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Carnegie Hall got its name from the financier of its principle construction, entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The building was constructed in 1891. At the time, it was used as a performing space for a number of vocal performance groups as well as the New York Symphony Society, an early version of the New York Philharmonic. It was owned by the Carnegie family in 1925 and sold to a wealthy land developer. When the New York Philharmonic decided to move to the Lincoln Center, it was believed that Carnegie Hall couldn’t survive and it was slated to be demolished. But pressure from various musicians and artist groups led to its protection.
Carnegie Hall continued to host concerts throughout the latter half of the 20th century and went through a number of key renovations in 1986 and 2003. In 1986, the Main Hall was renovated and a number of recital halls and practice rooms were added behind the scenes. The sprawling Zankel Hall was added in 2003.
There have been a number of pushes to have the New York Philharmonic move back to Carnegie Hall, but this merger has yet to be successful.
A variety of famous performers graced Carnegie Hall’s main stage over the course of the 20th century. Classical musicians the NBC Symphony Orchestra and Arturuo Toscanini played symphonies for the audience, jazz legends like Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Stevie Ray Vaughan took the stage, and even classic rock icons like Pink Floyd took the stage to play Dark Side of the Moon
Nowadays, Carnegie Hall is still one of the most sought after venues for vocal performers in the world. Performing at Carnegie Hall is a rite of passage that very few singers can claim to experience. The venue is home to a vast number of ticketed choral performances throughout the year, with the best programs occurring to celebrate holidays.
Prestigious symphony orchestras and string quartets from across the country and across the world travel to New York City throughout the year for the chance to perform on the hallowed stage of Carnegie Hall. Many claim that the acoustics of the Main Hall are the best in world, making the performer’s experience and audience’s experience one of the best in terms of sound.
There are also frequent family performances by the New York Pops, the Muppets, and other family friendly shows.
A current calendar of events is accessible via the Carnegie Hall website. Like many of the theatrical venues in New York City, the price of tickets varies considerably depending on the time of day, the quality of the seats, and the caliber of the performer. Note that it’s possible to save many by booking group tickets. Reference the website for information on pricing and availability, as well as the vast number of shows that Carnegie Hall organizations on a monthly basis.
Carnegie Hall is located deep in the theater district of Midtown Manhattan at 881 7th Avenue. With a central located just south of Central Park, Carnegie Hall is easily and conveniently accessible via the New York City subway system. There are three stations within a few blocks of the venue with service from destinations all over the city and surrounding boroughs. The 57th Street/7th Avenue stop is serviced by the N, Q, and R lines, the 7th Avenue stop is serviced by the B, D, and E lines, and the 57th Street stop is serviced by the F lines.