Avery Fisher Hall Renamed David Geffen Hall

Opening night of the New York Philharmonic’s 174th season brought music and a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and the announcement of the largest individual donation in the orchestra’s history.

Photo: Christopher Lane/Invision for Lincoln Center for the Performing

The New York Times reports Oscar Schafer, chairman of the Philharmonic’s board, and his wife presented the $25 million gift Thursday in the newly re-named David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center.

Schafer says he hopes his donation inspires more gifts from his fellow board members.

Officials say Schafer’s donation, along with $100 million pledged by Geffen, signifies that the orchestra’s longtime plans to renovate their concert hall are taking shape. Repairs are expected to cost over $500 million.

Schafer says he fell in love with classical music when he heard Beethoven’s “Archduke” in a music class at Harvard University.