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Susan Au

[Lincoln Edward]

(b Rochester, NY, May 4, 1907; d New York, Jan 5, 1996). American impresario, arts patron, writer, editor, and ballet company director. He was the embodiment of a twentieth-century Renaissance man, blessed not only with many diverse talents and interests but also with the financial resources and connections to realize his visions. His achievements spanned the arts of dance, theater, painting, sculpture, photography, film, and literature, but he is perhaps best known for his decades-long association with choreographer George Balanchine and the school and ballet company they founded together.

He was educated at Harvard, earning Bachelor’s (1929) and Master’s (1930) degrees. Although he first saw Anna Pavlova dance in Boston when he was thirteen, his passion for dance did not take fire until he saw Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in Europe. Among Diaghilev’s dancers and choreographers was Balanchine, whom he first met in 1933. Balanchine came to the United States at his invitation, and opened the School of American Ballet in New York City in ...