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Avery Fisher
Born Avery Robert Fisher
(1906-03-04)4 March 1906
Brooklyn, New York
Died 26 February 1994(1994-02-26) (aged 87)
New York City, New York
Known for transistorized amplifier, stereo radio-phonograph, philanthropy Avery Fisher Hall

Avery Robert Fisher (March 4, 1906 – February 26, 1994) was an amateur violinist, pioneer in the field of sound reproduction, and founder of once prestigious Fisher Electronics. He served on the board for the New York Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center, and the Marlboro Festival. He also established the Avery Fisher Artist Program that includes the Avery Fisher Prize and Career Grants in 1974. Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center is named in his honor.

Early life[edit]

Avery Fisher was born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School, graduated from New York University in 1929 and subsequently worked for two years in publishing. During this time, Fisher, an amateur violinist, began experimenting with audio design and acoustics. He wanted to make a radio that would sound like he was listening to a live orchestra. The goal of correctly reproducing sounds in an electronic device or a reproducing device (such as speaker or a CD) is called High Fidelity or Hi Fi. In 1937 he established his first company, Philharmonic Radio. In 1945, he sold the company and founded his second audio firm, Fisher Radio Company, which marketed products of extraordinary quality and performance under the name The Fisher.[1]

Fisher Radio[edit]

The Fisher 500 (TA500), Fisher's first HiFi receiver (1957)

With the invention of FM by Edwin Armstrong, Fisher's desire to have a radio and amplifying device that could meet the goal of high fidelity (Hi Fi) became a reality. By the 1950s, the term receiver was used instead of radio for a unit that combined a tuner and an amplifier, but lacked speakers. In 1957, the Fisher Radio Company produced their first high fidelity FM/AM receiver, the monophonic, 14-tube Fisher 500 (TA500).

In 1958, H. H. Scott introduced the first true stereophonic receiver, which used a stereo multiplex decoder. Fisher followed with its $349, 22-tube, stereophonic 600 (TA600) receiver in 1959. (A multiplex option, the Fisher MPX-200, would add four more tubes)[2]

Between 1963 and 1964, Fisher introduced their first all-transistor stereophonic receiver, the Fisher 400T. Early transistor receivers were not highly regarded by Hi Fi enthusiasts, so manufacturers such as Fisher moved gradually with the technological advance. In the 1960s, Fisher made two trend-setting breakthroughs, marketing the first all-transistor (solid state) amplifier and the first receiver-phonograph combination, the forerunner of the compact stereo and integrated component system. These products brought Avery Fisher both fame and fortune. From 1959 to 1961, the firm also made important improvements in AM-FM stereo tuner design.[3]

In 1969 Fisher sold his company to the Emerson Electric Company for US $31 million, which in turn sold it to Sanyo of Japan. He was a consultant for both firms.[4] Early Fisher models under the Sanyo umbrella generally followed the high standards of the original Fisher. Over time Sanyo and Emerson turned Fisher into a high volume mass market operation. The quality that made Fisher a leader was sacrificed in favor of quantity and styling. By the late 1970s Fisher products were sometimes called "Lo Fi" by Hi Fi enthusiasts.[citation needed] Today the Fisher name is no longer used.

Philanthropy[edit]

A lifelong philanthropist, he sat on the boards of the New York Philharmonic and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

He died at age 87 in New York City on February 26, 1994 from complications of a stroke.

Today, Avery Fisher is best known for the auditorium in the Lincoln Center cultural complex in upper Manhattan that bears his name. Avery Fisher Hall houses the New York Philharmonic and is the site of various other musical and other cultural events featuring many musical ensembles. The hall was named for Fisher in 1973 after he donated $10.5 million (U.S.) to the Philharmonic.[5]

Fisher had a reputation for modesty. John Mazzola, the general manager of Lincoln Center, had to persuade him to permit Philharmonic Hall to be renamed after him. He protested that no one paid attention to such things and quipped, "Who's Major Deegan?" (a reference to the obscure namesake of the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx).[6]

Four decades later Fisher proved prophetic when Lincoln Center officials the announced their plan to remove his name from the Hall in favor of a new donor. On November 13, 2014 they laid out a timetable for naming rights to be sold to the highest bidder in a drive to raise a total of $500 million toward renovation set to commence in 2019. Said Lincoln Center chairwoman Katherine Farley, "It will be an opportunity for a major name on a great New York jewel." Fisher's three children accepted $15 million in return for acquiescing to the deal.[5]

See also[edit]

Avery Fisher Prize

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fisher, Avery. "Avery Fisher". Created by N. Brewer 2008-08-13. IEEE Global History Network. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  2. ^ 600, Fisher, Fisher's First True Stereo Receiver, Ohio University, "(multiplex option would add four more tubes)" 
  3. ^ Fisher, Avery. "Avery Fisher". Created by N. Brewer 2008-08-13. IEEE Global History Network. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  4. ^ Fisher, Avery. "Avery Fisher". Created by N. Brewer 2008-08-13. IEEE Global History Network. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  5. ^ a b http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/11/13/6286030/nycs-lincoln-center-to-rename.html
  6. ^ [The cost of putting footprints in sands of time,] by Tom Buckley, New York Times, Oct. 17, 1973

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avery_Fisher — Please support Wikipedia.
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136001 videos foundNext > 

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2010 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient Yuja Wang, pianist

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Keith Jarrett at Avery Fisher Hall, N.Y. 1991 Part 3

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2011 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient Caroline Goulding, violinist

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2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient Bella Hristova, violinist

2013 Avery Fisher Career Grants - May 15, 2013 John Corigliano: "Red Violin Caprices" ; Ástor Piazzolla: Tango Etude No. 4; George Gershwin: "It Ain't Necess...

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24140 news items

Wall Street Journal

New York Times
Mon, 17 Nov 2014 17:29:47 -0800

It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the right to rename Avery Fisher Hall will be sold to the highest bidder. Lincoln Center set an unfortunate precedent in 1973 when it renamed Philharmonic Hall for Mr. Fisher in exchange for a donation. Now ...

New York Times

Crain's New York Business
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:03:57 -0800

In a highly unusual move, Lincoln Center will rename Avery Fisher Hall in honor of a donor who makes a sizable gift toward the planned renovation of the theater, which is expected to cost more than $500 million. Avery Fisher Hall is the longtime home ...

New York Times

New York Times
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 12:10:54 -0800

Two ensembles showed up onstage when the storied Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra played at Avery Fisher Hall on Sunday and Monday, led by its music director, Riccardo Chailly. One — we could call it Dr. Jekyll — was the group's strings, as eloquent and ...

Chronicle of Philanthropy (subscription)

Chronicle of Philanthropy (subscription)
Tue, 18 Nov 2014 08:28:50 -0800

The original benefactor of Philharmonic Hall, Avery Fisher, arguably represented the ideal marriage of deep pockets and deep feelings. As New Yorkers wrestle with questions of visibility and legitimacy in terms of who "owns" the city, the naming rights ...
 
Broadway World
Mon, 10 Nov 2014 11:30:00 -0800

Reigning violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman will perform his first New York solo recital since 2007 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, at 7:30 PM, presented by IMG Artists. Pianist Rohan De Silva, Perlman's longtime ...

New York Times

New York Times
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 17:33:30 -0800

Mr. Levy's existential question was recalled this month when Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts agreed to pay Avery Fisher's descendants $15 million for permission to expunge his name from Philharmonic Hall, in return for other inducements, in ...

New York Daily News

Broadway World
Thu, 06 Nov 2014 07:56:15 -0800

SHOW BOAT is Broadway's most revived and revised work; productions vary widely, with scenes and songs added or eliminated to serve each production's vision. The Philharmonic's presentation will take the original 1927 score as a basis and emphasize the ...

New York Times

New York Times
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 12:15:00 -0800

The New York Philharmonic performing Beethoven's Seventh Symphony at Avery Fisher Hall, conducted by Jaap van Zweden, the Dutch-born music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The program also included works by Johan Wagenaar and Erich ...
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