(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.
“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.