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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 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] The Hall will be renamed David Geffen Hall in September 2015 after Geffen pledged a $100 million donation to the Lincoln Center renovation.[7]

See also[edit]

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
  7. ^ http://tucson.com/entertainment/music/david-geffen-donates-million-to-lincoln-center/article_800abbfe-b8de-533f-9e80-09f4a502355e.html

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avery_Fisher — Please support Wikipedia.
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13432 news items

 
RushLimbaugh.com
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 10:32:54 -0700

He happened to be at Avery Fisher Hall last night at Lincoln Center in New York. He went to hear a concert by a noted classical composer named John Adams, who I've never heard. You know, I ought to actually print this out and read it rather than ...

New York Times

New York Times
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 09:00:36 -0800

But raising money promised to be a challenge; the family of Avery Fisher had threatened legal action 13 years ago if the concert hall were to be rebuilt or renovated under a new name. That obstacle was overcome in November, when the Fisher family ...

Los Angeles Times

New York Times
Wed, 11 Mar 2015 00:18:45 -0700

Last week, the entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen promised $100 million toward the renovation of Avery Fisher Hall, the home of the New York Philharmonic, which will be renamed Geffen Hall. Several years ago, two other $100 million ...

New York Times

New York Times
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 12:03:45 -0800

It played in Avery Fisher Hall in 2013 and returns there on Monday evening, with Mr. Sidlin conducting the Orchestra of Terezin Remembrance, the Collegiate Chorale and vocal soloists. “Defiant Requiem” commemorates and partly re-enacts 16 makeshift ...
 
Broadway World
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 21:30:00 -0700

The memory and accomplishments of Avery Fisher - the sound equipment pioneer, philanthropist, and New York Philharmonic Board Member - will be honored at the New York Philharmonic concert tonight, March 24, 2015. The performance also honors ...

Financial Times

Financial Times
Sun, 15 Mar 2015 14:22:30 -0700

This was no ordinary garden-variety concert by the New York Philharmonic. Not by a short shot. The podium was not manned by a familiar or famous baton-waver. Instead we had Thomas Adès, Britain's most celebrated, most dapper modernist, who conducts ...

New York Times

New York Times
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 10:27:02 -0700

Barbara Walters never expected a role in the renaming of Avery Fisher Hall. But it turns out that Ms. Walters, the ABC News broadcaster, was a crucial go-between who helped engineer a relationship between two of her friends that led to the unlikely, ...

Forbes

Artforum
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:41:15 -0800

The entertainment mogul David Geffen's going to see his name over at Lincoln Center for a very long time. Geffen's giving $100 million to renovate Avery Fisher Hall, which will in turn be renamed for him, according to the New York Times' Robin Pogrebin.
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