The Howard Gilman Opera House
Brooklyn Academy of Music

The Howard Gilman Opera House at BAM
Photo by Elliott Kaufman

Howard Gilman’s friendship with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) began in 1982 during the inaugural days of the now-famed New Wave Festival. By supporting BAM, and thus the work of visionaries like Pina Bausch, Meredith Monk, and Philip Glass, Howard demonstrated his commitment to contemporary artists.

The BAM Opera House was built in 1908 and has long been considered one of the nation’s most treasured theatrical venues. The stage has hosted a myriad of exceptional artists and culture-makers, and its 2,090-seat house has welcomed dignitaries from all over the world. In 1999, after a $5 million grant from the Foundation, BAM renamed this spectacular venue the Howard Gilman Opera House.

BAM is the oldest operating performing arts center in the United States. Since 1908, its opera house has stood for 91 years unnamed, seemingly destined to bear the name Howard Gilman. As we name the theater in his honor, we pay tribute to a person whose heartfelt passion and commitment to the performing arts mirrored the adventurous spirit of our groundbreaking institution.

—Karen Brooks Hopkins, Former BAM President


The Howard Gilman Opera House at BAM
Photo by Elliott Kaufman