With a donation of $5 million, Wells Fargo has become the latest donor to Walt Disney Concert Hall, the planned new home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Los Angeles Music Center.
In an announcement Sunday afternoon during the philharmonic's last regular concert of the winter season at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, officials of the Music Center, the philharmonic, Wells Fargo, the city and the county took the stage to celebrate the gift. It will be given over a five-year period.
The announcement fell between a well-received performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, performed and conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, and Mahler's Symphony No. 5.
And it seemed that the list of speakers--which included philharmonic managing director Ernest Fleischmann, Disney Hall fund-raising leader Eli Broad, Wells Fargo vice chairman Paul Watson, Mayor Richard Riordan, Music Center chairwoman Andrea Van de Kamp and Board of Supervisors Chairman Zev Yaroslavsky--was deemed just a little too long. Some audience members began shouting "Play Mahler!" before all the remarks concluded.
This latest in a string of recent gifts of $5 million or more to the Disney Hall project brings the fund-raising total for new gifts to $62.3 million since December. Project chairman Broad has estimated the total cost of the hall at $220 million. About $62.7 million is still needed to raise that amount. The county is operating under earlier estimates that placed the total cost at $265 million, which would leave $107.7 million yet to be raised.
In March, Disney Hall received $15 million from Ralphs/Food 4 Less Foundation and Ron Burkle, one of its executives, which allowed project leaders to beat a June 30 deadline for $52.3 million imposed by Los Angeles County. The county owns the land at 1st Street and Grand Avenue where the concert hall would be built. In late May, Bank of America donated $5 million.
Those gifts followed a $5-million gift from Times Mirror Foundation (affiliated with Times Mirror Co., parent company of The Times); personal gifts of $5 million each from Broad and Riordan; $10 million from the Arco Foundation, a $7.5-million anonymous gift and other smaller gifts.
Although fund-raisers easily met the first of several county deadlines, the Disney Hall team has declared a self-imposed goal of $100 million in new funds by the end of June. Hall officials have said that amount is needed to begin making commitments to contractors and architects to start the next phases of development.