Story of the Week: Hannah Pakula
My introduction to Carnegie Hall was an unusual one. I was somewhere in my 20s when Jascha Heifetz, along with Gregor Piatigorsky and Leonard Pennario, invited my then husband and me to come to New York, where they were giving chamber music concerts. At the time, we all lived in Southern California. I had been to New York once or twice, but never to Carnegie Hall.
On our first day in the city, my husband and I went to hear them rehearse. We were sitting in the fi rst or second row when Jascha put down his violin and came over to ask me if I would please go up to one of the boxes in the First Tier on the right side of the hall to see how the music sounded.
So I climbed up to the First Tier boxes on the right side, then the left, and finally the middle, facing the stage directly. “It sounds beautiful,” I said when I came down. “Okay, now please go to up to the top Balcony.” After that, I was instructed to listen from the Second Tier. This went on for quite a while—and included lots of stairs—until I had covered the entire hall. There wasn’t a bad spot in the whole place. It was a glorious introduction to Carnegie Hall, a place that I have loved and enjoyed ever since.