CARNEGIE HALL (/ˈkɑːrnᵻɡi/ , also frequently /kɑːrˈneɪɡi/
or /kɑːrˈnɛɡi/ ) is a concert venue in
Midtown Manhattan in New
York City ,
United States , located at 881 Seventh Avenue , occupying
the east side of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th
Street , two blocks south of
Central Park .
Designed by architect
William Burnet Tuthill and built by
Andrew Carnegie in 1891, it is one of the most
prestigious venues in the world for both classical music and popular
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 1962, when the New York Philharmonic
Lincoln Center 's Philharmonic Hall (renamed Avery Fisher
Hall in 1973 and David Geffen Hall in 2015).
Carnegie Hall has 3,671 seats, divided among its three auditoriums.
Carnegie Hall presented about 200 concerts in the 2008–2009 season,
up 3 percent from the previous year. Its stages were rented for an
additional 600 events in the 2008–2009 season.
* 1 Venues
* 1.1 Main Hall (Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage)
* 1.2 Zankel Hall
* 1.3 Weill Recital Hall
* 1.4 Other facilities
* 2 Architecture
* 3 History
* 3.1 Renovations and additions
* 3.2 Management
Carnegie Hall Archives
Carnegie Hall joke
* 4 Finances
* 5 World premieres
* 6 Other buildings named
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 9 Further reading
* 10 External links
Carnegie Hall contains three distinct, separate performance spaces.
MAIN HALL (STERN AUDITORIUM/PERELMAN STAGE)
Isaac Stern Auditorium
Isaac Stern Auditorium seats 2,804 on five levels and was named
Isaac Stern in 1997 to recognize his efforts to save
the hall from demolition in the 1960s. The hall is enormously high,
and visitors to the top balcony must climb 137 steps. All but the top
level can be reached by elevator.
The main hall was home to the performances of the New York
Philharmonic from 1892 until 1962. Known as the most prestigious
concert stage in the U.S., almost all of the leading classical music,
and more recently, popular music, performers since 1891 have performed
there. After years of heavy wear and tear, the hall was extensively
renovated in 1986 (see below).
The Ronald O. Perelman Stage is 42 feet deep. The five levels of
seating in the Stern Auditorium begin with the Parquet level, which
has twenty-five full rows of thirty-eight seats and four partial rows
at stage level, for a total of 1,021 seats. The First Tier and Second
Tier consist of sixty-five boxes; the First Tier has 264 seats at
eight seats per box and the Second Tier seats 238, with boxes ranging
from six to eight seats each. Second from the top is the Dress Circle,
seating 444 in six rows; the first two rows form an almost-complete
semicircle. At the top, the balcony seats 837. Although seats with
obstructed views exist throughout the auditorium, only the Dress
Circle level has structural columns.
Zankel Hall, which seats 599, is named after 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 into a cinema, which
opened as the
Carnegie Hall Cinema in May 1961 with the film _White
Nights _ by
Luchino Visconti and was reclaimed for use as an
auditorium in 1997. The completely reconstructed Zankel Hall is
flexible in design and can be reconfigured in several different
arrangements to suit the needs of the performers. It opened in
The 599 seats in Zankel Hall are arranged in two levels. The Parterre
level seats a total of 463 and the Mezzanine level seats 136. Each
level has a number of seats which are situated along the side walls,
perpendicular to the stage. These seats are designated as boxes; there
are 54 seats in six boxes on the Parterre level and 48 seats in four
boxes on the Mezzanine level. The boxes on the Parterre level are
raised above the level of the stage. Zankel Hall is accessible and its
stage is 44 feet wide and 25 feet deep — the stage occupies
approximately one fifth of the performance space.
WEILL RECITAL HALL
The Joan and
Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall seats 268 and is named
Sanford I. Weill , a former chairman of the 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 Joan and
Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall in
The Weill Recital Hall is the smallest of the three performance
spaces, with a total of 268 seats. The Orchestra level contains
fourteen rows of fourteen seats, a total of 196, and the Balcony level
contains 72 seats in five rows.
The building also contains the
Carnegie Hall Archives, established in
1986, and the
Rose Museum , which opened in 1991. Until 2009 studios
above the Hall contained working spaces for artists in the performing
and graphic arts including music, drama, dance, as well as architects,
playwrights, literary agents, photographers and painters. The spaces
were unusual in being purpose-designed for artistic work, with very
high ceilings, skylights and large windows for natural light. In 2007
Carnegie Hall Corporation announced plans to evict the 33
remaining studio residents, some of whom had been in the building
since the 1950s, including celebrity portrait photographer Editta
Sherman and fashion photographer Bill Cunningham . The organization's
research showed that
Andrew Carnegie had always considered the spaces
as a source of income to support the hall and its activities. The
space has been re-purposed for music education and corporate offices.
Closeup view of
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 typical 19th century Baroque theatrical style with 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 auditorium interior is
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Andrew Carnegie, 1913
Carnegie Hall is named after
Andrew Carnegie , who funded 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 May 5, with a concert conducted by
Walter Damrosch and great Russian composer Pyotr 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.
Carnegie Hall in 1895
Carnegie Hall in 1910
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. , became owner. 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 it 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
(which he would use to establish Reston, VA ), and in May 1960 the
Carnegie Hall Corporation was created to run the venue. It
was designated a
National Historic Landmark in 1962.
Most of the greatest performers of classical music since the time
Carnegie Hall was built have performed in the Main Hall, and its
lobbies are adorned with signed portraits and memorabilia. The NBC
Symphony Orchestra , conducted by
Arturo Toscanini , frequently
recorded in the Main Hall for
RCA Victor . On November 14, 1943, the
Leonard Bernstein had his major conducting debut when he
had to substitute for a suddenly ill
Bruno Walter in a concert that
was broadcast by
CBS , making him instantly famous. In the fall of
1950, the orchestra's weekly broadcast concerts were moved there until
the orchestra disbanded in 1954. Several of the concerts were
televised by NBC, preserved on kinescopes , and have been released on
Many legendary jazz and popular music performers have also given
memorable performances at
Carnegie Hall including
Benny Goodman , Duke
Glenn Miller ,
Billie Holiday , the Dave Brubeck Quartet ,
Violetta Villas ,
Judy Garland ,
Harry Belafonte ,
Ike & Tina Turner ,
Paul Robeson ,
Nina Simone ,
Shirley Bassey ,
James Gang and Stevie
Ray Vaughan , all of whom made celebrated live recordings of their
The hall has also been the site of many famous lectures, including
Tuskegee Institute Silver Anniversary Lecture by Booker T.
Washington , and the last public lecture by
Mark Twain , both in 1906.
Sissieretta Jones became the first African-American to sing at the
Music Hall (renamed
Carnegie Hall the following year), June 15, 1892.
Benny Goodman Orchestra gave a sold-out swing and jazz concert
January 16, 1938. The bill also featured, among other guest
Count Basie and members of
Duke Ellington 's orchestra.
Rock and roll music first came to
Carnegie Hall when Bill Haley & His
Comets appeared in a variety benefit concert on May 6, 1955. Rock
acts were not regularly booked at the Hall however, until February 12,
The Beatles performed two shows during their historic
first trip to the United States. Promoter
Sid Bernstein convinced
Carnegie officials that allowing a Beatles concert at the venue "would
further international understanding" between the
United States and
Great Britain. "
Led Zeppelin became the first hard rock act to play
Carnegie Hall since the
Rolling Stones tore the place up some five
years ago." Two concerts were performed October 17, 1969. Since then
numerous rock, blues , jazz and country performers have appeared at
the hall every season. Jethro Tull released the tapes recorded on its
presentation in a 1970 Benefit concert, in the 2010 re-release of the
_Stand Up _ album. Ike the actual renovation of the main hall, the
Stern Auditorium, and the creation of the Weill Recital Hall and
Kaplan Rehearsal Space, all in 1986; 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. 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.
Carnegie Hall Tower
Carnegie Hall Tower
In 1987–1989, a 60-floor office tower, named
Carnegie Hall Tower
Carnegie Hall Tower ,
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National Park Service
National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register
Information System". _National Register of Historic Places_. National
* ^ _A_ _B_ "Carnegie Hall". _
National Historic Landmark summary
listing_. National Park Service. September 9, 2007. Archived from the
original on November 6, 2007.
* ^ 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.
* ^ Pollack, Michael (June 20, 2004). "F.Y.I.: Tomato, Tomahto".
The New York Times _. Retrieved November 14, 2014. _Mr. Carnegie was,
of course, born Scottish, and the correct pronunciation of his name is
* ^ Thomasini, Anthony (September 25, 2015). "Music: Lang Lang
opens Philharmonic Season as
Avery Fisher Hall
Avery Fisher Hall is Renamed". _The New
York Times_. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
* ^ Boroff, Philip (October 20, 2009). "
Carnegie Hall Stagehand
Moving Props Makes $530,044".
Bloomberg News . Retrieved November 14,
* ^ "The A to Z of Carnegie Hall: S is for Stern". Carnegie Hall.
September 23, 2013. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
* ^ "Information: Accessibility". Carnegie Hall. Retrieved November
* ^ Carnegie Hall. "Stern Auditorium-Perelman Stage Rentals".
Retrieved May 5, 2015.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Dunlap, David W. (January 30, 2000). "Carnegie Hall
Grows the Only Way It Can; Burrowing Into Bedrock, Crews Carve Out a
New Auditorium". _The New York Times_. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Muschamp, Herbert (September 12, 2003). "Architecture
Review; Zankel Hall, Carnegie\'s Buried Treasure". _The New York
Times_. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
* ^ Carnegie Hall. "Zankel Hall Rental". Retrieved May 5, 2015.
* ^ Carnegie Hall. "Weill Recital Hall". Retrieved May 5, 2015.
* ^ Goodman, Wendy (December 30, 2007). "Great Rooms: Bohemia in
Midtown". _New York _. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
* ^ Pressler, Jessica (October 20, 2008). "Editta Sherman,
96-Year-Old Squatter". _New York_. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
* ^ Greenwood, Richard (May 30, 1975). "National Register of
Historic Places Inventory: Carnegie Hall" (PDF). National Park Service
. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
* ^ "
National Register of Historic Places Inventory: Carnegie
Hall—Accompanying Photos" (PDF). National Park Service. May 30,
1975. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
* ^ Playbill and
CBS announcement , concert on November 14, 1943
* ^ Lee, Maureen D. (May 2012). _Sissierettta Jones, "The Greatest
Singer of Her Race," 1868–1933_. University of South Carolina Press.
* ^ Hudson, Rob. "From Opera, Minstrelsy and Ragtime to Social
Justice: An Overview of African American Performers at Carnegie Hall,
1892–1943". The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed. Retrieved
November 14, 2014.
* ^ "Stars assist the blind". _The New York Times_. May 7, 1955.
Retrieved November 14, 2014.
* ^ "
The Beatles at Carnegie Hall". _It All Happened – A Living
History of Live Music_.
* ^ Wilson, John S. (February 13, 1964). "2,900-Voice Chorus Joins
The Beatles". _The New York Times_. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
* ^ Schaffner, Nicholas (July 1977). _
The Beatles Forever_. New
York: Fine Communications. p. 14. ISBN 978-1567310085 .
* ^ "October 17, 1969, New York, NY US". _
Led Zeppelin Timeline_.
ledzeppelin.com. October 17, 1969. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
* ^ "This installment of our A to Z of
Carnegie Hall series looks
at the letter R—for "Rock \'". _The A to Z of Carnegie Hall: R is
for Rock 'n' Roll_. September 22, 2012. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
* ^ "History of the Hall: Timeline—1986 Full interior renovation
completed". Carnegie Hall. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
* ^ Walsh, Michael (February 16, 1987). "Sounds in the night".
_Time _. 129 (7).
* ^ Kozinn, Alan (September 14, 1995). "A Phantom Exposed: Concrete
at Carnegie". _The New York Times_. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
* ^ "N.Y. Philharmonic, Carnegie Merger Off". _Billboard _.
Associated Press . October 8, 2003. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
* ^ Cooper, Michael (September 12, 2014). "
Carnegie Hall Makes Room
for Future Stars: Resnick Education Wing Prepares to Open at Carnegie
Hall". _The New York Times_. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
* ^ Cerf, Bennett (1956). _The Life of the Party: A New Collection
of Stories and Anecdotes_. Garden City, New York: Doubleday. p. 335.
* ^ Pollak, Michael (November 29, 2009). "The Origins of That
Carnegie Hall Joke". _The New York Times_.
* ^ "History FAQ: Who created the "How do you get to Carnegie
Hall?" joke?". Carnegie Hall. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
* Richard Schickel, _The World of Carnegie Hall,_ 1960.