Press Release

January 22, 2016

Lincoln Center to Create First-Ever Hall of Fame for all of the Performing Arts

Lincoln Center News

Mary Caraccioli
[email protected]




 “Legends at Lincoln Center” launches this year; all campus organizations participating


George Balanchine, Beverly Sills, and Leonard Bernstein among special class of Founding Legends


April 27, 2016 update: The previously announced June 20, 2016 gala has been postponed. A new date will be announced at a later date.


New York, NY (January 22, 2016) – For more than 50 years audiences have flocked to Lincoln Center to see the finest artists and productions in the performing arts. Now the talented individuals who’ve enriched millions of lives through their art will have a home that honors their contributions. Today Lincoln Center President Jed Bernstein announced the creation of Legends at Lincoln Center: The Performing Arts Hall of Fame


“While athletes and rock stars have long had permanent homes honoring their top achievers, the performing arts had no singular location to pay tribute to our exceptional talent, and inspire future generations, until now,” said Bernstein.


Legends at Lincoln Center will be the first hall of fame that honors the artists, leaders, and advocates whose exceptional creativity and tenacity have shaped, and continue to shape, the field of all of the performing arts at Lincoln Center. All campus resident organizations—The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts— are participating. Legends at Lincoln Center will celebrate the performing arts with an annual induction ceremony recognizing career achievement, exhibitions/installations, and displays in each venue on campus. The inaugural 2016 induction ceremony will take place at Lincoln Center on Monday, June 20, 2016 and the first class of inductees will be announced next month.


“We are so pleased that the men and women who successfully launched Lincoln Center Theater are being recognized for being the legends they are, and we applaud all the distinguished and talented people from the other performing art forms on the Lincoln Center campus,” said André Bishop, Producing Artistic Director of Lincoln Center Theater.


Matthew VanBesien, President of the New York Philharmonic added, “The New York Philharmonic values not only the opportunity Legends at Lincoln Center presents to celebrate achievement, but also to create a bridge to new audiences by introducing them to the people who have been part of our illustrious history.”


In order to recognize the exceptional individuals who have contributed significantly to Lincoln Center’s history, Legends at Lincoln Center has established a special class of inductees called Founding Legends who will be celebrated during this inaugural year.


Bernstein also announced the inaugural group of Founding Legends today. They are (in alphabetical order):


           Amyas Ames

           George Balanchine

           Morton Baum

           Vivian Beaumont

           Leonard Bernstein

           Rudolf Bing

           Anthony Bliss

           Gordon J. Davis

           Avery Fisher

           Bernard Gersten

           Lincoln Kirstein

           James Levine

           John V. Lindsay

           Wynton Marsalis

           Peter Martins

           William F. May

           Peter Mennin

           Carlos Moseley

           Gregory Mosher

           Mitzi E. Newhouse

           Jerome Robbins

           John D. Rockefeller, Ill

           Richard Roud

           William Schuman

           Martin E. Segal

           Beverly Sills

           Charles M. Spofford

           Carleton Sprague Smith

           Alice Tully

           Charles Wadsworth


The Founding Legends were selected exclusively by Lincoln Center and its resident organizations to reflect the visionaries who worked tirelessly to create world-class arts organizations and a destination that is now visited by over five million people each year. A ceremony for the Founding Legends will take place at a later date.


Legends at Lincoln Center is committed to enhancing Lincoln Center as a destination to visit anytime, making interactive exhibits and installations available for free in campus buildings and public spaces to educate, inspire, and entertain new and existing audiences. To accomplish this, Legends at Lincoln Center has partnered with award-winning design firm Ralph Appelbaum Associates and renowned design and technology firm Potion for conceptual design of the space, exhibits, and installations. As previously announced, there will be a future space for The Performing Arts Hall of Fame in the reimagined David Geffen Hall, which is being designed by lead architects Diamond Schmitt Architects of Toronto and celebrated designer Thomas Heatherwick of London’s Heatherwick Studio. Thomas Heatherwick will also design the Legends at Lincoln Center award the inductees will receive.


Each year there will be a new class of inductees. To select those individuals, Legends at Lincoln Center, through campus-wide collaboration, developed a substantial and sound induction process. All 11 resident organizations were invited to participate in the nomination process, which also included expert input from a body of performing arts professionals who form the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee narrows the list of nominees and publishes a final ballot that is voted upon by an expanded Voting Committee. The Voting Committee is comprised of delegates invited by the Lincoln Center resident organizations as well as Nominating Committee members and, in future years, living inductees.


The 2016 Nominating Committee represents the diversity of art forms at Lincoln Center and includes: Ted Chapin, President and Chief Creative Officer at Rodgers and Hammerstein: An Imagem Company; Patricia Cruz, Executive Director of Harlem Stage; Michael Dorf, Founder and CEO of City Winery; Anna Kisselgoff, Reporter, Lecturer, and former New York Times Chief Dance Critic; Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film at the Museum of Modern Art; Marc A. Scorca, President and CEO of OPERA America; Matías Tarnopolsky, Executive and Artistic Director of Cal Performances at University of California, Berkeley; Marietta Ulacia, Executive Director of Afro Latin Jazz Alliance; and Wayne Winborne, Executive Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, Newark.


About Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community relations, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers 15 series, festivals, and programs including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Artist Program, Great PerformersLC Kids, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Midsummer Night Swing, Emerging Artist Awards, Meet the Artist, Mostly Mozart Festival, and the White Light Festival, as well as the Emmy Award–winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and 11 resident organizations: Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. For more information:


About RAA

Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) is a family-owned, multinational firm specializing in the planning and design of museums, exhibits, and related visitor attractions. Founded in 1978, RAA's portfolio includes over 700 completed commissions in more than 40 countries. Headquartered in New York, with branch offices in London, Moscow, Berlin, and Beijing, RAA has a staff of more than 200 employees, including designers, architects, historians, educators, media specialists, technologists, and researchers, making it the world’s largest organization focused on museum and exhibit design. The firm is active on more than 60 projects worldwide, and its projects have won every major international award for design and communication, including the National Design Award (USA) and the Art Prize (U.K.), in addition to more than 200 other commendations. 


About Potion

Potion is a design and technology firm that seeks to expand the language of interaction design. Inspired by the physical world, we create both public space interactive installations and mobile apps on the iPhone and iPad. As part of our design process, Potion researches new technologies, new modes of interaction, and continually invents new ways of making things work. 


About Heatherwick Studio

Established by Thomas Heatherwick in 1994, Heatherwick Studio is recognized for its work in architecture, urban infrastructure, sculpture, design, and strategic thinking. Today a team of 180, including architects, designers, and makers work from a combined studio and workshop in Kings Cross, London. The studio’s work includes a number of nationally significant projects for the U.K., including the award-winning U.K. Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, the Olympic Cauldron for the London 2012 Olympic Games, and the New Bus for London. More recent projects include a major university building in Singapore, the Garden Bridge in London, a new campus for Google in Silicon Valley with BIG, and a museum in Cape Town, South Africa, that makes use of a disused grain silo.



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