Audra McDonald at Lincoln Center
Audra McDonald at Lincoln Center

NEW YORK CITY |  Audra McDonald, the Tony and Grammy-Award winning actor/singer, has been named the new host of the PBS series “Live from Lincoln Center.”

McDonald has signed up to host seven broadcasts from December 2012 through Spring 2013 including “The Richard Tucker Opera Gala” on Thursday, December 13 and the New York Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve Gala, “One Singular Sensation: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch,” on Monday, December 31. She will also perform in the New Year’s Eve live telecast. (Check local listings.)

In a prepared statement, McDonald said, “I grew up watching Live From Lincoln Center and Beverly Sills, the great soprano who used to regularly host the series, was such an inspiration to me. Ever since I moved to New York to attend the Juilliard School, I’ve spent so much of my life at Lincoln Center that I consider it my home away from home. Needless to say, I was incredibly honored when Live From Lincoln Center invited me to become the host for this season.”

“Audra’s Lincoln Center roots run deep and wide,” said Elizabeth Scott, Chief Media and Digital Officer for Lincoln Center, and executive in charge of the series, also in a prepared statement. “She’s performed on every major Lincoln Center stage, and her appearances on Live From Lincoln Center are among the most enduring presentations in the series’ 37-year history. We’re thrilled that this consummate artist–whose passion for the performing arts is infectious–will be the new face of Live From Lincoln Center. We can’t imagine a more perfect match.”

McDonald made her Broadway debut in The Secret Garden while still a classical voice student at the Juilliard School. She earned her first of five Tony Awards for her role in Lincoln Center Theater’s 1994 production of Carousel.

McDonald has maintained her relationship with Lincoln Center. For example: McDonald’s performance in Stephen Sondheim’s Passion with Patti Lupone; “Audra McDonald and Friends: Build a Bridge” with Elvis Costello and Rufus Wainwright; and “Audra McDonald Sings the Movies” with the New York Philharmonic. Most recently, she hosted “The Philharmonic Opening Night Gala with Itzhak Perlman.”

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