Carnegie Hall has seen world, US, and New York premieres of thousands of works since its opening in 1891. The world premiere of one of the most beloved and enduring works in the classical canon took place barely 18 months after the official opening of the Hall, when Anton Seidl and the New York Philharmonic performed Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony, “From the New World.” Although many sources cite December 16, 1893, as the first performance of this work, a December 15 performance was open to the public and was reviewed in The New York Times.
At the official world premiere the next day, the composer listened to the December 16 concert from Box 10. Although he did not lead this performance himself, Dvořák had previously appeared at Carnegie Hall four times, including his US debut on October 21, 1892, when he conducted members of the New York Philharmonic, the New York Symphony Orchestra, soloists, and chorus in the world premiere of his Te Deum.
“The music of the people is like a rare and lovely flower growing amidst encroaching weeds. Thousands pass it, while others trample it under foot, and thus the chances are that it will perish before it is seen by the one discriminating spirit who will prize it above all else. The fact that no one has as yet arisen to make the most of it does not prove that nothing is there.”
From the Archives
Antonín Dvořák at Carnegie Hall
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