Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has announced that the David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic, opens to the public on October 8, 2022. Completed two years early with a design by Diamond Schmitt Architects and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the project delivers jobs and economic development at a crucial time for the city’s rebound.
Opening will be marked throughout the month of October and includes many firsts, beginning with the world premiere performances of “San Juan Hill: A New York Story” by composer Etienne Charles, commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for the New York Philharmonic, and performed by Etienne Charles and Creole Soul alongside the orchestra, conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden. Besides two celebratory galas held on October 26 and October 28, the event culminates with a free open house weekend on October 29 and 30 featuring performances, participatory activities and family events.
Said Henry Timms, president and CEO of Lincoln Center: “Finally, our hometown orchestra has a home that lives up to its immense talent and creativity, boldly built through some of the darkest times in New York’s history. To the thousands of New Yorkers who made this project a reality, thank you. To the millions of New Yorkers we hope will find inspiration here, welcome.”
Accelerated during the pandemic, the hall is opening two years before schedule and on budget—the result of a close collaboration between Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic and supporters across the city. The project supports $600 million in ongoing economic development and 6,000 jobs for New Yorkers. The team secured 42 percent participation from minority- and women-owned businesses during the course of construction; 51 percent of the workforce derived from underrepresented communities.
The Wu Tsai Theater has been transformed into a curvilinear hall, with optimized sight lines and acoustics on each tier. Seating has been reduced by 500 to 2,200 and wraps around the theater to improve acoustics and bring each seat 30 percent closer to the performers, besides new flexible seating behind the Jerry Speyer and Katherine Farley Stage, which has been moved forward by 25 feet.
The theater design’s flexibility offers new capabilities and configurations, as motorized stage lifts and built-in screens will accommodate dance, film premieres, amplified rock concerts and more, ensuring new and exciting opportunities for the next generation of composers and performers.
The public spaces at the "reimagined" David Geffen Hall include:
- Karen and Richard LeFrak Lobby, nearly doubled in size from the previous version, is now performance-enabled for ticketed- and non-ticketed activations alike
- A bar and restaurant on the ground floor
- The lobby’s Hauser Digital Wall, which will display visual art as well as live-streamed performances from inside the hall for anyone to enjoy free of charge.
- Tatiana, the restaurant helmed by Chef Kwame Onwuachi, serving Afro-Caribbean flavors
- Kenneth C. Griffin Sidewalk Studio, a venue for smaller-scale performance, rehearsals and community gatherings
- Leon and Norma Hess Grand Promenade, with access to an outdoor terrace and bar
The Lincoln Center is launching the “Wu Tsai Series” at David Geffen Hall that showcases performances that celebrate interdisciplinary and socially engaged works from diverse voices that take advantage of the Wu Tsai Theater’s flexibility.