A letter from Henry and Deborah
We are thrilled to announce our plans for the reimagination of David Geffen Hall.
We have three goals. To create one of the world’s finest concert halls, dynamic community spaces, and a building that connects in innovative and bold ways with our outside world.
We are calling our project “Working in Concert.” And, it brings together not just our two organizations but a wider team of talented and creative professionals.
David Geffen Hall will now sound and feel intimate and connected. We are moving the stage forward, wrapping the audience around the orchestra, reducing the number of seats, and improving sightlines in every part of the hall. The environment will be vibrant, warm, and welcoming — with terrific acoustics.
One of our big priorities for this project is a true sense of community. The concert hall will bring everyone closer to the music, but people also want to feel closer to one another. So, we are doubling the size of the main lobby, adding great food and drink options, and creating a new Welcome Center. We want anyone to feel welcome here. More places to meet, work, drink, and hang out. And yes — we’ll have many more restrooms!
We want to find fresh ways to connect with the outside world. At the heart of the new lobby will be a media streaming wall that can broadcast concerts in real time, as well as show all kinds of video. And we are transforming the northeast corner of the building by adding The Sidewalk Studio: a space that will showcase educational and community activities and the incredible performers and ideas that live on campus. Finally, we are going to be using the North Façade of the building as a “canvas” for artists to create site-specific works to bring the building alive.
This reimagination is a critical investment in our music, our community, and our future. We are feeling great about the progress so far and we’re grateful to the many who have got us to this important milestone.
We will keep you updated as the journey continues.
President and CEO
President and CEO
NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC
Reimagined from the inside out
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When will construction begin?
Construction at David Geffen Hall will begin May 2022. There will be two brief closures while the work is completed:
- May 2022 through October 2022, after which the hall will reopen for a concert season, running from November 2022 through April 2023
- May 2023 through February 2024, during which the Orchestra will perform in New York City venues, most often at Carnegie Hall and New York City Center.
2. I am a New York Philharmonic subscriber. What will happen to my seats?
There will be absolutely no changes during the 2020–21 and 2021–22 seasons. Prior to the announcement of the 2022–23 season, when work will begin, the New York Philharmonic’s Customer Relations team will contact any subscriber whose seating is affected, and we will work together to secure comparable seating. The Philharmonic is confident that every seat in the reimagined hall will be an upgrade, both acoustically and visually.
Planning is underway to ensure that comparable seating will be secured for New York Philharmonic subscribers while the Orchestra performs subscription concerts in alternate venues, including Carnegie Hall and New York City Center. For further questions, feel free to contact New York Philharmonic Customer Relations at (212) 875-5656 or email@example.com.
3. What will happen during Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, and Great Performers?
- Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival
The festival’s orchestra concerts typically take place in David Geffen Hall. During the summers when construction is happening, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra will perform at another venue on the Lincoln Center campus.
- Lincoln Center’s Great Performers and White Light Festival
Performances in the Great Performers Symphonic Masters series typically take place in David Geffen Hall. While construction may affect the length of the 2022–23 and 2023–24 seasons, performances will continue each year with as little interruption as possible to the number of concerts. For further questions, feel free to contact Lincoln Center Guest Services at (212) 875-5456 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. What changes are being made to improve sightlines and acoustics?
- The number of seats will be reduced from 2,738 to 2,200 in order to optimize acoustics and match the originally intended capacity.
- The stage is moving forward by 25 feet, with all seats being closer to the stage, plus the addition of wrap-around seating surrounding the orchestra, providing acoustical and visual intimacy for the entire audience. This is similar to the staging for Mostly Mozart Festival.
- Sightlines will improve by restoring the original 1962 steeper seating rake (incline) on the orchestra level.
5. What changes are being made to the public spaces? Will there be more bathrooms?
- The lobby will double in size, welcoming the community to convene, connect, and socialize in a more comfortable setting.
- One-third more restroom capacity will be added throughout the Hall.
- Additional performance spaces, including The Sidewalk Studio, will create dynamic opportunities for intimate performances and educational activities to engage the community.
- There will be two new Patron Lounges.
- The addition of a new Welcome Center will provide event information and ticketing services.
- The iconic exterior of the hall will not be modified.
6. Will there be improvements to accessibility?
Creating an accessible experience for all guests is at the forefront in planning the reimagined David Geffen Hall. State-of-the-art assistive listening technology will be installed. There will be more accessible seating locations and additional accessible restrooms.
7. Where will the Box Office be located?
The David Geffen Hall Box Office will remain at its current location until construction begins in May 2022.
8. Who is the project team for the renovation?
The two architectural design firms reimagining David Geffen Hall are Diamond Schmitt Architects, led by Gary McCluskie (concert hall design), and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners, led by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien (public spaces). The acoustic design is by Akustiks, led by Paul Scarbrough. Theater planning and design is by Fisher Dachs Associates, led by Joshua Dachs.
9. Will the renovated hall have a restaurant?
Union Square Hospitality Group is serving as consultants for food and beverage planning in the new David Geffen Hall. Informal dining will be offered in a destination eatery located in the southwest corner of the lobby with extended hours, including service after concerts. There will also be more food and beverage service throughout the hall.
10. Will the renovation impact parking on campus?
We expect parking services to remain fully operational during the renovation.
11. What improvements are being made to the current security procedures?
The safety of our guests is of the utmost importance. There will be state-of-the-art security solutions to provide a safe and comfortable experience for our guests.
12. Who is funding the renovation?
Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic are working together on a joint fundraising campaign. Currently, almost two-thirds of the $550 million construction budget has been raised.
13. Will construction at David Geffen Hall affect any other venues on the Lincoln Center campus?
Every effort will be made to minimize the impact to other venues on campus.