Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall

Infobox nrhp
name = Carnegie Hall
nrhp_type = nhl

caption = Carnegie Hall
location = Midtown Manhattan, New York City, NY
nearest_city =
area =
built = 1890
architect = William Tuthill
architecture = Italian renaissance
designated = December 29 1962 cite web|url=|title=Carnegie Hall|date=2007-09-09|work=National Historic Landmark summary listing|publisher=National Park Service]
added = October 15, 1966 cite web|url=|title=National Register Information System|date=2007-01-23|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]
visitation_num = | visitation_year =
refnum = 66000535
mpsub =
governing_body = Carnegie Hall Corporation

Carnegie Hall (generally pronEng|ˌkɑrnɨgi ˈhɔːl) [Although Andrew Carnegie pronounced his name with the stress on the second syllable, the building is generally pronounced with the stress on the first syllable.] is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east stretch of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street.

Designed by architect William Burnet Tuthill and built by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1891, it is one of the most famous venues in the United States for classical music and popular music, renowned for its beauty, history and acoustics. Carnegie Hall has its own artistic programming, development, and marketing departments, and presents about 250 performances each season. It is also rented out to performing groups. The hall has not had a resident company since the New York Philharmonic moved to Lincoln Center's Philharmonic Hall in 1962. Other concert halls that bear Carnegie's name include: 420-seat Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg, West Virginia; 1928-seat Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on the site of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the main branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; 1022-seat Carnegie Music Hall annexed to Pittsburgh suburb Homestead's Carnegie library; and 540-seat Carnegie Hall, in Andrew Carnegie's native Dunfermline, Scotland,

Performing arts venues

Carnegie Hall contains three distinct, separate concert halls: the Main Hall, the Recital Hall and the Chamber Music Hall.

The Main Hall (Isaac Stern Auditorium)

Carnegie Hall's main auditorium seats 2,804 on five levels. It was named for the violinist Isaac Stern in 1997. The Main Hall is enormously tall, and visitors to the top balcony must climb 105 steps. All but the top level can be reached by elevator. [ [ Bronx General Interest: General Interest in Bronx, New York ] ]

Most of the greatest performers of classical music since the time the hall was built have performed in the Main Hall, and its lobbies are adorned with signed portraits and memorabilia. Many legendary jazz and popular music performers have also given memorable performances at Carnegie Hall including Benny Goodman, Judy Garland, Harry Belafonte and Stevie Ray Vaughan, all of whom made celebrated live recordings of their concerts there. [ [ Bronx General Interest: General Interest in Bronx, New York ] ]

Zankel Hall

Zankel Hall, which seats 599, is named for Judy and Arthur Zankel. Originally called simply Recital Hall, this was the first auditorium to open to the public in April 1891. Following renovations made in 1896, it was renamed Carnegie Lyceum. It was leased to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1898, converted to a cinema around 1959, and was reclaimed to be used as an auditorium in 1997. The newly reconstructed hall opened in September 2003.citation | last=Dunlap | first=David W. | title=Carnegie Hall Grows the Only Way It Can; Burrowing Into Bedrock, Crews Carve Out a New Auditorium | newspaper=New York Times | year=2000 | date=2000-01-30 | url= ] citation | last=Muschamp | first=Herbert T. | title=ARCHITECTURE REVIEW; Zankel Hall, Carnegie's Buried Treasure | newspaper=New York Times | year=2003 | date=2003-09-12 | url= ] Because of its location below street level, passing subways can be heard through the walls.

Weill Recital Hall

Weill Recital Hall, which seats 268, is named for Sanford I. Weill, the chairman of Carnegie Hall's board, and his wife, Joan. This auditorium, in use since the hall opened in 1891, was originally called Chamber Music Hall (later Carnegie Chamber Music Hall); the name was changed to Carnegie Recital Hall in the late 1940s, and finally became Weill Recital Hall in 1986.

Other facilities

The building also contains the Carnegie Hall Archives, established in 1986, and the Rose Museum, which opened in 1991. Studios above the Hall contain working spaces for artists in the performing and graphic arts including music, drama, dance, as well as architects, playwrights, literary agents, photographers, and painters. In 2007, the Carnegie Hall Corporation announced plans to evict the 33 remaining studio residents (some residing in the building since the 1950s) and use the space for educational facilities. [ [ Great Rooms - The Remaining Tenants of the Carnegie Hall Studio Towers - New York Magazine ] ]


Carnegie Hall is one of the last large buildings in New York built entirely of masonry, without a steel frame; however, when several flights of studio spaces were added to the building near the turn of the 20th century, a steel framework was erected around segments of the building. The exterior is rendered in narrow Roman bricks of a mellow ochre hue, with details in terracotta and brownstone. The foyer avoids contemporary Baroque theatrics with a high-minded exercise in the Florentine Renaissance manner of Filippo Brunelleschi's Pazzi Chapel: white plaster and gray stone form a harmonious system of round-headed arched openings and Corinthian pilasters that support an unbroken cornice, with round-headed lunettes above it, under a vaulted ceiling. The famous white and gold interior is similarly restrained.


Carnegie Hall is named after Andrew Carnegie, who paid for its construction. It was intended as a venue for the Oratorio Society of New York and the New York Symphony Society, on whose boards Carnegie served. Construction began in 1890, and was carried out by Isaac A. Hopper and Company. Although the building was in use from April 1891, the official opening night was on May 5, with a concert conducted by maestro Walter Damrosch and composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Originally known simply as "Music Hall" (the words "Music Hall founded by Andrew Carnegie" still appear on the façade above the marquee), the hall was renamed Carnegie Hall in 1893 after board members of the Music Hall Company of New York (the hall's original governing body) persuaded Carnegie to allow the use of his name. Several alterations were made to the building between 1893 and 1896, including the addition of two towers of artists' studios, and alterations to the smaller auditorium on the building's lower level.

The hall was owned by the Carnegie family until 1925, when Carnegie's widow sold it to a real estate developer, Robert E. Simon. When Simon died in 1935, his son, Robert E. Simon Jr. took over. By the mid-1950s, changes in the music business prompted Simon to offer Carnegie Hall for sale to the New York Philharmonic, which booked a majority of the hall's concert dates each year. The orchestra declined, since they planned to move to Lincoln Center, then in the early stages of planning. At the time, it was widely believed that New York City could not support two major concert venues. Facing the loss of the hall's primary tenant, Simon was forced to offer the building for sale. A deal with a commercial developer fell through, and by 1960, with the New York Philharmonic on the move to Lincoln Center, the building was slated for demolition to make way for a commercial skyscraper. Under pressure from a group led by violinist Isaac Stern and many of the artist residents, special legislation was passed that allowed the city of New York to buy the site from Simon for $5 million, and in May 1960 the nonprofit Carnegie Hall Corporation was created to run the venue. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962.,cite web|url=PDFlink| [ "Carnegie Hall", by Richard Greenwood.] |296 KiB |title=National Register of Historic Places Inventory|date=1975-05-30|publisher=National Park Service] ,cite web|url=PDFlink| [ "Carnegie Hall--Accompanying Photos".] |686 KiB |title=National Register of Historic Places Inventory|date=1975-05-30|publisher=National Park Service]

Renovations and additions

The building was extensively renovated in 1983 and 2003, by James Polshek, who became better known through his post-modern planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. Polshek and his firm, Polshek Partnership, were involved since 1978 in four phases of the Hall's renovation and expansion including the creation of a Master Plan in 1980; the actual renovation of the main hall, the Stern Auditorium, and the creation of the Weill Recital Hall and Kaplan Rehearsal Space, all in 1987; the creation of the Rose Museum, East Room and Club Room (later renamed Rohatyn Room and Shorin Club Room, respectively), all in 1991; and, most recently, the creation of Zankel Hall in 2003.

The renovation was not without controversy. Following completion of work on the main auditorium in 1986, there were complaints that the famous acoustics of the hall had been diminished. [ [,9171,963548-1,00.html Michael Walsh, "Sounds in the night". "Time", 16 February 1987.] ] Although officials involved in the renovation denied that there was any change, complaints persisted for the next nine years. In 1995, the cause of the problem was discovered to be a slab of concrete under the stage. The slab was subsequently removed. [cite news|last=Kozinn|first=Alan|title=A Phantom Exposed: Concrete at Carnegie|url=|work=The New York Times|date=1995-09-14|accessdate=2008-03-16] In 1987-1989, a 60-floor office tower, named Carnegie Hall Tower, was completed next to the hall on the same block. New backstage space and banquet spaces, contained within the tower, connect with the main Carnegie Hall building.

In June 2003, tentative plans were made for the Philharmonic to return to Carnegie Hall beginning in 2006, and for the orchestra to merge its business operations with those of the venue. However, these plans were called off later in 2003.


The Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall (from July 2005) is Sir Clive Gillinson, formerly managing director of the London Symphony Orchestra.

The Carnegie Hall Archives

Unexpectedly, for most concert-goers, it emerged in 1986 that Carnegie Hall had never consistently maintained an archive. Without a central repository, a significant portion of Carnegie Hall's documented history had been dispersed. In preparation for the celebration of Carnegie Hall's centennial (1991), the Carnegie Hall Archives was established.

World premieres at Carnegie Hall

*"Symphony No. 9, opus 95, "From the New World"" by Antonín Dvořák - December 16, 1893, New York Philharmonic, Anton Seidl conducting
*"Sinfonia Domestica" by Richard Strauss - March 21, 1904, Wetzler Symphony Orchestra, Richard Strauss conducting
*"Concerto in F" by George Gershwin - December 3, 1925, New York Symphony Orchestra, George Gershwin, piano, Walter Damrosch conducting
*"An American in Paris" by George Gershwin - December 13, 1928, New York Philharmonic, Walter Damrosch conducting
*"Variations on a Theme of Corelli" by Sergei Rachmaninoff - November 7, 1931, Sergei Rachmaninoff, piano
*"Density 21.5" by Edgard Varèse - February 16, 1936, Georges Barrère, flute
*"Contrasts" by Béla Bartók - January 9, 1939, Benny Goodman, clarinet, Joseph Szigeti, violin, and Endre Petri, piano
*"Chamber Symphony No. 2 op. 38" by Arnold Schoenberg - December 15, 1940, New Friends of Music, Fritz Stiedry conducting
*"New World A-Comin'" by Duke Ellington - December 11, 1943, Duke Ellington and His Orchestra
*"Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes of Weber" by Paul Hindemith - January 20, 1944, New York Philharmonic, Artur Rodziński conducting
*"Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte for Voice and Piano Quintet, op. 41" by Arnold Schoenberg - November 23, 1944, New York Philharmonic, Artur Rodziński conducting
*"Symphony in Three Movements" by Igor Stravinsky - January 24, 1946, New York Philharmonic, Igor Stravinsky conducting
*"Ebony Concerto" by Igor Stravinsky - March 25, 1946, Woody Herman and His Orchestra, Walter Hendl conducting
*"Symphony No. 3, "The Camp Meeting"" by Charles Ives - April 5, 1946, New York Little Symphony, Lou Harrison conducting, in Carnegie Chamber Music Hall (now known as Weill Recital Hall)
*"Hymne pour grande orchestra" ("Hymne au Saint Sacrament") by Olivier Messiaen - March 13, 1947, New York Philharmonic, Leopold Stokowski conducting
*"Symphony No. 2" by Charles Ives - February 22, 1951, New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein conducting
*"Symphony No. 4" by Charles Ives - April 26, 1965, American Symphony Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski conducting
*"Evocations for Orchestra" by Carl Ruggles - February 2, 1971, "National Orchestral Association", "John Perras" conducting
*"Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra" by John Corigliano - November 9, 1975, American Symphony Orchestra, Bert Lucarelli, oboe, Akiyama Kazuyoshi conducting
*"Piano Concerto No. 1" by Milton Babbitt - January 19, 1986, American Composers Orchestra, Alan Feinberg, piano, Charles Wuorinen conducting
*"Concerto #1" by Gregory Magarshak - 1991, Manhattan Symphony Orchestra, Peter Tiboris conducting
*"Symphony No. 6 "Plutonian Ode" for soprano and orchestra by Philip Glass, text by Allen Ginsberg - February 3, 2002, American Composers Orchestra, Lauren Flanigan, soprano, Dennis Russell Davies conducting
*"American Berserk" by John Coolidge Adams - February 25, 2002, Garrick Ohlsson, piano
*"Symphony of Psalms" by Imant Raminsh - 2002, Candace Wicke conducting
*"Women at an Exhibition" for chamber orchestra, electronics, and video by Randall Woolf - November 17, 2004, American Composers Orchestra, Steven Sloane conducting, video by Mary Harron and John C. Walsh
*"Between Hills Briefly Green" performed by Vermont Youth Orchestra. Conducted by Troy Peters. September 2004
*"Algunas metáforas que aluden al tormento, a la angustia y a la Guerra" for percussion quartet and chamber orchestra by Carlos Carrillo - January 21, 2005, American Composers Orchestra and So Percussion, Steven Sloane conducting
*"Traps Relaxed" by Dan Trueman - January 21, 2005, American Composers Orchestra, Dan Trueman, electronic violin and laptop, Steven Sloane conducting
*"Glimmer" by Jason Freeman - January 21, 2005, American Composers Orchestra, Steven Sloane conducting
*"Concerto for Winds "Some Other Blues" by Daniel Schnyder - February 8, 2005, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
*"Requiem by Steven Edwards - November 20 2006
*"Catenaires" by Elliott Carter - December 11, 2006, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano (composer present at premiere)
*"Antworte" by TaQ - March 11, 2007, New York Symphonic Ensemble, Mamoru Takahara conducting
*"Concerto for Cello" by Thomas Sleeper - March 23, 2008, Florida Youth Orchestra, Thomas Sleeper conducting, Jillian Bloom, cello
*"The Undeterred" by Scott R. Munson - November 18, 2007, piano (Dong Gyun Ham), musical saw (Natalia Paruz) and baritone (Byung Woo Kim)
*"Violin Concertino" by Clint Needham - December 9, 2007, New York Youth Symphony, Ryan McAdams conducting, William Harvey, violin
*"Rain, River, Sea" by Dr. Patrick Long - March, 7, 2008, Susquehanna University Masterworks Chorus and Orchestra, Dr. Jennifer Sacher-Wiley conducting, Nina Tober, soprano, David Steinau, baritone
*"Eureka!" by Patrick J. Burns - March 24, 2008, Westlake High School Wind Ensemble, Mr. Brian Peter conductor.
*"Incline" by Matt McBane - March 24, 2008, Westlake High School Chamber Orchestra, Mrs. Elizabeth Blake conductor.
*"Hit the Ground Running" by Gordon Goodwin - March 24, 2008, Westlake High School Studio Jazz, Mr. Brian Peter conducting, Gordon Goodwin, tenor saxophone
*"The Phoenix Rising" by Stella Sung- June 15,2008, performed by the Florida Young Artists Orchestra
*"Alligator Songs" by Daniel May- June 15,2008, performed by the Florida Young Artists Orchestra
*"The Ponce De Leon Suite" by Robert Kerr- June 15,2008, performed by the Florida Young Artists Orchestra
*"Concert from the Heartland" – June 16, 2008, First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn Choir, Michele Hecht, Jeff Haeger conducting, Paul Doerrfeld, accompanying.

Location and folklore

*Carnegie Hall is located at the southeast corner of Seventh Avenue and 57th Street, two blocks south of Central Park.
*The famous American actor Clifton Webb first appeared on stage here (in the Carnegie Lyceum, today's Zankel Hall, on the building's lower level) at the age of seven, in 1900, as Cholly in "The Brownies" and subsequently as Oliver in "Oliver Twist", in "Rags and Royalty", as Prince Arthur in Shakespeare's tragedy "King John", and Sid Sawyer in "Huckleberry Finn" [ Parker, John (ed), "Who's Who in the Theatre", 10th revised edition, London, 1947: 1429] .
*A venerable legend has become part of the folklore of the hall: A New Yorker (or in some versions Arthur Rubinstein) is approached in the street near Carnegie Hall, and asked, "Pardon me sir, but how do I get to Carnegie Hall?" He replies, "Practice, practice, practice." The [ Directions page] of the Carnegie Hall Web site gently alludes to the joke. The US band Sparks' song "How Do I Get To Carnegie Hall?" is largely centered around the saying.
* Carnegie Hall is not to be confused with Pittsburgh's Carnegie Music Hall, also founded by Andrew Carnegie, and part of the Carnegie Museum and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Main (Oakland) Branch. There are distinct differences in the pronunciation of Carnegie's name; the Pittsburgh way, emphasizing the second syllable - ne - is how Andrew himself actually pronounced it.
* In 1991, Carnegie Hall received The Hundred Year Association of New York's Gold Medal Award "in recognition of outstanding contributions to the City of New York."

ee also

*List of museums and cultural institutions in New York City
*List of major concert halls
*"Judy at Carnegie Hall"
* Ground breaking concert by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra, January 16, 1938
*"Chicago at Carnegie Hall" 1971 four LP vinyl box set by the rock band Chicago
*Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones, first African-American to sing at Carnegie Hall
*Alliance for the Arts Advocacy organization for Carnegie Hall


*Richard Schickel, "The World of Carnegie Hall," 1960, recounts all the lore.

External links

* [ Carnegie Hall History] from the official web site
* [ Guide to events at Carnegie Hall]
* [ WV Carnegie Hall]

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