various themes, among them urban fabric and urban renewal; architecture; larger than life personalities; once in a lifetime performances; technology; and education, training artists and growing the arts. Mr. Mellins explores key exhibition themes in a lecture titled Lincoln Center: Culture New York Style, on October 15, 2009, in the Bruno Walter Auditorium. Sponsored by The Bank of New York Mellon.

In addition, Target Free Thursdays, a free performance series, will begin in November in the newly opened Visitors Space at Lincoln Center. The program includes presentations of performances by break-out artists, student ensembles, community talent and artists drawn from Lincoln Center's resident organizations.

50th Anniversary Performances

June 8 - Lincoln Center Theater opens its annual Songwriting in the Schools celebration to the general public. The performance is the culmination of a 9-session residency in which middle and high school students are guided by professional lyricists and composers, through the rigorous creative process of writing their own songs. Selected songs are being performed in stage-reading style by Broadway stars.

July 8 - Midsummer Night Swing presents Chubby Checker in a Twist party celebrating 50 years of "dancing apart to the beat."

Sponsored by American Ballroom Company and Bloomberg.

July 9, 10 and 11 - Lincoln Center Festival presents Shen Wei Dance Arts in Re - (I, II, III), the first New York performance of the complete triptych. Part III, The New Silk Road, a New York premiere, was commissioned for the 50th Anniversary.

Lincoln Center Festival09 is sponsored by American Express. Shen Wei Dance Arts is sponsored by Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.

July 11 - Midsummer Night Swing presents the Big 3 Palladium Orchestra's tribute to the classic mambo of Tito Rodriguez, Machito and Tito Puente.

July 14, 16 and 17 - Lincoln Center Festival presents new works by Emanuel Gat Dance, featuring the North American premiere of Gat's latest short work Silent Ballet and the New York premiere of Winter Variations.

Lincoln Center Festival09 is sponsored by American Express. Emanuel Gat Dance is sponsored by Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A., Inc.

August 5 - Lincoln Center Out of Doors celebrates its opening night with a free performance of The Dave Brubeck Quartet: Time Out @ 50 plus special guest Simon Shaheen and the New York debut of Amir ElSaffar's Two Rivers Large Ensemble.

Sponsored by Bloomberg and PepsiCo, Inc.

August 5-9 - Lincoln Center Out of Doors presents the world premiere of the Asphalt Orchestra in collaboration with Bang on a Can in a series of new wave marching band performances featuring works commissioned from Goran Bregovic, Tyondai Braxton, and Stew and Heidi Rodewald.

August 9 and 10 - Mostly Mozart Festival presents the Chamber Orchestra of Europe led by Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who is serving as both conductor and soloist in two Alice Tully Hall programs that showcase his expertise in a repertoire that ranges from Classical to contemporary.

August 13, 14 and 16 - Mostly Mozart Festival presents the New York premiere of John Adams' A Flowering Tree. Adams conducts three performances of this two-act opera/, with a cast of American singers, the production's original Schola Cantorum de Venezuela choir, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, set against a rich tapestry of Indonesian dancers and costumes. Director Peter Sellars and Adams wrote the libretto together?their sixth collaboration?with inspiration from Mozart's final opera, The Magic Flute, and its themes of magic, transformation, and morality.

A Flowering Tree is made possible in part by Endowment Support from the American Express Cultural Preservation Fund.

August 19-22 - Mostly Mozart Festival presents the New York premieres of two dance works by the Mark Morris Dance Group featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, and violinist Colin Jacobsen?Empire Garden is set to Ives' Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano and Visitation to Beethoven's Cello Sonata in C major.

Made possible in part by The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc. Sponsored by J.C.C. Fund of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York.

July 3-5 - The Film Society of Lincoln Center presents a 50-hour movie marathon of such classic film musicals as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and An American in Paris. .

October 8 - The Juilliard School presents a chamber music concert commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Juilliard building's opening at Lincoln Center in 1969 featuring music of distinguished composers associated with the school, including past Presidents William Schuman and Peter Mennin.

November 13 and 14 - Lincoln Center presents Pictures Reframed, a collaboration between pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and visual artist Robin Rhode to create a new experience of Mussorgsky's classic Pictures at an Exhibition.

Sponsored by EMC2.

January 31-February 23, 2010 - The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center presents Beethoven's complete quartet, cello sonata, and violin sonata cycles in ten concerts. Performers include the entire roster of former CMS Two quartets, Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han, and additional Chamber Music Society artists.

February 4, 5, 6, 2010 - The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra reprises its commission by JLCO saxophonist Ted Nash, "Portrait in Seven Shades," along with other newly commissioned works.

April 12, 2010 -- The New York Philharmonic presents a special concert with Alan Gilbert conducting The Juilliard Orchestra featuring music commemorating the 50th Anniversary.

April 16 and 17, 2010 - Jazz at Lincoln Center presents a "Fats Waller Festival," a series of concerts celebrating the 105th birthday of the legendary pianist, singer, composer, and New Yorker.

Spring 2010 -- New York City Ballet honors its extraordinary legacy as one of the world's most creative arts organizations by presenting several world premiere ballets featuring musical scores commissioned especially for the occasion.

Spring 2010 - The School of American Ballet celebrates its long history at Lincoln Center with three public Workshop Performances showcasing some of the nation's most promising young ballet talents.

2009-2010 season - The Metropolitan Opera presents 17 operas that have been in the company repertory for 50 years or more. One of these?Puccini's Tosca?opens the season in a new production starring Karita Mattila and conducted by Met Music Director James Levine. The Met honors Lincoln Center during the 2009-10 season with exhibitions of costumes from important productions from the past 50 years and with radio and editorial tributes to important figures?from artists to Board members?who have been involved with the company for half a century or more.

2009-2010 season - New York City Opera re-opens the newly renovated David H. Koch Theater and celebrates 50 Years at Lincoln Center with signature productions that have helped build the company's legacy of making opera accessible to all New Yorkers.

50th Anniversary Education Initiatives

May 7 - Lincoln Center is holding a Resource Fair for educators from the tri-state area, highlighting the wide variety of arts education resources offered by all of Lincoln Center's resident organizations. A specially designed education resource poster, detailing critical information and contacts for all Lincoln Center educational programs, is being produced in conjunction with the Fair and distributed to educators.

Brought to you by Chase.

June 27 - Lincoln Center is awarding $100,000 in scholarships to graduates of its High School for Arts, Imagination and Inquiry (HSAII) over four years, beginning with the school's first graduating class in June. The HSAII, which opened in September 2005, infuses its interdisciplinary curriculum with experience in and reflective study of the arts and utilizes the resources of Lincoln Center Institute and its teaching artists.

Brought to you by Chase.

2009-2010 school year - Lincoln Center Institute is presenting The Black Rock Coalition's tribute concert to Nina Simone to student groups, grades K-12. The Black Rock Coalition is a collective of artists, writers, producers, publicists, activists and music fans assembled to maximize exposure and provide resources for African-American artists.

2009-2010 school year - Lincoln Center Institute leads Imagination Conversations with government, civic, business, philanthropic, and education leaders to begin redefining the ways in which imagination can recast the role of the arts in education in the U.S.

50th Anniversary Displays, Screenings and Lectures

May 1 - The Empire State Building dedicates its ground floor lobby display space to Lincoln Center, highlighting images and objects from Lincoln Center's exciting 50-year history. On the evening of May 11, the Empire State Building's Tower Lights are being lit in Lincoln Center's 50th Anniversary colors of magenta and orange.

May 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31, 1 p.m. - The Paley Center for Media screens a selection of rare Lincoln Center television programs never released commercially.

May 16, Lincoln Center Day (1963), The Bell Telephone Hour: The New Met: Countdown to Curtain (1966)

May 17, Opening Night at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts: Philharmonic Hall (1962), Early commercials for Lincoln Center

May 23, The Theatre of Tomorrow: A Report on the Repertory Company of Lincoln Center (1963), Opening Night of the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (1964)

May 24, Repeat of May 16 program

May 30, Repeat of May 17 program

May 31, Juilliard Comes to Lincoln Center: A Dedication Concert (1969)

In the fall, a seminar at the Paley Center examines the diverse ways in which the artistic companies of Lincoln Center have used media over the past 50 years, as well as the new ways the arts use television, radio, film and digital media.

June 1- 21 - In the second floor public gallery space at Time Warner Center, Lincoln Center presents 30 rarely seen works by contemporary artists from the Lincoln Center List Poster and Print Program, which commissions leading visual artists to create posters and prints in tribute to Lincoln Center. Artists include Josef Albers, Chuck Close, Helen Frankenthaler, Sol LeWitt, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol, among others.

This special 50th Anniversary exhibit is sponsored by Altria Group, Inc.

June 8-23 - Bergdorf Goodman salutes Lincoln Center's 50th Anniversary with its renowned window displays along its 5th Avenue store frontage.

November 5 - A New York Historical Society lecture with Barry Lewis traces the evolution of Lincoln Center's Upper West Side surroundings, starting with the 18th century. Lewis, an architectural historian and teacher at Cooper Union and the New School of Interior Design, hosts a popular series of walking tours on PBS.

December 3 - The New York Public Library presents a lecture by Alan Pally with video excerpts: A Very Lively Art: Producing Public Programs at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

February 8, 2010 -- The New York Public Library presents a lecture by Joseph Polisi, President of The Juilliard School: At Least at Juilliard There Was Music: William Schuman at Lincoln Center.

50th Anniversary Publications

May - The elegant, full-color coffee table book, Art at Lincoln Center: The Public Art and List Print and Poster Collections, by Charles Riley II, is the fifth installment in the LCPA/Wiley series of books. It is a comprehensive look at Lincoln Center's acclaimed visual arts collections. Important artworks by Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Henry Moore and Jasper Johns, among others, are part of Lincoln Center's renowned collection.

July - Lincoln Center Theater is producing a double issue of The Lincoln Center Theater Review devoted to a history of 50 years of theater at Lincoln Center. Highlights of the special issue include an article by Ethan Hawke, an interview with Hugh Hardy on the architecture of the Beaumont Theater, as well as reminiscences about Lincoln Center Theater from Royal National Theater Artistic Directors Peter Hall, Trevor Nunn, Richard Eyre and Nicholas Hytner.

October -- Imagination First, a new book by Lincoln Center Institute Executive Director Scott Noppe-Brandon and best-selling author Eric Liu, who served as deputy domestic policy adviser under President Clinton, connects the need for imaginative education to society's need for innovative leaders.

50TH Anniversary Year-Long Initiatives

May 1 - launched with several new Anniversary elements, including an interactive, multimedia timeline animating the historic milestones of Lincoln Center's 12 resident organizations over the past five decades.

Ongoing - Throughout the Anniversary year, contributors from all over the world are invited to send in memories, images, videos, and audio of favorite moments, performances, and events at Lincoln Center over the past 50 years to Lincoln Center's "Digital Time Capsule" on

Ongoing - Nationally televised Live From Lincoln Center broadcasts are highlighting Lincoln Center's 50th Anniversary throughout the year.

Live From Lincoln Center is made possible by a major grant from MetLife.

Ongoing - The Lincoln Center List Fine Art Poster and Print Program commissions a 50th Anniversary series of fine print editions and handmade collectible posters created by such artists as Vija Celmins, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Malcolm Morley, Jill Moser, Richard Serra, and Terry Winters.

50th Anniversary Artist Committee

Lincoln Center has formed a 50th Anniversary Artist Committee of performing artists from across several disciplines representing the exceptional and essential contributions that artists have made to Lincoln Center over the past 50 years, and will continue to make into the future. Current 50th Anniversary Artist Committee members include: Emanuel Ax, Trisha Brown, Kristin Chenoweth, Victoria Clark, Barbara Cook, David Finckel and Wu Han, Renée Fleming, Alan Gilbert, James Levine, Wynton Marsalis, Peter Martins, Audra McDonald, Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Peter Sellars, Dawn Upshaw, and Deborah Voigt

Lincoln Center 50th Anniversary Committee

Ann Ziff and Thomas Renyi, 50th Anniversary Committee Co-Chairs, and committee members Barbara Block, Diane M. Coffey, Stephanie George, Rita E. Hauser, Nathan Leventhal, Peter L. Malkin, Raymond J. McGuire, Daisy M. Soros and Laurie M. Tisch.