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Classical 101

Carnegie Hall Celebrates 125 Years of Concerts Today

Undated photo of Carnegie Hall
Wikimedia Commons
Undated photo of Carnegie Hall

"How do you get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice!"  I don't know if any other concert hall has its own joke, known around the world by aspiring musicians, but Carnegie Hall has long been one of the most prestigious venues in the world.  The joke supposedly originated when a pedestrian on 57th Street passed Jascha Heifetz and asked the now famous question, with its snappy response.  

This venerable institution located at W. 57th St. and 7th Ave. in mid-town Manhattan opened its doors on this date in 1891.  The opening night concert featured Peter Tchaikovsky conducting in his only visit to the United States.  

Since then, many of the world's greatest classical music performers, conductors and orchestras have passed through its doors and onto its stage.  Carnegie Hall was the home of the New York Philharmonic from 1892 until 1962, when it moved to the newly-opened Lincoln Center not far away.

This evening on Symphony @ 7, Ill have a live concert recording made in Carnegie Hall when James Levine made a triumphant return to conducting after a two year absence.  From that concert on May 19, 20013, we'll hear him lead the Met Orchestra in Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 9 in C, The Great C Major Symphony, as it's also known.   For an encore, we'll hear a movement of a Haydn piano Sonata played by Lang Lang at his Carnegie Hall debut on Nov. 7, 2003.

Join me for Symphony @ 7 Thursday evening on Classical 101.  The concert with James Levine conducting, in addition to the Schubert symphony, included pianist Evgeny Kissin as soloist in Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto. Here's a bit of that performance: