• Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013

    Carnegie Hall Receives $10 Million Challenge Grant from Joan and Sanford I. Weill to Complete Funding for Studio Towers Renovation Project

    Major Renovation Will Create Inspirational Spaces for Music Education on Landmark Building’s Upper Floors and Refurbish Carnegie Hall’s Backstage Facilities

    NEW YORK, NY—Carnegie Hall today announced that it has received a $10 million challenge grant from Joan and Sanford I. Weill and The Weill Family Foundation toward its Studio Towers Renovation Project, a comprehensive undertaking that will create new inspirational spaces for music education on the landmark building’s existing upper floors while also fully refurbishing the venue’s backstage areas.

    The project, scheduled to be completed and opened in 2014, will be transformational for Carnegie Hall, creating new facilities designed to help make great music accessible to as many people as possible. This includes the new 61,000-square foot Judith and Burton Resnick Education Wing atop the building with ensemble rooms, practice rooms, and teaching studios as well as a state-of-the-art home for Carnegie Hall’s Archives. Collectively, these facilities will provide a wonderful new setting in which to inspire a lifelong love of music in young musicians, students, and educators.

    “Joan and I are so excited about this project, and the many new ways that it will help Carnegie Hall to evolve to serve artists and audiences for decades to come,” said Sanford I. Weill, Carnegie Hall’s Chairman. “We’re grateful to everyone who has joined us in getting involved with this campaign. Together, for the first time ever, we can create spaces specially dedicated to music education at Carnegie Hall, supporting programs that make a meaningful difference in the lives of more and more people in New York City and around the world.” Mr. Weill, a trustee since 1983, has been Carnegie Hall’s chairman since 1991. In 2003, a major endowment gift from the Weills established Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute which develops the Hall’s wide range of music education and community programs that serve people from all walks of life in New York City, across the country, and around the globe.

    The grant announced today challenges Carnegie Hall to raise two times the $10 million by September 30, 2013 for a total of $30 million toward the Hall’s capital campaign. To date, nearly half of the funds needed to meet the challenge has been raised, and more than $209 million has been raised overall in support of the $230 million renovation project. This $10 million challenge grant—to be matched by $9 million in recently-received pledges and $11 million still to be raised—would complete fundraising for this project, which is so important in the development of Carnegie Hall’s future. Among the pledges received toward the overall campaign to date are a previously-announced $25 million leadership gift from the Weills, a $10 million major gift from Judith and Burton Resnick, and significant funding from New York City and New York State. The total also includes $56.5 million in net proceeds from bonds issued through the Trust for Cultural Resources from the City of New York.

    “Joan and Sandy have shown such tremendous leadership with this campaign, and we thank them for their extraordinary generosity,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director. “Their passion for this project is clearly rooted in their longtime commitment to music education, their belief in the power that Carnegie Hall has to bring all kinds of people together through music, and their desire that Carnegie Hall remain at the center of the world’s cultural stage through the twenty-first century.”

    About Carnegie Hall’s Studio Towers Renovation Project
    In May 2007, Carnegie Hall announced its plans to undertake extensive renovations of its two Studio Towers—the South Tower added by Andrew Carnegie in 1894, which rises 12 stories from street level on West 56th Street and stretches across the roofline of the 1891 concert venue; and the 16-story North Tower added in 1897 on top of the northeast corner of the building, facing West 57th Street.

    As part of the Studio Towers Renovation Project, the new Judith and Burton Resnick Education Wing will spread across the upper floors of Carnegie Hall’s North and South Towers, adding twenty-four new music rooms to the building. This addition will enable many music education activities now taking place off-site in inadequate spaces to be brought into spaces designed especially for these activities, connecting program participants with the inspirational setting of Carnegie Hall. The new practice rooms, teaching studios, and ensemble rooms will be vital resources for both Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI), and for The Academy—a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and WMI in partnership with New York City’s Department of Education—a prestigious two-year fellowship designed to prepare talented young professional musicians for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, and leadership.

    The music rooms will be used for a variety of educational activities including interactive events for children; rehearsals by students participating in Carnegie Hall creative learning projects and by fellows of The Academy; master classes and workshops for young musicians; and professional development activities for educators, teaching artists, and Carnegie Hall musicians who serve audiences in schools and community venues throughout New York City. Overall, they will be inspirational and vibrant spaces where people will have the opportunity to meet, learn, explore, and share musical experiences.

    Located within the Resnick Education Wing, Carnegie Hall’s Archives will be upgraded with state-of-the-art high density storage. A new reading and listening room for visitors will increase access to Carnegie Hall’s historic collections. Adjacent to the Wing will be a new outdoor Roof Terrace—a feature first envisioned in 1892 by the building’s original architect, William Burnet Tuthill, now re-imagined for the twenty-first century—a gathering place for users of the building: performers and concertgoers; families, teachers, students, and staff.

    The Studio Towers Renovation Project will also allow Carnegie Hall to fully refurbish its backstage areas (located largely within its South Tower), upgrading artistic support spaces and ensuring that the venue continues to serve New York City as the top international destination for the world’s greatest performers and ensembles with amenities that match the world-class quality of the artistic environment on stage.

    The backstage area will be doubled from three to six floors and modernized in line with the wide variety of performances undertaken at Carnegie Hall. Three new backstage rooms will be added, including an Artists’ Lounge at the stage level of Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage and a Green Room on the second floor. Access to the Stern / Perelman stage-left entrance will be restored, greatly enhancing production capabilities. In addition, the location of artists’ dressing rooms will be consolidated, including increased access for those with disabilities. Fewer stairs in the new backstage design will make it easier for musicians to navigate off stage, especially with large instruments.

    Through these renovations, many elements of Carnegie Hall’s 122-year-old building infrastructure will be upgraded to contemporary standards for safety and accessibility. Administrative offices will be consolidated for greater efficiency, and the building will become more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, upon project completion, achieving LEED Silver certification and compliance with the NYC Green Buildings Law. Thanks to Carnegie Hall’s original 450 windows on the upper floors, natural light will be maximized in the building’s design. New environmental control systems and plumbing as well as special features unique to the Roof Terrace (such as plantings and reflective pavers) will help reduce energy needs. In addition, key elements of the building’s exterior and interior will be restored. Among the elements of the plans, signature architectural features—cast-iron stairs, original steel trusses, vaulted ceilings, window casings, fireplace mantles, and more—will be preserved or replicated throughout the renovated facility.

    Construction work on the Studio Towers Renovation Project began in 2009, and has taken place over multiple years, coordinated with Carnegie Hall’s performance and rehearsal schedules. Carnegie Hall’s three auditoriums will not be touched by the renovations. Iu + Bibliowicz Architects LLP is architect for the project. Tishman Construction Corporation is Carnegie Hall’s construction manager.

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