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92nd Street Y

  • Location: New York,NY
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The Tisch Center for the Arts produces and presents first-class concerts of classical, world, folk, cabaret and jazz music, along with lyric theater.

The 92nd Street Y has long sustained a tradition of presenting the world's finest performing and literary artists to large audiences in the Theresa L. Kaufmann Concert Hall. The Y's performing arts program was created in the mid-1930s under the leadership of Dr. William Kolodney. Presenting concerts of classical, jazz and popular music of the highest quality and poetry and literature readings given by the premier writers of our time, the Tisch Center continues to flourish as one of the country's oldest and largest cultural centers.

When the Kaufmann Concert Hall was completed in 1930, it quickly gained a reputation as the best chamber music hall in the city. Its warm wood paneling and intimate design became home to the Budapest String Quartet for nearly 30 years, where they played to consistently packed houses. In the ensuing decades, the Y presented the likes of Andres Segovia, Arthur Schnabel, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Claudio Arrau, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, and Jaime Laredo, who began the distinguished Camber Music at the Y series in 1974. The rich chamber music tradition is the foundation of the Tisch Center's programming today.

Also born in the '30s was the Unterberg Poetry Center, which, since the 1939 inaugural reading by William Carlos Williams, has presented a renowned literary series that features the most distinguished and talented writers. W.H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, T.S. Eliot, Adrienne Rich, Allen Ginsberg, and Norman Mailer are just a few of the writers who have read their works here.

The performing arts program at the Y also provided modern dance with its first year-round home in which pioneers such as Martha Graham, Agnes de Mille and Merce Cunningham could teach, create, rehearse and perform. Now, the Harkness Dance Center continues that tradition as part of the Y's School of the Arts.

Concerts and Unterberg Poetry Center readings constitute the Tisch Center for the Arts, which continues the Y's long tradition of presenting the highest quality performances to the New York cultural community.

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