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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 of 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. Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center was named in his honor from 1973 until September 2015, when it was renamed David Geffen Hall.

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.[1]

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.[1] 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 once bore his name. Avery Fisher Hall housed the New York Philharmonic and was 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.[3]

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).[4]

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.[3] The Hall was renamed David Geffen Hall in September 2015 after Geffen pledged a $100 million donation to the Lincoln Center renovation.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c 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. ^ a b http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/11/13/6286030/nycs-lincoln-center-to-rename.html
  4. ^ [The cost of putting footprints in sands of time,] by Tom Buckley, New York Times, Oct. 17, 1973
  5. ^ 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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Caroline Goulding, violin; with Shuai Wang, piano Tartini/arr. Pavanello, Sonata in g for Violin and Piano, Devil's Trill Part 1.

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11966 news items

Tue, 24 Nov 2015 08:51:07 -0800

Jaco Pastorius strums his bass guitar at Avery Fisher Hall in New York on June 28, 1982. The Syracuse International Film Festival will screen "JACO," a documentary about Pastorius, on Black Friday this year at the Palace Theatre.AP Photo/Rene Perez. 6.
Broadway World
Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:15:00 -0800

Other New York credits: The Most Happy Fella (Herman), City CenterEncores!, Sweeney Todd (Anthony Hope), Avery Fisher Hall, with New York Philharmonic; taped for PBS. First National Tour: A Chorus Line (Mark). Regional: THE LAST GOODBYE ...

New Jersey Hills

New Jersey Hills
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:15:00 -0800

She received masters and doctorate degrees from Juilliard, and completed post-doctoral studies in Austria with Hanz Leygraf. As the winner of the Beethoven Competition, she made her New York debut in 1992 with the Juilliard Orchestra at the Avery ...

New York Times

New York Times
Sun, 20 Sep 2015 10:12:37 -0700

Giving him more work was probably not something that David — the entertainment mogul David Geffen — thought about when Lincoln Center announced that he was giving $100 million to renovate and rename Avery Fisher Hall, the home of the New York ...

New York Times

New York Times
Fri, 25 Sep 2015 14:11:15 -0700

The big news for the Philharmonic took place before the concert during a ceremony at Lincoln Center's plaza to rename Avery Fisher Hall officially for the entertainment mogul David Geffen. Simultaneously, the orchestra announced the largest individual ...


Mon, 23 Nov 2015 07:11:15 -0800

The duo played those parts in The New York Philharmonic's production of Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady in March 2007 at Avery Fisher Hall for a series of concert performances. No official announcement about an Australian or European tour or a New ...


Thu, 24 Sep 2015 20:07:13 -0700

Avery Fisher Hall was originally named for the Fisher electronics company founder in 1973. It was reported in fall 2014 that executives at the arts center were making plans to pay the Fisher family $15 million for permission to remove Fisher's name ...

Greenwich Sentinel

Greenwich Sentinel
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 12:03:45 -0800

Her Lincoln Center debut came in 2012 when she performed in Bach's Mass in B minor with the National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall as well as in Handel's Messiah later that year. Ms. Craft earned her bachelor's degree cum laude in Italian and music from ...

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