Lincoln Center in New York City is the largest performing arts institution in the world. Home to twelve distinct companies, the company presents over 5,000 annual events, ranging from classical works to modern productions. Popular events include Midsummer Night Swing, Mostly Mozart Festival, and Live From Lincoln Center.

Lincoln Center is an integral part of Manhattan's Upper West Side neighborhood. The 16-acre performing arts complex includes several imposing buildings, a park, the Juilliard School and a central square with a fountain. Even if you do not plan on attending a performance, you should include it on your itinerary.

The focal point is the Josie Robertson Plaza with its beautiful marble fountain, surrounded by the New York State Theater, the Metropolitan Opera House, and Avery Fisher Hall. Behind Avery Fisher Hall is a marble ornamental pool which is often used as a wishing well. In the center of the reflecting pool lies Reclining Figure, a sculpture by Henry Moore. This is the perfect spot to read a book and relax on one of the marble benches surrounding the calm pool of water.

A great way to get to know the area is to attend a guided tour of the complex which includes historical information and a view inside some of the concert halls. Tours are offered daily - for more information, call 212-875-5350. Adult ticket cost for the guided tour is $10; $5 for children under twelve years old. Dining is offered at Cafe Vienna, situated on the ground floor of the Avery Fisher Hall.

Lincoln Center is home to the following companies:

  • The Chamber Music Society
  • The Film Society
  • Jazz
  • The Juilliard School
  • Lincoln Center Theater
  • The Metropolitan Opera
  • New York City Ballet
  • New York City Opera
  • The New York Philharmonic
  • The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
  • School of American Ballet
  • Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.

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The Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera, situated at Lincoln Center since 1966, presents a spectacular repertory of favorite classics, modern masterpieces and world premieres. An imposing building with five colossal arched windows, the Met is home to two spectacular murals by Marc Chagall.

The Met's orchestra and chorus, combined with the leading singers, make Metropolitan Opera productions famous worldwide. The Met presents seven performances a week from September through April. In the spring, American Ballet Theatre brings sought-after dance performances to the Met.

The Metropolitan Opera Guild Backstage Tours operates tours of the Met from October through June at 3:30 pm on weekdays and Sundays at 10:30 am. For reservations and more information about the tours, call 212-769-7020 Monday through Friday between 10 am and 3:15 pm EST. Adult tour tickets cost $10, while student tickets cost $5. The Met also offers a number of educational programs for young people and adults.

Tickets for performances are sold individually or on a subscription basis. Ticket prices range from $250 for premier performances to $25 for weekday shows. Standing room tickets generally cost from $12 to $20 and go on sale at the Box Office on Saturday mornings at 10:00 am for Saturday through the following Friday performances. The line may start much earlier than 10:00 am. Call the Met Ticket Service at 212-362-6000 for details.

You can find more information about the Met at www.metopera.org and at www.lincolncenter.org, including a list of upcoming events, opera synopses, and online reservations.

The New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic, housed in Avery Fisher Hall, presents 170 concerts and attracts 1 million people every year. Events include a subscription season from September through June at Avery Fisher Hall, free summer Concerts, Young People's Concerts ®, Rush Hour programs, Saturday Matinees and special holiday concerts around Christmas.

In addition to musical performances, the New York Philharmonic offers a number of educational programs, such as pre-concert lectures, box-dinner talks, and discussions with musicians from the Orchestra following the Saturday Matinee concerts. For children, the New York Philharmonic offers Young People's Concerts ®, Musical Storytime, and other educational programs.

Plan on purchasing tickets well in advance for concerts, since they quickly sell out. Often you will be able to find an Open Rehearsal for a concert that has been long sold out. The cost for an Open Rehearsal is only $14, and it will give you an invaluable behind-the-scenes view into the workings of an orchestra.

Tickets cost from $14 for Open Rehearsals and Young People's Concerts, and from $37 to $114 for regular concerts. The Concert Information Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 212-875-5709.

You can order tickets by phone by calling 212-875-5656 from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, Monday through Saturday; and from noon to 8:00 pm on Sunday. If you prefer to pick up tickets at the box office, Avery Fisher Hall Box Office (212-875-5030) is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Saturday; and from noon to 6:00 pm Sunday.

New York City Ballet
New York City Ballet performs at the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center during the winter holidays, in January, February, and from late April through the end of June. New York City Ballet was founded in 1948 by Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine. The company trains its own artists and creates its own works.

One of the most famous New York City Ballet productions is the holiday classic George Balanchine's The Nutcracker performed for six weeks every year. The colorful performance, complete with pastel costumes and graceful dancers, is always a favorite with children. If you are planning to attend The Nutcracker, be sure to order tickets well in advance.

Performance tickets, which can be purchased individually or as season subscriptions, range from $32 to $70 per person. Tickets can be purchased online at www.nycballet.com or at the New York State Theater Box Office, open from 10 am to 7:30 pm on Monday; from 10 am to 8:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday; and from 11:30 am to 7:30 pm on Sunday.

Students can take advantage of the Student Rush Ticket Program during the Winter and Spring season where tickets cost $10 for select performances. Call the Student Rush Ticket Hotline at 212-870-7766.

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Location: 140 West 65th Street , New York City , New York , United States , website, 212-875-5456