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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.


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


  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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11890 news items

New York Times

New York Times
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:30:00 -0800

This elusive quality was too often missing in the New York Philharmonic's concert on Wednesday evening at Avery Fisher Hall. It was doubtless a disjointed week for the orchestra, with rehearsal cancellations due to the snowstorm making a program change ...

New York Times

New York Times
Thu, 22 Jan 2015 12:42:22 -0800

So what was it on Wednesday, in their second and final concert this season at Avery Fisher Hall? Maybe their encore, Brahms's “Abendständchen” from the “Drei Gesänge,” sung — yes, sung — charmingly in six-part harmony? Or Mozart's “Turkish” Violin ...

New York Times

New York Times
Mon, 19 Jan 2015 11:43:38 -0800

I wonder if an orchestra had ever played works by Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn on the same program before Ivan Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra did so on Sunday afternoon at Avery Fisher Hall. Felix, of course, is a staple of the concert ...
Mondaq News Alerts (registration)
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 09:03:45 -0800

In 1973, Avery Fisher donated $10.5 million to Lincoln Center in New York to be put toward the renovation of the New York Philharmonic's concert hall, which was renamed Avery Fisher Hall. On November 13, 2014, Lincoln Center reached an agreement with ...

Financial Times

Financial Times
Fri, 09 Jan 2015 09:29:19 -0800

ong ago, Alan Gilbert chose a basically cheerful agenda for the Philharmonic concert on Thursday. Before the performance began, however, he gave a moving speech lamenting the horrific shootings in Paris. “We all,” he declared, “are Charlie.” After this ...

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 ...


Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:30:00 -0800

She's played in New York's Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall, and won a coveted recording contract on Decca. In 2012, she sold out London's 8,000-seat Royal Albert Hall, and live-streamed the concert to her fans on the web. The numbers went through ...

New York Times

New York Times
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 13:02:10 -0800

A debut and a comeback were on offer at Thursday's New York Philharmonic concert at Avery Fisher Hall. A majority of the vocal, near-capacity audience was clearly there for the comeback: After an absence of almost nine years resulting partly from a ...

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