The Music Hall founded by Andrew Carnegie in New York City opened on May 5, 1891 with a concert conducted by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It quickly became known simply as “Carnegie Hall,” in honor of its donor.
Among musicians, appearing at Carnegie Hall is the test of greatness. Famous soloists such as Isaac Stern and Artur Rubenstein have played there and as well
as famous orchestras led by famous conductors such as the Boston Symphony and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. There is a famous saying that goes, “How
do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice!”
In 1986, Carnegie Hall was in serious need of renovation and it was feared that the building would be torn down. However, thanks to many generous donors
and the leadership of Isaac Stern, it was saved and the Main Hall and Recital Hall were refurbished. In 2003, a new concert space was opened on the lower
level, returning the Hall to its founder’s vision of three great halls of varying sizes under one roof.
Today, Carnegie Hall presents more than 190 concerts each year, from orchestral performances, chamber music, recitals and choral music to folk, world, musical
theatre and jazz. Continually building on its tradition of excellence and innovation, Carnegie Hall remains one of the world’s premier concert venues.
Naomi Lewin spoke with Gino Francesconi, Museum Director and Archivist for Carnegie Hall. Here are some exerpts from their conversation.
Lots and lots of people have performed at Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall means different things to different people
Antonin Dvorak and his Symphony from the New World
Carnegie Hall is unique because of the many types of people who appeared there