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Most every musician in the world dreams he or she will one day play at this legendary venue, with its near-perfect acoustics and historical cachet. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was the first guest conductor on opening night in May 1891 and, since then, such diverse talents as Gustav Mahler, David Bowie, Liza Minelli, Luciano Pavarotti and the Beatles have played here.
The hall was originally known as a 'Music Hall', but the low-brow Vaudevillian connotations of this term led to the adoption of the name of its founding benefactor, millionaire Andrew Carnegie in the 1894-95 season.
The fate of Carnegie Hall became uncertain in the early 1950s, compounded by the opening of Lincoln Center in 1959 and the consequent relocation of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Largely due to the campaigning efforts of its president, violinist Isaac Stern, the Hall was saved from redevelopment as office space and was restored to its original splendour. The City was permitted to purchase (and, therefore preserve) the Hall and the non-profit Carnegie Hall Corporation was chartered in 1960.
This legendary venue holds concerts in every musical genre and it really is worth attending a concert or two. If you cannot find the time to do this, a tour of the Hall and a visit to the museum are a 'must'. Among other exhibits, the museum features Benny Goodman's clarinet and Toscanini's baton.
Address: 154 West 57th Street (at 7th Avenue) New York, NY 10019
Tel: (212) 903 9600 / (212) 247 7800
11am - 4.30pm Thursday - Tuesday and during concerts
Admission charges: Various