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The concept for the radio series AT&T Presents Carnegie Hall Tonight started with the filming of four Carnegie Hall concerts for television broadcast in 1978. The television shows, called Tonight at Carnegie Hall, developed the format that was later to be used in the radio series--concert performances, interviews with musicians and commentary. These shows had still not been broadcast in 1979 when General Motors granted Carnegie Hall $100,000 for a radio and/or television project. The General Motors grant raised discussion about the possibility of a weekly radio program featuring concerts at Carnegie Hall. While the grant money eventually went towards the funding of another television project (Tonight at Carnegie Hall featuring Pinchas Zukerman, Isaac Stern and Leonard Rose aired July 9, 1980 on PBS), the idea for a radio show produced by Carnegie Hall employees was born, and the search for a sponsor started. The sponsor search, however, was not successful until 1983 when AT&T took on the series.
The radio program AT&T Presents Carnegie Hall Tonight first aired on April 2, 1984 and featured Marilyn Horne, Pinchas Zukerman and Emanuel Ax. The series was a one-hour weekly program and was heard on approximately 200 commercial and National Public Radio stations. There were 52 unique shows per season. In 1986 the schedule changed to 39 unique shows with 13 repeats.
The AT&T Presents Carnegie Hall Tonight Collection spans the years 1978 to 1989, covering the early proposals for a radio program through to the unsuccessful sponsor search and the program's demise in 1988. Materials in the collection include press kits, brochures, correspondence, memorandum, and production materials such as program scripts, outlines, and interview notes. The collection is strongest in its documentation of the Carnegie Hall Tonight programs and their production--outlines and scripts are available for almost all of the individual programs. The administrative side of radio production is less well documented. Certain files, particularly the producer's files, seem to be missing a great deal.
The records came to the Archives with little order and are often incomplete. The collection was divided into six series: General Files, Program/Artist Files, Outside Recordings Files, the Chron, Producer's Files, and Budget Files.
Carnegie Hall Archives
The AT&T Presents Carnegie Hall Tonight Collection was accessioned by the Carnegie Hall Archives in 1991. The unprocessed collection consisted of 19 boxes from the Carnegie Hall Recording Studio and contained program files, producer's files, budget files, correspondence and office supplies. An additional 5 boxes of similar material was located in filing cabinets in the sub-basement of Carnegie Hall in the fall of 1998.
Box 1, Folder 1: Program Listings (Complete) 1984-1988
Box 1, Folder 2: Program Outlines (Incomplete) 1984-1988
Box 1, Folder 2a: Features and Interviews 1984-1988
Box 1, Folder 3: Recording Schedules 1983-1988
Box 1, Folder 4: Production Schedules 1984-1988
Box 1, Folder 5: Concert Log: 10/28-12/31/1983 1983-1984
Box 2, Folder 8: Arthur Rubinstein Tribute, 1961 1987
Box 2, Folder 9: Andre Watts, 10/28/1983 1983
Box 2, Folder 10: Earl Wild, 10/30/1983 1983
Box 2, Folder 11: Cleveland Quartet, 11/6/1983 1983
Box 2, Folder 12: English Chamber Orchestra, 11/10/1983 1983
Box 2, Folder 13: Ani & Ida Kavafian, 11/17/1983 1983
Box 7, Folder 19: American Composers Orchestra, 1/11/1987 1987
Box 7, Folder 20: American Composers Orchestra, 4/24/1988 1988
Box 7, Folder 22: Irving Berlin Gala, 5/11/1988 1988
Box 7, Folder 23: Chamber Music at Lincoln Center 1987
Box 7, Folder 24: Correspondence & Invoices 1987
Box 7, Folder 50: April 1984
Box 7, Folder 51: May 1984
Box 7, Folder 52: June 1984
Box 7, Folder 53: July 1984
Box 7, Folder 54: August 1984
Box 7, Folder 55: September 1984
Box 9, Folder 13: Awards: Listener's Guild Award 1988
Box 9, Folder 14: Awards: Ohio State Awards 1987
Box 9, Folder 15: Employees: Andy Kazdin-Audio Producer 1984-1987
Box 9, Folder 16: Employees: Chuck Petrie-Audio Engineer 1985-1986
Box 9, Folder 17: Employees: John Rubinstein-Host 1984-1988
Box 9, Folder 18: Employees: Staff 1984-1988