With more than 125 years of history and 180 concerts annually, Carnegie Hall is one of the most prestigious concert halls in the world. Attend an event here as a highlight of a New York City cultural tour.
Noted industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie engaged architect William Burnet Tuthill to build this concert hall. As a proficient cellist, Tuthill had a personal appreciation for the importance of excellent acoustics in enhancing musical productions in a concert space. Appreciate the elegant interior and legendary sound that his design produced.
Upon completion in 1891, Carnegie Hall hosted the American debut of composer and conductor Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. From that time, performers ranging from Maria Callas and Enrico Caruso to Billie Holiday and Miles Davis to Judy Garland and the Beatles have graced the stage. Wander through the hall’s Rose Museum to see programs and photographs showing the history of Carnegie Hall from its earliest days.
Interestingly, this famed landmark was scheduled for demolition in 1956 for replacement with a tall office building. Fortunately the city of New York purchased the building, expanded program offerings and completed renovation and restoration, bringing renewed life to the hall. Visit today for an orchestral performance, recital or jazz, folk or world music event. The three main stages of Stern Auditorium, Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall offer more than 500 events during the year, while the Resnick Education Wing frequently offers low-cost or free performances and family workshops.
Have a pre-concert glass of wine or light meal at the elegant Citi Café. Even if you don’t attend a performance, see the interior by paying to join one of the daily tours offered between October and June. Check the events schedule as tours are planned around performance events.
If you’re a brilliant concert pianist, you can get to Carnegie Hall with practice, practice, practice, as the old joke says. If not, stroll along 7th Avenue for less than 15 minutes from Times Square toward the southern end of Central Park or take the subway to the Columbus Circle Station or other nearby stops.