881 7th Ave
New York, 10019
Hours: Music times vary, Box Office: Mon–Sat 11a-6p
Sun 12p-6p, Summer Hours (July 1–August 23): Mon-Fri 11a-6p
Subway: N,Q,R to 57th St/7th Ave
Written by: Nick D’Amore
Carnegie Hall has retained its reputation for excellence since its inception in 1891. From the wide spiraling staircase leading to the main hall, to the impeccably uniformed usher, who directs you to your seat, there is a whimsical, charming and earnest feeling remaining from the bygone era of the 19th century. The venue’s name, the atmosphere and the respect it commands reverberates from past generations into the future.
The venue consists of three separate concert chambers, the largest of which is the Isaac Stern Auditorium/Ronald O. Perelman Stage. World-class orchestras, conductors, and soloists perform in this hall. The intensity and vastness of the room does not overwhelm, but rather, points the listener’s focus to the expansive stage, where the conductor moves the many musicians through stunning musical passages with dexterity and vigor. The concert chamber’s breathtaking aural space provides startlingly clear and encompassing acoustics. Intense and beautiful sounds can swell up from the orchestra, or the room can be filled with merely a subtle string pluck. Audiences that are fortunate enough to see vocal pieces, hear the human voice as a true instrument. It can be staggering to hear how vocal performers can fill the space with their voices as intensely as the myriad of musicians behind them.
Carnegie Hall seeks to be as versatile and diverse as the performers within its space. For more intimate settings and events, there is the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall, a 268-seat room that embraces a smaller audience. Not nearly as yawning and vast as the auditorium space, the tiny recital hall is still big on architectural flair. Initially built for chamber music performances, the hall now hosts events such as recitals, discussions, master’s classes, as well as chamber music pieces.
Additionally, there is the Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall, which was renovated in September 2003. It houses performance and educational events, seating 599. From 1895 through the 1960s the hall was primarily leased to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts for theatrical performances. During the 1960s, the space became a venue for cinema, until renovations began in 1997.
Carnegie Hall is a friendly organization, striving to reach the full community. Don’t hesitate to visit the venue and have a personal experience for yourself.