Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York has tapped a prominent producer from the world of commercial Broadway to serve as its next president. Jed Bernstein, whose credits include the successful revivals of "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Hair," is set to assume his new job in January, succeeding Reynold Levy, who will be stepping down after 11 years.
Choosing a commercial Broadway producer who has a background in marketing and advertising is a telling move for the nonprofit Lincoln Center. The organization must raise tens of millions of dollars per year to fund programming and improvements to its campus, which includes Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the David H. Koch Theater and the Metropolitan Opera.
This will be the first time that Bernstein will head a nonprofit performing arts organization.
Leaders of venues comparable to Lincoln Center in other cities have typically been selected from the nonprofit arts world. In Los Angeles, the Music Center is led by Stephen Rountree, who previously worked at the J. Paul Getty Trust.
The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington is headed by Michael Kaiser, who came from the Royal Opera House and the American Ballet Theatre.
Prior to his theater career, Bernstein worked in the advertising industry for 16 years, with a stint at the agency Ogilvy & Mather. He headed the Broadway League -- an industry group that promotes theater -- from 1995 to 2006.
His other Broadway producing credits include "Equus," starring Daniel Radcliffe, and the musical "Passing Strange." He received a Tony Award in 2009 in the category of best musical revival for "Hair."
One of Bernstein's big projects will be overseeing a planned redesign of Avery Fisher Hall, the home of the New York Philharmonic.
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