Jed Bernstein announced April 12 that he will relinquish one of the most powerful posts in the New York cultural world, president of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, after a tenure of less than three years.
No reason for the change was given. He issued a statement to his colleagues that was quoted in The New York Times: “It has been an honor to be at the center of managing this cultural icon.... But as I have considered my future, I have come to realize that the next step for me should be a return to direct engagement with what makes me happiest: creating and producing.”
The Times termed his departure a "surprise" for Lincoln Center.
Having risen through the ranks as an advertising executive, a theatre producer at Bucks County Playhouse, and eventually serving as president of the body now known as The Broadway League, Bernstein worked for several years as a Broadway producer on shows including Passing Strange, Hair, Driving Miss Daisy and Grace, before being appointed to the Lincoln Center post in 2013.
As president of Lincoln Center, he functioned as landlord for the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center Theater.
During his tenure Lincoln Center credited him with leading several important initiatives, including “expanded digital media presence, engagement of families in the arts, and high quality cultural programming for those living at or below the poverty line in other boroughs and neighborhoods far from the Center's Upper West Side home.”
Katherine Farley, Chair of the Lincoln Center Board of Directors, will oversee and work closely with a transition team of senior management, led by Chief Operating Officer Liza Parker.
Farley issued a statement saying, “We thank Jed for his many contributions to Lincoln Center and wish him well in his future endeavors. During his tenure, he demonstrated great creativity and energy and moved our institution forward on a number of important fronts. We understand and support his decision to leave Lincoln Center at this time.”