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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 -- that would achieve high fidelity to the original sound. 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 high-performance audio products 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 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 $350, 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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13625 news items

 
Broadway World
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 03:08:16 -0800

The only thing missing from the opening week of the New York Philharmonic's "Dohnanyi/Dvorak" festival was Dohnanyi. The legendary conductor was laid out by a bad case of the flu, causing him to miss the first performance of the series. 32 year old ...

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 ...

Inside Philanthropy

Inside Philanthropy
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 13:06:37 -0800

Restricted donations usually involve large sums of money and can create legal issues for years. Here is one example. The Lincoln Center's home for the New York Philharmonic announced in early November that it will be renaming Avery Fisher Hall as part ...

New York Post

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
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:27:58 -0800

The perennial “Messiah” productions in New York split between change and sameness in varying degrees. The two that returned this week — those by the New York Philharmonic, on Tuesday evening at Avery Fisher Hall, and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street ...

New York Times

New York Times
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 15:39:42 -0800

But the performance at Avery Fisher Hall really began once those had been dispatched — briskly, a little shoddily, but full of flashes of the brilliant technique and juicy sound that were once the hallmark of this superstar violinist. Seated in a ...

Playbill.com

Playbill.com
Mon, 22 Dec 2014 07:22:30 -0800

The singer-actress has performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and in concert halls throughout the world. Her solo albums are numerous and include "Marcovicci Loves Movies," "What Is Love?," "Just Kern," "December Songs," "New Words," "Live from ...

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 ...
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