Whether it’s an anecdote about Andrew Carnegie or a great artist, we have more than 125 years of Carnegie Hall lore. But those are only our tales. We invite you and your friends to tell your own stories. Perhaps you have fond memories of a first visit to the Hall, an inspiring concert, or an unusual experience. We would love to hear what you have to say and to share your reminiscences. Read, watch, listen, and share!

Most Inspiring Experience

Darlene Morrow Brandt: The Spirits of Carnegie Hall

Most Inspiring Experience

Deborah: Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra

Fondest Memory

Kaylee Steiner-Olson: A repeat visit

First Time

Norman Kaufman: Back to Carnegie Hall after 40+ Years

Fondest Memory

Eric Shimelonis: A composer's dreams come true at Weill Recital Hall

First Time

Carol: My first experience at Carnegie Hall

First Time

Scott Thyberg: You can go home again

Fondest Memory

Raphael Klayman: Inside and outside Carnegie Hall

Fondest Memory

Senior Year Capstone

Most Inspiring Experience

Isha Sakhalkar: High School Orchestra Trip, April 2015

First Time

Robert Joles: The Silence of Carnegie Hall

Fondest Memory

Gretsch at Carnegie Hall: Capturing a Moment In Time

Fondest Memory

C. Fisk: Keeping the legend alive

Fondest Memory

Susan Prince: Through the eyes of a child...

First Time

My Carnegie Moment - Florence Foster Jenkins, and me

Fondest Memory

Pam Bridges: A Rising Star

Fondest Memory

Elizabeth Helwagen: Like mother, like daughter

Favorite Concert

Trela Ernst: My day @ carneige hall

First Time

Harry L Wachen: A single seat

Most Unusual Experience

Lesley Moffat: Three Generations, Three Concerts, One Hall

Most Inspiring Experience

Colleen O'Donnell: Practice, practice, practice

First Time

Beppe: A day with Arturo

Fondest Memory

Elaine Greene Weisburg: On stage at Carnegie Hall

Most Inspiring Experience

UCM at Carnegie

Most Unusual Experience

Sharon Salamon: The Case of the Missing Tuxedos

Fondest Memory

Dawn Hornsby Jones: Don Hornsby Played Carnegie Hall

Fondest Memory

Tom Bradley: Lunch with Ozawa

Most Inspiring Experience

Judith A. Rubin: A Carnegie Hall Debut with the New York Choral Society

Fondest Memory

Preston Harrell: WKU at Carnegie

Fondest Memory

Fumi Usuki, Docent: My Story Starts in Tokyo

Fondest Memory

Jennifer Battaglioli: Three Generations in the Third Row

Fondest Memory

Nancy Donahue: Flutter of Life

Fondest Memory

Judith Krauss: The Man who was a Boy

Most Inspiring Experience

Jo Ann Wein: Beautiful Concert

Most Inspiring Experience

Dave Kirk: First Performance at Carnegie

Favorite Concert

Fran Morris-Rosman: Ella on Stage

Fondest Memory

Ellen Gold: Vladimir Horowitz Returns

Most Unusual Experience

Laurie Bradbury: It's a small world

First Time

Annabel & Miriam Jeffery: A Debut

First Time

Greg Byrne: Carnegie Hall - A beautiful Musical Instrument

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    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Darlene Morrow Brandt: The Spirits of Carnegie Hall

      I had played the violin since the age of 11, my teacher having been Jerry Kupchynsky, a disciple of Leopold Auer via his student Samuel Applebaum, father of Michael Tree. Like every young violinist, dreams of Carnegie Hall floated in my head and my heart. The old joke, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice, Practice, Practice!” made us laugh, but we practiced voraciously, hoping somehow that the old adage was true. Our teacher, “Mr. K,” however, overwhelmed us with practicality: “Don’t be a professional musician. You vill STARVE! Ees VERY deefeecult to become successful enough to support youself. Eenstead, seence you LOVE to play, SHARE that joy with little children and teach. That ees the NOBLEST profession!” Our parents, all being poor, were behind him 100%. So winning scholarships and competitions and becoming concertmaster of the university orchestra never beckoned me to performing, so deeply rooted was my dream of becoming a public school strings specialist, like my beloved teacher and mentor. When the university faculty sent Mr. Kupchynsky a letter that I had given the best senior recital in the university’s history and wrote me that I should study at Juilliard or Curtis and perform, I chose to teach. So it seemed highly unlikely that I would ever solo at Carnegie Hall. July of 1980, however, saw me auditioning to play fiddle for The Jimmy Sturr Orchestra, the premier band in the field of polka music. I auditioned cold, with no knowledge of the genre, except for hearing recordings the night before, in an arena filled with 6,000 people in Muskegon, Michigan, and made a hit with the audience. I got the job! The band played everywhere, from Polish Home small rooms to The Waldorf Astoria in New York City. We recorded in New York City and in Nashville and I became composer and arranger for the band as well, my song “Fiddlin’ Fred,” being a breakout hit on one of our albums. Then, in December of 1981 The Jimmy Sturr Orchestra booked a Christmas Show at…….Carnegie Hall. Carnegie Hall! My lifelong dream, however improbable, was about to become a reality. My mother sat proudly in the audience that evening of December 13, 1981, wishing my father, who had passed away four years earlier, was sitting beside her, when I walked out onto the stage to play a classical solo, an original Polish Mazurka, with piano accompaniment. In the wings, I thought, “Oh my! THIS IS CARNEGIE HALL! And I’m playing a solo. I am SO nervous!” And then I walked out into the center of the stage. I thought of all of the musical giants and geniuses who had played there, had graced that VERY stage stood exactly where I was standing, and the image was awe-inspiring. The moment was absolutely sacred. I looked up into the gorgeous ceiling of the hall and breathed in…deeply. Suddenly, the most inexplicable yet amazing calm came over me. A feeling swept my being that I was not alone. That the breath and spirit of each and all of those giants was not only still in the air, but was enveloping me with kindness, understanding, peace and, moreover, with comfort. I raised my violin to play and I have never played, nor probably ever will again, so flawlessly, beautifully and musically in my life. In that moment just before I had played, the spirits of Carnegie Hall called to me and my spirit rose up to meet them. My mother cried tears of joy, and when I said “I wish Daddy had been here too,” smiling through tears, she replied, “He was.”

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Deborah: Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra

      Traveling through New England and then into Manhattan on the train to see Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra was just the best thing I've done in many years. Carnegie Hall is simply elegant and being there makes me feel privileged and most fortunate. Most people you ask on the street in New York City cannot tell you were Grand Central Station is, but everyone knows where Carnegie Hall can be found. The Shen Yun Orchestra was uplifting and deeply moving. The eastern and western instruments blend together so well and create a language that is new in the world today. And, the message of goodness calls to our very deepest selves to be better than we are. Just such a wonderful experience. We had good seats in the second tier so the views and the acoustics were marvelous. Even the children in the box next to us sat quietly mesmerized for the whole two hours. We look forward to seeing Shen Yun Orchestra at Carnegie Hall every October !

    • Fondest Memory

      Kaylee Steiner-Olson: A repeat visit

      In March of 2013, my high school orchestra travelled to NYC from a little town in California to participate in the National Band and Orchestra Festival. It was the most rewarding experience of my life. Being a part of that orchestra shaped who I am today and playing in one of the most prestigious concert halls in all of the world was simply incredible. Now, 3 years later, I will return. This time as an audience member. I cannot wait to enjoy the other side of the Carnegie experience.

    • First Time

      Norman Kaufman: Back to Carnegie Hall after 40+ Years

      In 1970 I attended two concerts at Carnegie Hall (First visits), both times for iconic folk singers: Tom Rush and Phil Ochs. Those may have been two of the most exciting concerts I've ever been to. I'm returning for the first time in 40+ years with tickets to Sunday night's Francesca Battistelli and Lauren Daigle concert. I can't wait! The atmosphere at Carnegie is always electric.

    • Fondest Memory

      Eric Shimelonis: A composer's dreams come true at Weill Recital Hall

      For many composers and musicians, F. Murray Abraham's portrayal of Antonio Salieri in the movie "Amadeus" resonates strongly with the creative challenges that we all face. Mr. Abraham won the 1984 Academy Award for that role, and I have looked up to him for decades. All of my wildest dreams came true in one evening, as this hero of mine sang a cycle of songs that I wrote for him, and in front of a sold-out audience in Weill Recital Hall. Mr. Abraham evoked the emotion and the meaning of these songs in such an extraordinary and moving way, as he was accompanied by my great friends and colleagues in the Voice Of The City Ensemble. My music was brought to life, with a dream cast of performers, and in the dreamiest of concert halls. This is a night that I will never forget!

    • First Time

      Carol: My first experience at Carnegie Hall

      In late October 2001, the month after the attack on the World Trade Center, a friend and I traveled from Oregon to New York (a trip we had planned for months) and I attended my first concert at Carnegie Hall. It was an orchestra I had dreamed of hearing in person, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, conducted by Herbert Blomstedt. It was a wonderful concert, and a dream come true. As my companion and I were leaving the theatre, the ushers suddenly started herding us quickly down the stairs toward the exits. I was quite disappointed, since I wanted to leisurely stroll out of the building and enjoy the experience. When we got outside, all we could see were fire trucks and police cars. It seemed they went on for blocks. Then we understood why the rush to get us outside. There had been a bomb threat. That was my first experience at Carnegie. My first concert should have been Martha Argerich, a day or two earlier, but she had cancelled her trip to New York because she wasn't comfortable making the flight that closely after the 9/11 attacks. Needless to say, I was thrilled that the Gewandhaus Orchestra didn't cancel. To top off our evening, limousines were giving rides for $5 anywhere that you wanted to go in the city because the city, at the time, was pretty quiet. So, we rode back to our hotel in style. What an interesting first experience at Carnegie Hall and one of my most treasured memories.

    • First Time

      Scott Thyberg: You can go home again

      I attended The Juilliard School from 75-79. During one of many renovations to the NY Philharmonic 's home at Lincoln Center, the orchestra took up residence at Carnegie Hall with a Mahler cycle. Hearing my teacher, John Cerminaro, featured in the 5th Symphony, was an experience I'll always treasure. The second time I was in Carnegie Hall, it was as a member of the National Orchestral Association.

    • Fondest Memory

      Raphael Klayman: Inside and outside Carnegie Hall

      To the aspiring violin student that I once was and later, to the professional violinist that I became, Carnegie Hall has always represented a very major focal point for the tradition of great musical performances and experiences. A few personal anecdotes stand out in my memory: I have had the pleasure and privilege to be on the stage of Carnegie Hall a number of times with a few different orchestras. On two occasions, with two different respective orchestras, I served as Concertmaster and had short solos to play. On two other occasions I was granted special permission to play privately on the stage while a colleague listened out in the hall, to help determine the relative projection of violins that I was comparing. Those experiences were strangely thrilling: Here I was in the almost empty legendary hall where Tchaikovsky conducted the inaugural concert, where Heifetz made his incendiary American debut, and I was adding my own sounds as best I could! Exciting and eerie! Some other colorful experiences happened to me just outside the Hall. Along the side of Carnegie, on 7th Avenue, I have seen a number of celebrities over the years going about their business, including Joe Franklin, Ben Stein and Sigourney Weaver. Honoring New York’s tradition of leaving celebrities alone, I never said anything to them. But once I saw Ravi Shankar and broke with that tradition. As a musician and, it so happened, as a ticket holder to Shankar’s recital for that very evening, I thought it would be OK to greet him and so I did. He was very nice and I told him that I looked forward to his performance later that evening. He thanked me and then asked me if I could do him a favor. I said “certainly, if I can”. He asked “could you direct me to the Artist’s Entrance?” His assistant chimed in “oh, you have forgotten, Panditji!”. I said that I’d be happy to and led the way. When we got to the entrance he asked me my name and thanked me again. I said so long in the traditional Indian way by putting my palms together in a prayerful salute. But he put out his right hand to shake mine, Western style! Finally, once while walking on 57th Street, on my way to the now sadly defunct music store, “Patelsons” just across the street from the Artists Entrance, a gentleman stopped me and asked me for help. Judging by his manner, accent and confused look, I assumed him to be a tourist from another country and was happy to try to assist him. “What can I do for you?” I asked. And then – I kid you not – he asked THE question: “Could you tell me how I can get to Carnegie Hall?” I paused for a brief moment to offer a silent prayer of gratitude for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and – yes, I said it: “Practice, practice, practice!” “Whaaaat???” came the befuddled response. “Sorry, I was joking. We are very close. Just come with me.” May the experiences and the music of Carnegie Hall be endless!

    • Fondest Memory

      Senior Year Capstone

      When I was a senior in high school, I decided I wanted to audition for the High School Honors Series at Carnegie Hall. I worked hard and was accepted into the concert choir. This would turn out to be most amazing experiences of my life. There are no words to describe how it felt to sing in Carnegie Hall. Walking out on stage, I just had this feeling of awe. Here I was where so many amazing performers had been before me. I think back about it, and I get emotional. Singing at Carnegie Hall will be one of the most amazing experiences I will ever have in my entire life.

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Isha Sakhalkar: High School Orchestra Trip, April 2015

      It was my senior year, and our string orchestra was lucky enough to be invited to play at the New York International Music Festival. Our spirits were soaring, our hearts racing with anticipation throughout our trip to New York. That first tuning note we played on the stage during warm-up was the most beautiful moment we had ever experienced together. The way the sound lifted into the auditorium and seemed to resonate deep within us...it was a moment of magic. Towards the end of our performance, we looked up to see our conductor wiping away tears--the surprise and emotion brought us all to tears too! We had been a fairly close group before, but playing together at Carnegie Hall truly made us a family.

    • First Time

      Robert Joles: The Silence of Carnegie Hall

      In March of 2009, I was on an extended business stay in NYC from Los Angeles. I discovered that the Vienna Philharmonic would be playing three evenings and then moving on to L.A. with this same tour program. Maestro Zubin Mehta was the conductor for that tour, and growing up in Los Angeles, I had seen him conduct the LA Phil many times. The evening I was to attend at Carnegie Hall, they had programmed Arnold Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht and Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 9. I was seated in the upper balcony and could see the stage and hear everything perfectly. The first half was the Schoenberg with just the string section. Maestro Mehta was, as usual, conducting from memory. It was so beautiful and lush. Almost other worldly. After intermission it was time for the full forces of the entire Vienna Philharmonic and Bruckner's Symphony No. 9: 3 Flutes, 3 Oboes, 3 Clarinets, and 3 Bassoons, 5 French Horns, 4 Wagner Tuben, 4 Trumpets, 4 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani and Strings. A huge number of musicians on stage (not to mention on tour!) and all being carefully controlled by Maestro Mehta. It was so very emotional and the contingent from Vienna played magnificently. At the end of Bruckner 9, it ends very quietly with only the brass playing a diminuendo fading down to niente, nothing. And when all of the sound from the brass had completely died away, Maestro Mehta kept his arms up after his cutoff for a full 10 seconds and you could literally hear a pin drop. The silence was deafening. And when Maestro Mehta finally lowered his arms the entire audience erupted in a standing ovation that was so well deserved of these visiting musicians and their conductor. However, what was so very interesting to me was seeing so many children, some as young as 9 or 10, sitting completely still and not fussing in the slightest during the entire program! They were as mesmerized by the music as myself and the other adults in attendance. It was a glorious evening of transcendent music that I will never forget.

    • Fondest Memory

      Gretsch at Carnegie Hall: Capturing a Moment In Time

      It’s said that every picture tells a story. Well, there are a multitude of stories connected with this historic picture. The occasion, the setting, and many of the individuals depicted in the photo all have fascinating histories associated with them. Let’s start with the occasion. The photo was taken December 29, 1945—just a few months after the end of the Second World War. The management team of the Fred Gretsch Musical Instrument Company had gathered in Brooklyn to set a course for the second half of the 20th century. Their decision: Go full speed ahead with professional instruments. To commemorate their decision the team traveled across the East River to Manhattan. There they planned to join with some of the leading drummers and percussionists of the day for a photo to be taken with a selection of Gretsch drums. Of course, such a historic photo called for an equally historic location, which brings us to the setting. The sheer number of people to be included in the photo called for a sizeable area. The fact that notable musicians were to be involved called for a musical venue. So it made sense to hold the photo session on the stage of a concert hall. And what New York City concert hall could be more famous—or more respected—than Carnegie Hall? Aside from its own legendary musical history, Carnegie Hall had a special attraction for the Gretsch team. Directly across the street was Steinway Hall, which was the headquarters of another venerable family-owned music business—and the two companies had much in common. In 1853 German immigrant Henry Engelhard Steinway founded Steinway & Sons in Manhattan. In 1883 German immigrant Friedrich Gretsch founded the Gretsch Company in Brooklyn. That brings us to the people in the photo. Regrettably, the names of the gentlemen at the far left and far right have been lost to history. The others, starting from the second on the left, are: Saul Goodman, James Crawford, Mary McClanahan, Frank Kutak, Gus Helmecke, Art Neu, Viola Smith, Bernie Benson, Fred Gretsch Jr., Duke Kramer, Phil Grant, Richard Dickson, William Walter Gretsch, and Al Moffatt Sr. Following is just a bit of information about this fascinating group. The unique photograph presented here—and all the back-story that goes with it—depicts just a single moment within the 133-year history of the company that bears the Gretsch family name. Thank you for this opportunity to share a special moment in time, Dinah Gretsch, Sr. VP, the Gretsch Company.

    • Fondest Memory

      C. Fisk: Keeping the legend alive

      I moved to New York City when I was 21, and quickly became a New Yorker. I loved everything that was "old New York," so of course that included Carnegie Hall. Visiting the legendary venue for the first time was only awe inspiring, and I returned whenever I could to soak in its grandeur. When my teenage nephew came for his first visit to NYC years later I made sure to include a concert at the hall as part of his tour. Although he only played the trumpet in his small high school's concert band, he was just as struck by the magnificence of the great hall as I always was. I knew I had passed the baton to the next generation to continue to support and cherish beloved Carnegie Hall.

    • Fondest Memory

      Susan Prince: Through the eyes of a child...

      My Grandmother was a Carnegie Hall regular. When I was six years old, she decided that it was time to introduce me to the experience of orchestral classical music. I loved to sing, and I adored her, so our regular trips to West 57th Street were thrilling to me. Although I couldn't sing along, I enjoyed listening, and without realizing, memorized much of the music. Our trips to Carnegie Hall lasted until I went away to high school. Still singing, I chose Mannes College of Music in New York to continue my career in music. Thanks to my being introduced to great music at Carnegie Hall by my precious Grandmother, my life has been enriched, and I found a career as a disk jockey on classical music radio stations. These many years later, Carnegie Hall remains a favorite. Walking through the doors my mind is flooded with the precious memories of holding Grandmother's hand, being led down the aisle to our regular seats.

    • First Time

      My Carnegie Moment - Florence Foster Jenkins, and me

      Thanks to Laura Osnes, Paramount Pictures, and Florence Foster Jenkins, on the 12th of July 2016, I got to debut at Carnegie Hall singing Part of Your World from Disney's The Little Mermaid on my first ever visit to Carnegie and NYC. The experience was something I'll never forget. This was the first song I ever sang in front of anyone when I first started singing in middle school, the only song at the time that I felt I ever sounded good singing, because it was something I used to be very afraid to do. Ariel's song is the reason I still sing today. I wouldn't be studying vocal music as a voice major in college had I not rediscovered The Little Mermaid in middle school and felt such a deep connection with it as I still feel today. I don't know where my path would've gone without it so present my life. The event was called "My Carnegie Moment" in partnership with the film Florence Foster Jenkins, on how her dream was to sing at Carnegie and how she made that a reality. Broadway star Laura Osnes with Paramount on Twitter picked me and a handful of other singers to make that dream a reality for us! I have always fantasized about singing here, little did I know that it would actually happen, and sooner than I would've thought. Having Laura Osnes's guidance during this was just the icing on the cake! She was the perfect mentor with her vast talent and experience. She's also from my hometown in Minnesota! She coached me on expressing my favorite song in this incredible setting and I did everything in my power to make it a performance I could be proud of. This was my first time I got to really visit New York City so I got to check off seeing my first Broadway show, first time in Times Square, first time in Central Park- all the big sites I've always wanted to see and heard so much about. And what an honor it was to sing here at the legendary Carnegie Hall. I'll always remember the way it felt to be on that stage and see and feel that iconic panorama of lights and seats in the house from the stage. It was hard not to be nervous, but once I really got into the song, all fears melted away and it felt so natural. To date, this is the largest space I've ever sang in. It's an absolutely gorgeous venue. As a soloist, you can really see the massive size and scope of this historic space and it feeds your performance and gives you such a rush. Spine-tingling, surreal, incredible, priceless. Because of a few significant negative factors in my life, I had grown up often settling with the fact that I'd never get a chance to be a star, never to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight, but I'm so grateful to everyone who granted me this opportunity to shine if only for a moment as it was simply beyond my wildest dreams. This has motivated me to work even harder seeing clearly that my dreams are in sight and can be achieved. Now Florence Foster Jenkins and I have in common that we've sang here- only I do hope I wasn't as blissfully off-key as she was. But I know that it was our same passion for singing that brought us to this stage, and that every voice indeed deserves to be heard.

    • Fondest Memory

      Pam Bridges: A Rising Star

      When my daughter was a student at MSM she invited me to one of her friend's violin concert. I was in awe at not only her performance but the regal concert hall and majestic decor of the famed Carnegie Hall venue. I knew I just had to return some day and hopefully for my own daughter's performance. Although it's been 11 years since my first awe-inspiring visit, the day is fast approaching as I anticipate seeing and hearing my own daughter, Miss J'nai Bridges, perform in celebration of the great Mezzo-Soprano, Miss Marilyn Horne. This will surely be my "fondest memory" of visiting the esquisite Carnegie Hall!

    • Fondest Memory

      Elizabeth Helwagen: Like mother, like daughter

      I was a music education student at the Ohio State University when our concert band professor told us that we would perform in Carnegie Hall. It was February of 1985. My aunt, who lives in NYC, came to hear our performance and brought five of her friends. It was a night that I'll never forget. Ten years later, I gave birth to a daughter. I raised her to be involved in music. She is a music education major at Capital University near Columbus. Her choral professor told their choir that they would sing in Carnegie Hall in February of 2016. My aunt, who still lives in NYC, came to her grandniece's performance as she did mine over 30 years ago. It was a night that I'll never forget. I was there, too.

    • Favorite Concert

      Trela Ernst: My day @ carneige hall

      My favorite concert was by flute player James Galway. He played all Mozart's music.There is one piece for flute in particular he wrote which is beautiful, and James played it that night. On Oct.15th, Im attending the Shen Yun Symphony orchestra's 2 p.m. concert. I'm excited! I think Carneige Hall is very beautiful.

    • First Time

      Harry L Wachen: A single seat

      The strict facts of this story are not guaranteed but this event did happen and it was my first experience at Carnegie Hall which is where the NY Philharmonic played 1942. My parents and I came to the US on Dec. 27 ,1939. The ship with surrounding convoy was the USS Lancastria. Aboard among, many strangers, was the violinist Bronislaw Huberman, who held my tiny torah during a makeshift Sabbath service on board during the voyage. By 1942 I was fluent in English and read the NY Times regularly. I was 12 years old then. I noticed that Bruno Walter and Hubeman were playing the Beethoven Violin concerto and wanted badly to attend. My father was an intern at a local hospital in his effort to get back his medical license which was taken from him by Hitler in 1936. We had no money and my Mom worked at home sewing wallets by hand for a leather company . Buying a ticket was out of the question. My Mom said to me, why don’t you write Bruno Walter a letter and ask him to send you a ticket. 2 weeks later one ticket came - in row G . piano side, at the end of the aisle. And my mother and I set out for Carnegie that day, she, planning to stand upstairs. But when I approached the seat, I said to her that I would stand and she should sit. She was prepared for my kindness and the upbringing that engendered it, and she said that it is only I who could sit there because he might come during the intermission and see if indeed I sat there. As a 12 year old I couldn’t see through that logic and accepted, reluctantly, her analysis. Of course, he never came during that intermission and I was disappointed as any child would be, and later on that day was ashamed that I was “faked out” by my mother. But that concert had an indelible impression on me then.

    • Most Unusual Experience

      Lesley Moffat: Three Generations, Three Concerts, One Hall

      In 2008, 2012, and 2016, three generations of my family shared the stage at Carnegie Hall for the same concert; my father, one of my three daughters (each in a different year), and me. Jackson High School Honors Wind Ensemble from the Seattle area has performed at the hall three times. I am the conductor of the group. At each of those concerts, one of my three daughters performed in the ensemble. Conducting the opening number at each of those concerts was my father, Bruce Caldwell, who had also been my high school band director. On May 28, 2016, after a 50+ year career in music education, my dad conducted for one final time before hanging up his baton when my youngest daughter performed as a senior under his leadership. I imagine there are very few (if any) people who can say they have had three generations of the same family perform three times together at Carnegie Hall. In addition to my father, daughters, and me, my husband, George, had his Carnegie Hall debut with the Everett Symphony in 2006. As a family, we have many fond memories of performing in this historic hall. I plan to continue to take groups to perform at Carnegie Hall in the future, but since my own children have graduated, we will no longer be able to say we have three generations performing on future concerts in the hall. What a blessing it has been to have shared that stage with my own father, children, and band kids. There's nothing that compares to playing in that grand hall in front of a world-wide audience!

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Colleen O'Donnell: Practice, practice, practice

      When I first started learning piano, I always joked about performing at Carnegie Hall one day. I knew that it was very unrealistic, but a musician can dream, right? Little did I know that one of my biggest childhood dreams would come true in 8th grade. I performed and accompanied in Weill Recital Hall at the age of 14. My first time performing felt like a dream. Sitting in a flawlessly designed concert hall, playing on a grand Steinway, letting the music take you away...it's unlike any other experience. After that, I performed every year up to my senior year of high school, when I received the 5 year Carnegie award. I knew that my endless dreaming and hard work had payed off. So, how DO you get to Carnegie Hall? The answer is simple: practice, practice, practice.

    • First Time

      Beppe: A day with Arturo

      My first visit was with a friend from our school, The High School of Performing Arts. In those days one could write away for tickets to the NBC Symphony with Toscanini broadcasts which we did and sat up in balcony, I remember the location clearly. It was an unusual repertoire for the maestro; Act 1, I think of Orfeo e Euridice and I was not totally impressed but to see and hear Toscanini seemed a good start to a concert going life.

    • Fondest Memory

      Elaine Greene Weisburg: On stage at Carnegie Hall

      My name is Elaine Greene Weisburg and I was proud to sing in Carnegie Hall in 1959 (Handel's Israel in Egypt) and 1960 (Bach's B Minor Mass) as a member of the Dessoff Choirs. Under the direction of conductor Paul Boepple we musical amateurs, properly auditioned for voice quality and sight-reading ability, practiced privately at home and weekly as a group under our conductor, assisted by a pianist. For our final rehearsal and in performance, members of a professional orchestra played with us. Singers were placed on the stage on graduated platforms flanking the instrumentalists who were seated down the center. I was thrilled to be singing next to the trumpet zone, and surprised to see that during the time he was not required to play, one of the trumpeters read a comic book placed over his score. Our Israel in Egypt performance was recorded and later recognized as a record-of-the-year. I still have the shellac album but no equipment on which to play it. Whenever I am in Carnegie Hall I give a fond glance to where I stood. I am enjoying a long life yet the thrill of singing these magnificent works in concert remains a most treasured memory.

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      UCM at Carnegie

      In February, I had the opportunity to perform in Carnegie Hall with the UCM Wind Ensemble. My favorite piece we performed was "Chicago 2012" by Mason Bates, featuring electronics which resonated beautifully throughout the hall. I wrote an article about my experience in hopes of inspiring others, and you can read it here: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/performance-carnegie-hall

    • Most Unusual Experience

      Sharon Salamon: The Case of the Missing Tuxedos

      It was a Sunday evening in the Fall of 1980. We were with good friends, settling down for what we expected to be an enjoyable evening with the Czech Philharmonic. However, after a delay in curtain time, we found out that the concert would be canceled. However, no worries-- our ticket fees would be refunded. Reason? The members of the orchestra were present but the instruments never arrived!

    • Fondest Memory

      Dawn Hornsby Jones: Don Hornsby Played Carnegie Hall

      My father played in Carnegie Hall on June 13, 1945, at 8:30pm. I have a picture of the playbill. His name was Don Hornsby. He was a piano player and a composer.

    • Fondest Memory

      Tom Bradley: Lunch with Ozawa

      In 1980, I worked as a lowly administrative assistant in the Carnegie Hall Development Office. I was fresh out of school, and so poor I only owned two pairs of pants and one pair of shoes I had to repair with Krazy Glue every morning before I left for work. I loved my job, but my favorite part was sneaking into the back row of the Hall with my brown bag lunch and listening to the greatest musicians in the world rehearse. My favorite day: Sitting in my darkened seat, eating a bologna sandwich, listening to Seiji Ozawa lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra through a Beethoven symphony. No one else was in the room. It was heaven.

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Judith A. Rubin: A Carnegie Hall Debut with the New York Choral Society

      When I joined the New York Choral Society, 50+ years ago, we performed at Philharmonic Hall, the former Avery Fisher Hall now named David Geffen Hall. I longed to sing at Carnegie Hall, my favorite concert venue. With a new music director, Robert DeCormier, my dream came true and we would then perform 3 times a year at Carnegie Hall. Looking out at the beautiful hall from the stage and singing with a professional orchestra was exhilarating and still is, after all these years. Adding to the excitement of singing classical programs, was the first time we performed with Peter, Paul and Mary at Christmas, as well as Pete Seeger and Harry Belafonte, all of whom I adored and respected for their activism and being part of the folk music scene I loved. Mary’s last public performance was with the NYCS at Carnegie, with Peter and Noel (Paul) before she died--a never to be forgotten experience.

    • Fondest Memory

      Preston Harrell: WKU at Carnegie

      I performed Mozart's Requiem in Carnegie Hall the summer after my senior year of high school with friends and colleagues from Western Kentucky University. What an amazing way to kick off collegiate studies – performing in a world renowned concert hall with wonderful people making beautiful music!

    • Fondest Memory

      Fumi Usuki, Docent: My Story Starts in Tokyo

      For me, It is a life long connection with Carnegie Hall. My story starts in Tokyo, Japan, where I was born. The Movie "Carnegie Hall" was shown at a Japanese Movie theater. Not sure how old I was or when but maybe hmm.. in middle H.S, 1980ish? My memory about those great performances on the stage are still very vivid: Reese Stevens's Carmen, Lily Pons' Bell song, Heifez, Rubinstein, and even Tchaikovsky (although it wasn't himself on the stage!) ... After this astonishing exposure, my curiosity about Carnegie Hall was growing, then coming to this great place became one of my dreams. In 1991, I came to study in the US, and I wouldn't miss the opportunity to go to Carnegie Hall. My dream has come true. As a subscription ticket holder every year, I listened to great "live" music as much as I could and these were simply cherished moments. Much later, in 2008, an advertisement for Japanese docents in a Japanese newspaper caught my attention. I applied immediately and after 10 weeks of training, I became officially a part of Carnegie Hall. My strong passion for classical music motivated me over the years. I started playing the piano, self-taught, at the age 14, and I had my very first teacher in College. Very late start, but since then I had a few opportunities to play the piano at Weill Recital Hall with other performers while maintaining a full time job in another profession. Carnegie Hall has been a big part of my life and I am proud to be its Music Ambassador.

    • Fondest Memory

      Jennifer Battaglioli: Three Generations in the Third Row

      Since moving to Overland Park, Kansas 11 years ago, I have been asked where we are from many times. I have learned to say New York State, because when I’d say New York everyone would assume New York City and say, “but you don’t have the accent.” I am originally from Guilderland, just west of Albany – an “Upstater” – not exactly a “New Yorker,” rather, a “New York Stater.” BUT, I have lived, gone to school, and worked in NYC, plus visited many times. I love the city. While living there, I volunteered in the Carnegie Hall museum (so I could hear the concerts), never thinking that I would be making music there one day! While growing up in my home church, I participated in youth choir musicals, bell choir, and took piano lessons from our church organist. So, I was so pleased to discover a wonderful music ministry at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Overland Park, for our children to experience too. Our Music Team has a goal of finding a massed choir opportunity for our chancel choir every four years or so. In the past eleven years, GCPC has been invited to Carnegie Hall twice and Lincoln Center once, plus our Ex! choir has sung at Baylor University and the National Cathedral in Washington DC. As an amateur singer, these opportunities to learn from multiple directors and collaborate with large numbers of singers has been very inspiring for me, and a lot of fun! In 2015, our music director announced the idea of singing Rutter’s Requiem in a Carnegie Hall concert. It developed into a massed choir of five groups, co-directed by Rebecca Prater, GCPC Music Director, and Richard Williams, the Anderson University choir director. Knowing this may be the last time my daughter and I could do something like this together before she goes to college, I suggested she and I attend, and invited my mom, who still lives in Guilderland, to participate, too. She also enjoys singing in her chancel choir and has participated in local community choirs throughout her life. She has even joined our chancel choir’s alto section once or twice when visiting us. Mom was excited to make this trip happen. She reviewed the score with her church choir director, rehearsed at home with the CD, and “attended” our GCPC rehearsals virtually by Skpe, iPad to laptop! The last weekend of May, our choir flew in to NYC from Kansas City, Mom took Amtrak from Albany and we met at Carnegie Hall! Three generations in the third row of the massed choir. I have been saying it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, but…who knows?!

    • Fondest Memory

      Nancy Donahue: Flutter of Life

      Carnegie Hall has been one of my favorite NYC institutions since my arrival in 1959. My new husband knowing this, took me to an orchestral concert to celebrate my 25th birthday in January 1962. It was during this concert, I felt the first 'flutter of life' keeping time to the music. I'll never forget that magical moment. My sweet daughter was born June 21, 1962. The concert has long been forgotten, but that event at Carnegie will be etched in my brain forever ! Carnegie Hall holds a very special place in my heart! Happy 125th Anniversary Carnegie...long may you live!!

    • Fondest Memory

      Judith Krauss: The Man who was a Boy

      My son is David. He was about 12 and a very usual trumpet student in his middle school on Long Island. I purchased 3 tickets to a concert featuring Wynton Marsalis as soloist with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. I wanted to give him the privilege of being in Carnegie Hall along with hearing Mr. Marsalis. I thought it would be very special - an evening with his Dad and I hearing a great musician and ensemble in the greatest of halls. During intermission my husband and I told David to stay in his seat and that Dad and I were going outside for a few minutes. When we returned, David was not in his seat. The hall was almost empty so I spotted him right away - he was standing at the stage. I went to him and saw his hand gently gliding it on the floor of the stage. I said what are you doing David. He replied quickly "oh nothing Mom - I just wanted to see how it feels." I was a bit surprised and taken aback but then realized - that's so David. This past Sunday, I went accompanied by his son Noah (who just finished his first year at Cleveland Institute of Music on cello and piano) to hear Renee Fleming and the Met orchestra as the second of three concerts in my series of Met Opera Orchestra concerts. It was all Strauss and Ms. Fleming and the Orchestra were brilliant as always. My son, David, is now in his mid-forties and he has been feeling that stage for over 15 years as he has been Principal Trumpet with the Met Orchestra since 2001. I couldn't have dreamt that all these years later I would see him, taking another solo bow for another great performance. He is now a man but I remember the boy - he kept the feel of that Hall in the palm of his hand all these years and embedded it in his soul.

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Jo Ann Wein: Beautiful Concert

      I do not think I will ever forget the concert conducted by James Levine this past Thursday night, May 19, 2016. Evgeny Kissin at the piano performing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor was breathtaking. As for the conductor, James Levine, who I have been following for many years, he is nothing less than a hero for bringing so much joy from his musical expertise to the audience under trying personal physical conditions.

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Dave Kirk: First Performance at Carnegie

      Just 25 years ago I was honored to be part of the 100th year celebration of Carnegie Hall. From nationwide auditions I was humbled to be able to sing with Robert Shaw. We performed the Brahm's Deutsche Requiem. As we finished it, there was a short period of silence (about 5 seconds), then an eruption of applause and cheers. It was as if we all knew something truly special had transpired beyond just the words, and the powerful music. Performers and audience alike were awestruck to be part of it.

    • Favorite Concert

      Fran Morris-Rosman: Ella on Stage

      Ella Fitzgerald on that famous stage. MANY times, many concerts, many musicians. Each time, a gem. And now,one of Ella's albums and her famous eye glasses in your Rose Museum. We pay homage every time we visit.

    • Fondest Memory

      Ellen Gold: Vladimir Horowitz Returns

      In the 60s, Horowitz had been reclusive for several years. When news of his return to the Carnegie Hall stage, I fled work on my lunch hour to wait in a long queue for tickets for me and my family pianists husband and mother-in-law...The wait was worth it. His triumphant return was magical. He has always been a favorite. No longer in NYC, our Hirschfeld "Horowitz" on the wall next to our piano, is a daily reminder of that magic return.

    • Most Unusual Experience

      Laurie Bradbury: It's a small world

      I work for a non-profit that brings music instrument education to underserved kids. As I prepared for a concert of my KEYS Orchestra on May 3, 2016 at Carnegie Hall, that prompted me to find the program from when I sang in Carnegie Hall while in the Bucknell University Concert Chorale, in a performance of Bernstein/Beethoven that included many other choirs, and with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, back in March 1989. As I was reviewing the 1989 program, much to my surprise, I found that the Ridgefield Chorale was one of the other choirs who sang that evening. I have now been a member of the Ridgefield Chorale for 17 years, but knew nothing about them back in 1989. And even more to my surprise, when I glanced through the list of musicians who played with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, there was Eleanor Howells on cello. Ellie is also a singer with the Ridgefield Chorale for the past several years. What a small world that Ellie and I would have been in that concert 27 years ago, performing on the same stage with the Ridgefield Chorale (which meant nothing to either of us at the time), and now we're both singing with the Chorale. And we both have such good memories of that Carnegie Hall performance. I hope that my KEYS Orchestra kids will have similar wonderful memories of their performance at Carnegie Hall, many years from now.

    • First Time

      Annabel & Miriam Jeffery: A Debut

      Not many people can say that their first trip to New York, or even America, culminated in a gig at Carnegie Hall. Two weeks ago (after a long flight from Australia), seeing the magnitude of New York with its lights, crowds and skyscrapers took our breath away. On the penultimate night of our stay, we took part in the Choral Convergence Festival with our Sydney-based choir, right on the Perelman Stage. The feeling that we were standing in the same place as so many of our musical idols made the excitement palpable! Performing at Carnegie is definitely an experience we hope to repeat!!!

    • First Time

      Greg Byrne: Carnegie Hall - A beautiful Musical Instrument

      I love Fado and visiting Carnegie Hall to hear Ana Moura sing was the apex of my vacation in New York City. After a decade of listening to her records, at last I could hear Ana sing live and she did not disappoint. She led the audience through a range of emotions from tearful to exuberant. She treated us to the best of modern and traditional Fado. A band of virtuoso artists supported her act, including a brilliant player of the Portuguese guitar. One improvement to the informative concert programme would have been to print the names and short biographies of those talented musicians. I was not so impressed by the second act, Buika, because it was a little too funky for me. The stage sets, lighting and costumes were world class and the best feature of the concert was the acoustic, which was exemplary. The auditorium was designed and built as a musical instrument in itself and nothing is distorted or lost. Sound reaches the audience with remarkable fidelity – no matter where you sit you do not miss a note. The staff at the door and ushers in the Hall were consistently hospitable and helpful. What Carnegie does, that other equivalent venues elsewhere fail to do, is customer service. After ordering my ticket, I received a thank you letter through the post from the Hall and then an email thanking me for my attendance after the show. Valuing customers at that level is unique and makes me want to attend future concerts at Carnegie Hall. Keep up the good work.