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Lincoln Center's Chief Exits for Philadelphia


NEW YORK — Lincoln Center, the world's largest performing arts complex, faces yet another departure: its interim executive director is leaving to become president of Philadelphia's new performing arts center, it was announced Thursday.

Janice Price, 45, became interim director in October, when Gordon Davis unexpectedly resigned as president. Price was previously a vice president at Lincoln Center and has worked there for four years. Her last day is Feb. 1.

"We are a very closely knit group at the senior management level of Lincoln Center, almost like a family, and so it is very sad to say goodbye to a good friend like Janice Price," Lincoln Center Chairman Beverly Sills said in a statement.

She said Price, a Toronto native, had not sought to become the center's new president, whom Sills expected would be named in the next two months.

Lincoln Center experienced tumult in 2001. Davis resigned in September after less than a year on the job; Marshall Rose, chairman of the redevelopment project, resigned in October, months ahead of plan.

Sills has said that she hopes to retire, although she plans to stay put until at least a new president is named.

Also, Lincoln Center's renovation plans raised the conflicting needs of theaters that house companies including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic and the New York City Opera.

Price will become president and chief executive officer of the Philadelphia arts complex that houses the Kimmel Center, the new home of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The $265-million center had its grand opening last month in a lavish ceremony.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Price will earn $300,000 in her new post, a $15,000 increase over her Lincoln Center salary.

The latest change at Lincoln Center comes a day after Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested that New York City might have to delay its promise to fund $240 million of the center's $1.2-billion renovation.

Bloomberg, a recent vice chairman of the center, said construction projects such as the planned Lincoln Center refurbishments probably would be put on hold while the city recovers from the World Trade Center attacks and the weakened economy.

"We should continue with the planning, but you're not going to be able to do things as fast as we can," the mayor said.

The 16-acre complex has year-round performances of opera, symphony, ballet, chamber music and jazz, while also offering film and theater presentations.

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