Philadelphia Orchestra’s Home to Be Renamed Marian Anderson Hall

Marian Anderson, the renowned contralto and civil rights figure who broke racial barriers in the arts and helped pave the way for other Black artists, is being honored in her hometown, Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s home will be renamed Marian Anderson Hall in recognition of a $25 million gift in her honor, the ensemble announced on Wednesday.

Anderson, who was born in Philadelphia in 1897 and died in 1993, became the first Black singer to perform a leading role at the Metropolitan Opera in 1955, at a time when Black artists in the United States faced rampant racial discrimination.

Matías Tarnopolsky, the president and chief executive of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Kimmel Center, which oversees what is now known as Verizon Hall, said in an interview that Anderson was an “extraordinary artist who used her artistry fearlessly in the fight for civil rights.”

“We hope to inspire everyone who comes through our doors with this idea that the arts are a transformative force for good in the world,” he said. “We also want to show through this gesture that everyone is welcome.”

The naming rights for the hall expired in January. (Verizon contributed $14.5 million through its foundation to the construction of the Kimmel Center, which opened in 2001.)

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