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David Koch Has Died


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2 hours ago, abatt said:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/23/us/david-koch-dead.html?action=click&module=Top Stories&pgtype=Homepage

One wonders what this might mean for ABT going forward.  I believe Koch was a substantial contributor to ABT and to the funding of new works by Ratmansky at ABT.

Probably little or no change, depending on what the will and trust say. The socialite trophy wife is over twenty years his junior and reportedly she was the one spearheading the arts contributions.

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1 hour ago, pherank said:

It's hard for me not to be reminded of all the negative aspects of the Koch brothers. Interesting that it is so often the wives that are the prime movers behind donations to arts and charities.

I'm as troubled as anybody about his politics (and still refer to the State Theatre), but in fairness to him, he has been very active in supporting ABT long before his marriage to Julia in 1996. ABT just posted this on ABT's Facebook page:

American Ballet Theatre mourns the loss of David H. Koch, a steadfast leader, enthusiastic ambassador, and generous supporter of America’s National Ballet Company® for over 40 years. He served on the American Ballet Theatre Board of Governing Trustees for 34 years and served as Vice Chairman since 1990. In recognition of his boundless enthusiasm for ballet and the arts, he was honored at the ABT Spring Gala in 1992 and received the distinguished Lucia Chase Award in 2000. David and his wife, Julia, hosted and chaired countless galas, dinners, performances, and events for ABT at Lincoln Center and at their homes in Palm Beach and in New York City. David championed and supported the work of internationally acclaimed ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky and his world premieres for American Ballet Theatre, including, Shostakovich Trilogy, The Tempest, The Nutcracker, Firebird and The Sleeping Beauty, propelling ABT’s mission of preserving and extending the canon of classical ballet. David’s gift to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts enabled a modernization of the David H. Koch Theater, which is now an important venue for ABT in New York City. David joyfully celebrated the beauty of dance throughout his life, and we are deeply grateful for his commitment to sustaining a living cultural treasure through his support of ABT.

📷: David H. Koch with ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie and wife Julia Koch at ABT’s 2013 Spring Gala

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing
Edited by California
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4 minutes ago, California said:

I'm as troubled as anybody about his politics (and still refer to the State Theatre), but in fairness to him, he has been very active in supporting ABT long before his marriage to Julia in 1996. ABT just posted this on ABT's Facebook page

Thanks, California  - you answered a question I had - How much did David Koch actually involve himself with the ballet during his lifetime? I'm not a NYC person so I didn't know about his actual ballet-going habits.

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4 minutes ago, pherank said:

Thanks, California  - you answered a question I had - How much did David Koch actually involve himself with the ballet during his lifetime? I'm not a NYC person so I didn't know about his actual ballet-going habits.

I'm sure I'm not the only BAer who has seen him at performances. My favorite spotting: fall of 2012 at City Center, for the premiere of Ratmansky's Symphony No. 9 (the first installment of the Trilogy). He and Caroline Kennedy were both seated in the orchestra (not together, though), right before the 2012 elections. 

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/23/opinion/sunday/david-koch-climate-change.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

 

Interesting op ed on Koch and his greatest legacy being global warming.  I admire how the public in Britain have demanded that certain arts organizations stop taking dark money.  The same  fervor has not taken hold here in the U.S.  Instead, we have the  head of ABT mourning the loss of Koch.

Edited by abatt
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9 minutes ago, abatt said:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/23/opinion/sunday/david-koch-climate-change.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

 

Interesting op ed on Koch and his greatest legacy being global warming.  I admire how the public in Britain have demanded that certain arts organizations stop taking dark money.  The same  fervor has not taken hold here in the U.S.  Instead, we have the  head of ABT mourning the loss of Koch.

There is a good article from March on the Sacklers and donations in particular, which broadly supports your point regarding Britain being ahead of us on this, although US organizations are also refusing contributions and others are considering doing so:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/arts/design/sackler-museums-donations-oxycontin.html

 

The Met has since decided (in May) to reject their donations as well:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/15/arts/design/met-museum-sackler-opioids.html

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31 minutes ago, aurora said:

There is a good article from March on the Sacklers and donations in particular, which broadly supports your point regarding Britain being ahead of us on this, although US organizations are also refusing contributions and others are considering doing so:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/arts/design/sackler-museums-donations-oxycontin.html

 

The Met has since decided (in May) to reject their donations as well:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/15/arts/design/met-museum-sackler-opioids.html

Interestingly enough a new book: Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America by Christopher Leonard just released about the dark money, and how the Koch brothers manipulated their wealth, to make themselves look good while the entire time destroying our planet and democracy. IMO these non-profits all bend rules or turn a blind eye for large donations unless they have significant small donors and tickets sales in the case of ABT to survive.

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2 hours ago, abatt said:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/23/opinion/sunday/david-koch-climate-change.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

 

Interesting op ed on Koch and his greatest legacy being global warming.  I admire how the public in Britain have demanded that certain arts organizations stop taking dark money.  The same  fervor has not taken hold here in the U.S.  Instead, we have the  head of ABT mourning the loss of Koch.

With the Sacklers we have the corpses piling up visibly every year the opioid crisis goes on; the death-dealing of the Koches can be ignored more easily.  Stuben mentioned Christopher Leonard. He has written an op-ed for the Times here:

Quote

 

Since the 2016 election, and in the face of more urgent scientific warnings about climate change and a growing popular movement for action, the Koch network has tried to build a Republican Party in its image: one that not only refuses to consider action on climate change but continues to deny that the problem is real. Just this week, Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, dismissed data about climate change by pointing out on Twitter: “It’s summer.” In doing so, he reflected the politics of a party — and a world — that has been profoundly shaped by David Koch.

 

Quote

Corporate Power in America by Christopher Leonard just released about the dark money, and how the Koch brothers manipulated their wealth, to make themselves look good while the entire time destroying our planet and democracy.

In fairness to Charles Koch, he has always kept a low public profile. It was David and the missus who did the social climbing via arts philanthropy and other methods. (Whether they actually got anything out of the performances or not has no great relevance IMO.)

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6 hours ago, dirac said:

In fairness to Charles Koch, he has always kept a low public profile. It was David and the missus who did the social climbing via arts philanthropy and other methods. (Whether they actually got anything out of the performances or not has no great relevance IMO.)

By chance I ended up sitting next to David Koch at an NYCB performance a few years back. He seemed very engaged by the performance, for what it's worth.

PS: Let me hasten to add that no amount of philanthropy makes up for the vast sums the Kochs poured into climate change denial. I'd exchange Ratmansky's entire oeuvre for even a handful of the senators the Kochs bought.

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell
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15 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

By chance I ended up sitting next to David Koch at an NYCB performance a few years back. He seemed very engaged by the performance, for what it's worth.

PS: Let me hasten to add that no amount of philanthropy makes up for the vast sums the Kochs poured into climate change denial. I'd exchange Ratmansky's entire oeuvre for even a handful of the senators the Kochs bought.

I agree. If we all lose our homes and our health due to climate change, what's the benefit? I've spent the past two summers in the Pacific Northwest enveloped in smoke from massive wildfires. Acres of forest burn due to dead trees killed by beetles whose population exploded in our warmer winters. Climate change has many, many detrimental effects that will continue to grow exponentially. Thank you, David Koch for all your work obscuring and denying the science of climate change.

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On 8/26/2019 at 11:03 AM, Helene said:

The NYT obit says that Koch had one wife, his widow, the mother of all of his children.  

 Koch was well into his fifties when he married a woman two decades his junior. Of course at such an advanced age he would have had to marry well out of his age bracket for children.

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1 hour ago, dirac said:

 Koch was well into his fifties when he married a woman two decades his junior. Of course at such an advanced age he would have had to marry well out of his age bracket for children.

He had a near-death experience in a plane crash at LAX which reportedly led him to decide it was time to settle down.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-08-23/david-koch-survived-a-fiery-jet-collision-at-lax-in-1991-he-said-it-transformed-his-life

The really interesting question for me is  what provisions he made for his estate. The children are teens and early 20s. We have no public indication of her thoughts on expenditures. It would be very nice if a large chunk of that $$ went to an endowment for ABT's future. I haven't seen any news reports at all about his will. 

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