Carnegie Hall makes up its missing millions

Carnegie Hall makes up its missing millions


norman lebrecht

June 23, 2016

When Ronald Perelman stormed out as Carnegie Hall chairman after a breakdown of relations with its exec director, Clive Gillinson, he took with him a promised gift of $30 million, plus some reportedly unfulfilled past donations.

That left a big hole in the $125m fundraising campaign.

Today $25m was made good by Warner’s Len Blavatnik, one of Perelman’s former adversaries on the board.

Still some way to go.

Press release follows.

carnegie hall interior


NEW YORK, NY—Carnegie Hall today announced that, in recognition of a leading gift of $25 million from Len Blavatnik and the Blavatnik Family Foundation, the Hall’s first-level seating tier in its historic main auditorium will be named the Blavatnik Family First Tier from the start of its 2016–2017 season.

A Carnegie Hall trustee since 2014, Len Blavatnik has been a major supporter of Carnegie Hall for more than ten years, and a Founding Patron of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, a program created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in 2013.

The Blavatnik Family Foundation’s $25 million commitment to Carnegie Hall’s ongoing 125th Anniversary campaign will fund the continued growth of the Hall’s artistic, educational, and digital initiatives as they are expanded over the next decade. Other key supporters of this campaign include the Fund II Foundation, founded and led by Carnegie Hall Chairman Robert F. Smith, as well as trustees Beatrice Santo Domingo and Nicola Bulgari.

The newly-named Blavatnik Family First Tier in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage will be unveiled with a pre-concert celebration at Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala on Thursday, October 6, a festive evening featuring a performance by Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. The tier will hold this special name and designation for the next 50 years.

Len Blavatnik said, “Carnegie Hall is the world’s premier music destination, the place where all of the finest artists have aspired to perform. It is important to me and my family that the Hall continue to thrive, bringing together artists and audiences for exceptional musical experiences and creating programs to engage and inspire the next generation of musicians and music lovers. We are proud to support Carnegie Hall as it enters its next 125 years.”


  • Milka says:

    Only the first tier ? what a come down…………

  • ohglorioso says:

    The Russian Mafia takes Manhattan. So what else is new?

  • Sue says:

    “Stormed out”… Absolutely priceless; I have a mental image of it!!