—Our History: Your Stories—
Carnegie Hall Makes Open Call for Stories
Submit Your Favorite Carnegie Hall Memories at New Website Created in Celebration of the Hall’s 125th Anniversary
“Debby, those boots are fabulous…Can I buy them from you?” On February 4, 1983, Joan Rivers headlined two consecutive shows at Carnegie Hall. And it was backstage that she met Debby King, a Carnegie Hall Artist Liaison, and bought the boots right off her feet…
The larger-than-life operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti was no stranger to Carnegie Hall during his storied career. But on one particular night his robust voice inspired another kind of singer. Rosanne Cash, the Grammy Award-winning American singer and songwriter, remembers sitting in the audience that night and being inspired to write lyrics for her song, “Dreams Are Not My Home.”
“I was sitting in the first row of the boxes and he hit this note that I swear went through my third eye. I have never forgotten it. And I actually wrote a line in a song about it: ‘The note that hangs in the gilded hall.’ It was so beautiful, I mean, when I even think about that moment I get chills.”
Artists enrich Carnegie Hall’s history every time they step out on stage, but the Hall’s lore also comes from behind the scenes and from its audiences. Since Carnegie Hall opened on May 5, 1891, it has played host to millions of visitors looking to share an exceptional performing arts experience. Now, as it approaches its 125th anniversary during the 2015–2016 season, Carnegie Hall is looking to its audience and fans around the world to uncover those unique and personal stories that make the Hall what it is today.
With a new Our History: Your Stories web portal, Carnegie Hall invites members of the public to share their own meaningful experiences by uploading written, photographic, video, or audio stories to a very simple form on carnegiehall.org/stories. The website acts as a digital collage, displaying how Carnegie Hall has shaped the lives of people of all different ages, cultures, and musical backgrounds and in turn, how those people have contributed to Carnegie Hall’s legacy. With each story, Carnegie Hall adds another piece to its colorful history and in the process generates a social meeting space for all concertgoers, musicians, and fans who love Carnegie Hall.
Once on the site, visitors can share and enjoy stories that fall into five different categories: fondest memory; first visit; most inspiring experience; most unusual experience; and favorite concert. Without a character limit or limit to video length, users can be as creative as they like in uploading their own stories, which can include, but are not limited to, a range of original content created through YouTube and Soundcloud. Throughout this summer and the 2015-–2016 season, curated stories-of-the-week will be featured on Carnegie Hall’s blog and social media channels.
In late September, Carnegie Hall will also launch the Dear Carnegie Hall App, presenting 12 curated stories collected from the Carnegie Hall family. Employing new augmented reality and image recognition technology in partnership with the company Stand + Stare and artist Ruth Farrar, the free app comes to life when users hover a tablet or smartphone over a printed postcard. The postcard triggers the animation of one of 12 videos, which combine historic photos, graphics, sound effects, and narration by composers, artists, ushers, and more. Users can also use the app to send digital postcards to friends, sharing their own experiences of Carnegie Hall. Postcards will be distributed by mail throughout the season, but visitors to Carnegie Hall can also view these animations by holding up their smartphones or tablets to concert Playbills and special posters displayed outside the building.
Leading up to its opening night gala in October, Carnegie Hall will also introduce its new online Digital Hall of Fame, which posthumously recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to Carnegie Hall’s 125-year history. Each inductee is displayed with a new, commissioned portrait illustrated by artist Stanley Chow and accompanied with a short bio, a brief history of the inductee’s relationship to the Hall, and complementary historical photos and videos. The 12 inaugural inductees to Carnegie Hall’s Digital Hall of Fame are: Andrew Carnegie, Louise Carnegie, Walter Damrosch, William Tuthill, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Marian Anderson, Vladimir Horowitz, Benny Goodman, Isaac Stern, Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein, and Ella Fitzgerald. The online platform will welcome a new class of inductees at the beginning of each season.
About Carnegie Hall
Since 1891, Carnegie Hall has set the international standard for excellence in performance as the aspirational destination for the world's finest musicians. Carnegie Hall presents a wide range of performances each season on its three stages—the renowned Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, intimate Weill Recital Hall, and innovative Zankel Hall—including concert series curated by acclaimed artists and composers; citywide festivals featuring collaborations with leading New York City cultural institutions; orchestral performances, chamber music, new music concerts, and recitals; and the best in jazz, world, and popular music. Complementing these performance activities, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute creates extensive music education and community programs that annually serve more than 500,000 people in the New York City area, nationally, and internationally, playing a central role in Carnegie Hall’s commitment to making great music accessible to as many people as possible. For more information, visit carnegiehall.org.
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