Who was Avery Fisher?
Brooklyn-born Avery Robert Fisher (1906-1994), a lifelong New Yorker, graduated from NYU in 1929. An amateur violinist with a passion for music, Fisher was working in the publishing field when he began tinkering with audio design in hopes of getting better sound from the radio. During the 1930s he made improvements to the design of amplifiers, tuners, and speakers, and in 1945 he established Fisher Radio Company to produce high-fidelity components. After selling the company to Emerson in 1969, Fisher was able to focus more fully on his philanthropy, which aimed to bring more music to more people. The home of the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center was known as Avery Fisher Hall from 1973 until 2015, when it was renamed for David Geffen. In 1974, Fisher established the ongoing Avery Fisher Prize, a prestigious annual award given to American musicians for outstanding achievement in classical music. The Avery Fisher Center for Music & Media at NYU was established in 1987 with assistance from the Avery and Janet Fisher Foundation. Later gifts from the Fisher family helped the AFC to acquire new equipment and, in 2017, reopen in a beautiful new space on Floor 7 of Bobst Library.