• Thursday, Apr 7, 2011

    Carnegie Hall Celebrates Its 120th Birthday with Gala Benefit Concert by the New York Philharmonic Led by Alan Gilbert on Thursday, May 5 at 7:00 PM

    Festive Anniversary Concert Features Guest Soloists Gil Shaham, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, and Audra McDonald

    Festive Anniversary Concert Features Guest Soloists
    Gil Shaham, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, and Audra McDonald

    Concert Will Be Recorded for May 31 National Television Broadcast on PBS by
    THIRTEEN for WNET’s Great Performances with
    Radio Broadcast in New York on Classical 105.9 FM WQXR

      On Thursday, May 5 at 7:00 p.m., Carnegie Hall, which opened its doors for the first time on May 5, 1891, celebrates its 120th anniversary with an all-star gala benefit concert featuring the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Music Director Alan Gilbert. Joining them will be pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Gil Shaham, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma as guest soloists in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, and vocalist Audra McDonald performing songs of Duke Ellington. Rounding out the program will be Dvorák’s Carnival Overture and Gershwin’s An American in Paris, which had its premiere at Carnegie Hall in 1928.

    The Carnegie Hall 120th Anniversary Gala Concert will be recorded for nationwide broadcast on PBS by THIRTEEN for WNET’s Great Performances on May 31, 2011. Classical 105.9 FM WQXR in New York will also broadcast the concert and stream it online at wqxr.org at 8:00 p.m. EST.

    In addition, saluting Carnegie Hall’s 120th birthday, the top of New York City’s iconic Empire State Building will be lit “Carnegie Hall red” on Tuesday evening, May 5.

    The black-tie 120th Anniversary Concert Gala Benefit is chaired by Mercedes and Sid R. Bass. Gala co-chairmen include Suzie and Bruce Kovner, Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis, Tina and Terry Lundgren, and Annette and Oscar de la Renta. Honorary chairmen include Sanford I. Weill, James D. Wolfensohn, and Richard A. Debs. The gala will benefit Carnegie Hall’s artistic and education programs and includes a dinner-dance at The Plaza with the artists following the concert. The Gala Dinner-Dance will start at approximately 9:00 p.m. Gala benefit tickets—priced at $5000, $2500, and $1500—include premier concert seating and the post-concert dinner at The Plaza. All gala benefit tickets are available by calling 212-903-9679 or visiting carnegiehall.org/specialevents.

    A limited number of concert-only tickets, priced from $50–$180 are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, by calling Carnegie Charge at 212-247-7800.

    About Carnegie Hall’s 120th Anniversary Celebration
    The Music Hall, founded by Andrew Carnegie, opened its doors on May 5, 1891, and Carnegie Hall (as it was officially renamed in the 1894–1895 season) celebrates its 120th anniversary all year long with a number of special concerts and events. Carnegie Hall launches its year-long celebration with a special gala concert on Tuesday, April 12: a one-night-only event hosted by renowned singer/songwriter James Taylor and his special guests Barbara Cook, Steve Martin, Bette Midler, Kevin Pollak, Dianne Reeves, and Sting. All will pay tribute to the Hall’s illustrious history, highlighting many of the extraordinary musical and cultural events that have taken place on its legendary stages over twelve decades.

    Also in April, Harper Collins, in partnership with Carnegie Hall, releases Carnegie Hall Treasures, a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning music writer Tim Page, which tells the story of Carnegie Hall’s diverse lineage. Featuring more than 200 rare photographs and 30 removable facsimiles of collectible memorabilia, the narrative recounts memorable appearances by the many notable actors, dancers, writers, and public figures to grace the stage in the past 120 years.

    Extending into the 2011–2012 season, three fascinating themes will provide context for Carnegie Hall’s year-long 120th anniversary celebration: a focus on Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky in St. Petersburg, a look at New York at the turn of the century, and an exploration of great classical works written during the period in which Carnegie Hall was born.

    The opening concerts of the 2011–2012 season will appropriately focus on Tchaikovsky, the conductor/composer who made his American conducting debut on the very first opening night program May 5, 1891. Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala on October 5, 2011 will feature one of St. Petersburg’s greatest cultural treasures the Mariinsky Orchestra, led by Music Director Valery Gergiev, in a program to include works by Tchaikovsky, as well as Shostakovich and Rimsky-Korsakov. Maestro Gergiev and the orchestra will perform four additional October concerts, bringing their special sound to performances of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, one through six, as well as music by his successors.

    Additional events focusing on Tchaikovsky and St. Petersburg include a Carnegie Hall Discovery Day, a chamber concert by Ensemble ACJW, and soprano Anna Netrebko in her New York recital debut. Audiences will also be invited to delve into aspects of Tchaikovsky’s influences on other St. Petersburg artists—from Balanchine to Fabergé—through presentations by partner institutions, including The Harriman Institute at Columbia University, The New York Public Library, Sotheby’s, Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, The School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center, and New York City Ballet, among others.

    Complementing this look at Tchaikovsky and St. Petersburg, leading museums around the city—including The Morgan Library and Museum, Museum of the City of New York, and The New-York Historical Society—will examine New York City at the turn of the century through exhibits, lectures, and panel discussions. A Carnegie Hall Discovery Day in November will explore Carnegie Hall and its place in the history of New York City. In addition, throughout the season, audiences are invited to visit Carnegie Hall’s newly refurbished exhibition on the history of the Hall with more than 100 new items on display in its Rose Museum. A complete schedule of events at Carnegie Hall and partner institutions will be announced in summer 2011.

    Much of the breathtaking music heard at Carnegie Hall was created in one astonishing era—the era into which Carnegie Hall was born. Beginning with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade of 1888 and leading up to the outbreak of World War I, remarkable composers from around the world provided an unprecedented outpouring of music. Throughout 2011–2012, artists and ensembles will highlight works from this period on their Carnegie Hall programs. The focus will feature masterworks by Bruckner, Debussy, Dvorák, Mahler, Scriabin, Sibelius, Strauss, Stravinsky, Wolf, and more.

    Program Information
    Thursday, May 5 at 7:00 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

    New York Philharmonic
    Alan Gilbert, Music Director and Conductor
    Gil Shaham, Violin
    Yo-Yo Ma, Cello
    Emanuel Ax, Piano
    Audra McDonald, Vocalist

    ANTONÍN DVORÁK Carnival Overture, Op. 92
    LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Triple Concerto in C Major, Op. 56
    DUKE ELLINGTON "Solitude"
    DUKE ELLINGTON "Sophisticated Lady"
    DUKE ELLINGTON "On a Turquoise Cloud"
    DUKE ELLINGTON "It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing"
    GEORGE GERSHWIN An American in Paris

    Concert Tickets: $50–$180 (limited availability)
    Gala Tickets: $5000, $2500, $1500

    The television broadcast of this concert is supported by S. Donald Sussman, with additional support to Carnegie Hall from the National Endowment for the Arts.

    Major support for the Great Performances broadcast is provided by The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, the Irene Diamond Fund, the Arlene and Milton D. Berkman Philanthropic Fund, the Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, Victor and Sono Elmaleh, Vivian Milstein, the Starr Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Joseph A. Wilson, and PBS, with additional funding in memory of Virginia and Leonard Marx.

    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

    Ticket Information
    Gala Benefit tickets, priced at $5000, $2500, and $1500, include concert seating and the post-concert dinner-dance at The Plaza. All gala benefit tickets are available by calling the Carnegie Hall Special Events office at 212-903-9679 or online at carnegiehall.org/specialevents. A limited number of concert tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.



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