(Robin Pogrebin’s and Michael Cooper’s article appeared in the New York Times, 10/4.)  

The media mogul David Geffen, one of the cultural world’s leading philanthropists, attacked wealthy New Yorkers on Wednesday for what he called a “shameful” record of failing to donate to the city’s concert halls and allowing these institutions to downsize their ambitions.

Mr. Geffen, in a telephone interview, was searing and candid about Lincoln Center’s announcement on Tuesday that it was scaling back a $500 million renovation of the New York Philharmonic’s home, David Geffen Hall, a project to which he had donated $100 million. Mr. Geffen spoke out on the same day that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art said he was donating $150 million — a dollar amount and a bit of timing that only highlighted the cultural rivalry between New York and Los Angeles for money and prestige.

[David Geffen Pledges $150 Million to LACMA Building Campaign]

“That a city that has as many wealthy individuals who’ve made a fortune in New York — that they couldn’t show up and support the most important cultural institution in New York, I think is too bad and shameful,” Mr. Geffen said. “New York deserves to have the best concert hall for the Philharmonic. New York should have the best of everything.

(Read more)


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