Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? "Practice, practice, practice", says the proverbial quip. Actually, the Beaux Art concert venue is located in the heart of New York City's midtown, just a few blocks away from Central Park. The beautiful and acoustically perfect concert hall has been the host of over 50,000 events in its long history. Today, restored and as lovely as ever, Carnegie Hall welcomes visitors to three concert stages, a museum, and a fascinating archives.

History

Carnegie Hall was built in 1890 by industrialist, Andrew Carnegie, for whom the hall is named. Interestingly, the stone Italianate building was designed by a cellist, William Burnet Tuthill, not an architect. His knowledge of music undoubtedly led to the venue's unrivaled (at the time) acoustics. The building, one of the last large New York City buildings to be built with masonry (not steel) supports is decorated in a Florentine renaissance style. Particularly noteworthy is the foyer, with its arched openings and Corinthian pilasters.

Carnegie Hall opened on May 5, 1891, with a concert by maestro, Walter Damrosh and composer, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Ownership of the building stayed in the Carnegie family until 1925, when Mr. Carnegie's widow sold the concert hall to real estate developer, Robert e. Simon. Simon kept the building until the Philharmonic announced in the mid-1950s, their intended move to Lincoln Center. Unable to find a buyer, there was talk of destroying the landmark building for yet another skyscraper. Before that could happen, a grass-roots effort, led by violinist Isaac Stern, saved the building and it was purchased by the city of New York in 1960.

The Building

Carnegie Hall is made up of three concert halls:

The Main Hall or Isaac Stern Hall - Seats 2804 persons on five levels.

Zankel Hall - Seats 599 persons. Originally an auditorium, it has been a recital hall and a cinema before being restored to an auditorium in 1997.

Weill Recital Hall - Seats 268 persons. This smallest of the halls was originally called the Carnegie Chamber Music Hall before being named the Weill Hall in 1986, after the CEO of the Carnegie Hall Foundation.

Live at Carnegie Hall!

Performing at Carnegie Hall has been, and continues to be, a highlight of any performer's career. The prestigious concert hall has presented over 50,000 performances in its long and varied history, including such diverse artists as Maria Callas, Judy Garland, Leonard Bernstein, and Gustav Mahler. World premieres at Carnegie Hall have included Dvorak's Symphony no. 9 (the "New World Symphony") and George Gershwin's "An American in Paris." The hall was also the home of the New York Philharmonic for decades, until the symphony moved to Lincoln Center in 1962. Today, although it has no resident company, the annual Carnegie Hall season includes over 100 performances.

Visiting Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall is easily accessible by taxi, bus, and subway from all parts of New York City. It is also a short walk away from many of New York's finest hotels. Tickets to performances may be purchased online from the Carnegie Hall site (www.carnegiehall.org), via telephone (212 247-7800), or from the hall's box office.

Carnegie Hall offers performance-goers three dining venues, open an hour before and after the performance and during intermission.

· The Citigroup Café offers Spanish-style tapas, light meals, and beverages in a casual, airy setting.
· The Klaus Jacob Room serves light desserts and beverages in an elegant dining room.
· The Zankel Bar, adjacent to the Zankel recital hall, serves light food and beverages.

Carnegie Hall also offers space for banquets, wedding receptions, parties, and other functions.

In addition to performances, visitors to Carnegie Hall may tour the facility on guided tours, which include back stage, dressing rooms, and rehearsal halls. During the season, the tours run three times per day Monday through Friday. Adults are $9, with discounts for seniors and children under 12.

The hall also boasts the Rose Museum, opened in 1991, on the second floor of the complex. This fascinating trove includes information on the history, past performances, and future of Carnegie Hall. Admission is free.

An archive, added in 1991, chronicles the history of Carnegie Hall and welcomes researchers. The collection includes over 12,000 event programs.

Location: at 881 Seventh Avenue New York City, New York
Box Office: 212-247-7800
General Administration: 212-903-9600
E-mail: boxoffice@carnegiehall.org 

Click here to visit Carnegie Hall official website.