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About Public Programs at the Library for the Performing Arts


After a major renovation, the Bruno Walter Auditorium reopened on October 15, 2001. It was rededicated by His Royal Highness The Duke of York (right). Sir Peter Shaffer (left) also participated in the program.

Each year, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts produces a comprehensive series of free public programs in its Bruno Walter Auditorium. Programs include lectures, panel discussions, performances, master classes, readings, and screenings. The following artists have appeared in the Performing Arts Library's public programs:

  • Actors: Simon Russell Beale, Zoe Caldwell, Nanette Fabray, Marcia Gay Harden, Julie Harris, Hal Holbrook, Dana Ivey, Cherry Jones, Frank Langella, David Strathairn, Sam Waterston
  • Choreographers: Akram Khan, Merce Cunningham, Katherine Dunham, Gillian Lynne, Peter Martins, Lloyd Newson, Donald Saddler, Christopher Wheeldon
  • Composers: Elliott Carter, John Corigliano, John Harbison, Thea Musgrave, Arne Nordheim, Errolynn Wallen
  • Dancers: Suzanne Farrell, Natalia Makarova, Maya Plisetskaya
  • Jazz musicians: Barbara Carroll, John Dankworth, Tommy Flanagan, Cleo Laine, Jay Leonhart, Marian McPartland, George Shearing
  • Musical theater composers/lyricists: Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Sheldon Harnick, Charles Strouse, Maury Yeston
  • Musicians: Barbara Cook, James Levine, Pete Seeger, Renata Scotto, Bobby Short, as well as members of the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, and New York Philharmonic orchestras
  • Playwrights: Edward Albee, Robert Anderson, Alan Bennett, Michael Frayn, John Guare, David Henry Hwang, Arthur Laurents, Peter Shaffer, Paula Vogel

The Library also presents festivals featuring the music, dance, and theater of other countries: France, Greece, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Spain, the United Kingdom; and, in the Performing Arts of Asia Festival, the cultures of countries from Kazakhstan to Japan. Performing Arts and Artists of Poland, which took place in 1994, was the largest Polish performing arts festival ever to have taken place in the United States.

Due to the increasing popularity of our public programs, the Library for the Performing Arts will now distribute free tickets for programs at the Bruno Walter Auditorium*. Tickets are distributed to patrons via a line at the Amsterdam Entrance one hour prior to each program. There is a limit of one ticket per person. Tickets are not available for advance reservations and the saving of seats is not permitted. 

*Tickets are not distributed for the Gotham Jazzmen