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The 92nd Street Y Announces Hanna Arie-Gaifman to Step Down as Director of the Tisch Center for the Arts

In her 21 years of leadership, Arie-Gaifman oversaw the classical, jazz, and Lyrics & Lyricists concert series, as well as the Unterberg Poetry Center.

The 92nd Street Y Announces Hanna Arie-Gaifman  to Step Down as Director of the Tisch Center for the Arts

The 92nd Street Y announced today that Hanna Arie-Gaifman, longtime Director of the Tisch Center for the Arts, is stepping down from her day-to-day duties. In her 21 years of leadership, Arie-Gaifman oversaw the classical, jazz, and Lyrics & Lyricists concert series, as well as the Unterberg Poetry Center, growing and broadening the number and scope of 92Y's concert offerings and literary events, and carving out a distinct place for 92Y among the leading presenters in New York. She will stay on as Director Emerita of the Tisch Center, lending her expertise and passion to the production of a summer classical music festival in 2022.

"Hanna has been at the vanguard of creating an entirely new language of expression in programs that integrate music, literature, movement and the visual arts," notes 92Y CEO Seth Pinsky. "Among many groundbreaking programs, Hanna envisioned and produced the multidisciplinary Love in Fragments, Bach's Art of the Fugue as designed by Gabriel Calatrava, and Leonardo, 92Y's first-ever commissioned chamber opera by Jonathan Berger. And, in this most recent period of unprecedented challenges for the performing arts industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Hanna led an extraordinary pivot for the Tisch Center so that hundreds of thousands of people could enjoy new and remastered 92Y performances from their homes. From an empty Kaufmann Concert Hall, we have been able to share with viewers in more than 100 countries the thrill of live music and literature."

Hanna Arie-Gaifman's distinctive personal history made her an ideal match for the position. Born to intellectual parents in Prague under Communist rule, she was fortunate to emigrate as a young teen to Jerusalem, where she studied piano and harpsichord. Eventually she earned a master's degree in Slavic Languages from Stanford and a doctorate in Comparative Literature from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. While in her early 30s, Hanna ran for Israel's Knesset (Parliament), earning an impressive percentage of the vote. From the mid-1980s to the early 90s, she taught first at UC Berkeley, then at NYU. In 1990, she accompanied Vaclav Havel on his trip to Israel as his translator, and in 1993, returned to Prague to serve as Dean of the Mozart Academy, helping bring Czech cultural life back to life in the post-Communist era. She became Director of the Tisch Center for the Arts in 1999.

Said Hanna Arie-Gaifman, "Serving as Director of the Tisch Center for the Arts was the opportunity of my dreams. It allowed me to combine all my loves - music, literature, movement, and art. It enabled me to grow artistically, professionally, and intellectually. My decision to step down was not about leaving 92Y. Rather, it came from a desire to create something completely new for an institution that has given me so much, and to which I'll always be grateful."

In the coming weeks, 92Y will be launching a global search for the next Director of the Tisch Center for the Arts.

92Y's classical season has just been announced, including concerts by the New York Philharmonic String Quartet and Emanuel Ax; Gil Shaham and musicians from The Knights; Alisa Weilerstein and Inon Barnatan; Daniil Trifonov; Manuel Barrueco; and Anthony McGill, Susanna Phillips and friends. Additional details and subscriptions available here: https://www.92y.org/concerts/classical-subscriptions.aspx.


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