When you celebrate a 125th anniversary, you have stories to tell. Whether it's an anecdote about Andrew Carnegie or a great artist, we have 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!

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

Fondest Memory

Leslie Sullivan: The time I realized I made it

Fondest Memory

Ron Meyers: Highbrow and Low -- Bernstein Anniversary Concert, 1988

Most Inspiring Experience

Adrian Seykora: Senior Trip 2014

Most Inspiring Experience

Rebecca Finn: Dreams really do come true

Fondest Memory

Edward Staub: Practice, Practice, Practice

Most Unusual Experience

Isolde Blum: From childhood to senior years, music has always taken me through.

Most Unusual Experience

Harry Saltzman: Carnegie Recital Hall Debut

Favorite Concert

Heather Herron-Libson: I Was Missing SF Symphony

First Time

Glen Mancuso: John William Tribute

Most Inspiring Experience

Chris Murray: The Rolling Stones First Concert in New York City

Most Unusual Experience

Eunice Townsend: My Passion for Nina and Carnegie Hall

Fondest Memory

Genny Imas: Thank you, Carnegie Hall!

Favorite Concert

Deborah Reid: Fabulous Dianne Reeves Concert

Fondest Memory

Patricia Riley: A Member of the Family

Fondest Memory

Antonia: Meeting Arvo

Most Inspiring Experience

Robert Cart: Meeting my childhood idol

Most Inspiring Experience

John O'Brien: The Best

First Time

Randee Cope: Dreams Do Come True

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    • 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.

    • Fondest Memory

      Leslie Sullivan: The time I realized I made it

      On June 6, 2015 I had the wonderful chance to play on stage at Carnegie Hall as a freshman in high school. I played with Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony and it will forever be my greatest memory. Not only did I get to share this experience with my family and friends, I got to share the stage with amazing and talented musicians. Once you get on that stage, it hits you that you've finally made it.

    • Fondest Memory

      Ron Meyers: Highbrow and Low -- Bernstein Anniversary Concert, 1988

      My first semester at Columbia -- a gala concert for Bernstein's 40th anniversary with the NY Philharmonic. Put on a tux, got on the subway and climbed to the top balcony. Leonard Bernstein conducting a full program of his own works. Sublime! Took my date to the Russian Tea Room for dessert, but they wouldn't just do dessert. So we got ice cream cones across the street and walked back uptown.

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Adrian Seykora: Senior Trip 2014

      It was my senior year of high school and my orchestra friends and I had been waiting for this trip to New York since we were freshmen. When I stepped onto that stage for the first time I was amazed. It was a feeling I had never felt before and in that moment all my emotions hit and I started crying. Never in a million years had I thought I would get to play Carnegie Hall with some of my closest friends. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and something I look back on all the time and will cherish. Carnegie Hall is beautiful and I hope to go back again sometime soon!

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Rebecca Finn: Dreams really do come true

      About five years ago, at the mere age of eleven, I took a trip to New York with my family. I took in the view of a breathtaking Carnegie Hall and inquired as to what this large building was. My father's response was simply, "It is the most prestigious music hall in the world." Since that moment, I had my heart set on one day performing on that stage. Some how, some way, I would make it happen. Fast forward to today, and I am now preparing my concert material for when I take the Carnegie stage on June 14. Through countless hours of practicing, the support of my family, my wonderful teachers, and the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, it seems as though my dreams are beginning to come true!

    • Fondest Memory

      Edward Staub: Practice, Practice, Practice

      My daughter once lived on W56th - directly across the street from Carnegie. Years ago, I came into the City to visit her. We strolled around the neighborhood. A stranger approached and actually asked us how to get to Carnegie Hall. Before I could get the word “practice” out of my mouth, my daughter intervened with directions: “ turn right at the next corner and then turn left onto 57th Street…” I felt like screaming NO, NO, NO! A missed opportunity! An opportunity that likely will never present itself again.

    • Most Unusual Experience

      Isolde Blum: From childhood to senior years, music has always taken me through.

      As a 5 year old Holocaust refugee, I grew up in very stark, meager circumstances in New York, but music was always a constant in my home. My mother, although she had grown up in a farming village in Bavaria, had a great knowledge of music from years she had spent studying in a larger city, Stuttgart. In our walk-up tenement apartment, there was always a soft radio playing classical music, and there was often my mother singing or humming while she cooked, washed, ironed, cleaned. One of my dreams as I was growing up was to hear classical music performed live, and when I was able to buy my own ticket, I began coming to Carnegie Hall. I have seen a huge panoply of artists here, from Frank Sinatra, to Judy Garland, to Cleo Laine, to Barbara Cook, and to the current classical artists, Renee Fleming, Anne-Sophie Mutter, and, now, Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax. Perhaps two of the most memorable events I attended at Carnegie Hall were my son's graduation from the High School of Music and Art and seeing him sitting on that great stage, playing viola with the school orchestra, listening to Erica Jong speak, telling the children to go out into the world and pursue their individual dreams. The other was seeing Max Raabe and the Palast Orchestra play music of German Jewish composers, who were banished to concentration camps, a thrilling performance, filled with nostalgia and delightful orchestrations and vocal charm. I will keep coming to Carnegie Hall until I am too old and unable to come. You have filled my long life with great pleasure and gratification. Thank you.

    • Most Unusual Experience

      Harry Saltzman: Carnegie Recital Hall Debut

      On October 6, 1964, a rainy Wednesday night, I conducted a concert by the Brooklyn College Chamber Chorus in the space that is now Weill Hall. It was my first concert for which I wore formal dress. As I got out of my street clothes and prepared to don my rented tails, white tie and special shirt with French cuffs, I found to my horror that I had left the rented shirt home. I told the chorus of my predicament, and after a moment, one of the sopranos requested I sit down and relax. She returned a few minutes later with an ordinary long sleeved white shirt in hand. I gratefully took it, dressed and soon followed the chorus out on stage. As I turned to bow, I saw the soprano's boyfriend sitting in the audience, wearing a long raincoat buttoned from top to bottom. He looked like your "friendly neighborhood flasher." And no one in the audience knew that he was dressed that way so that I could conduct fully clothed.

    • Favorite Concert

      Heather Herron-Libson: I Was Missing SF Symphony

      My husband and I have attended several concerts at Carnegie Hall since we moved from California to NYC 1.5 years ago. We've enjoyed all that we've seen, but last Thursday's performance by San Francisco Symphony is our absolute favorite. While living in Northern CA, we were subscribers to SF Symphony for more than a decade and we have missed seeing their performances regularly. We love MTT's programming and the level of musicianship throughout the company. Getting to hear them play Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde is a treat I will never forget!

    • First Time

      Glen Mancuso: John William Tribute

      Friday night my wife and I took our grandchildren to see the NY Pops tribute to John Williams. Thomas is 10 and Victoria is 9. It was a beautiful evening. Just watching their faces and eyes as they heard the same music I play in the car when they are with me. It was a very special evening. Couldn't have asked for anything better. Thank you NY Pops.

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Chris Murray: The Rolling Stones First Concert in New York City

      I had the good fortune of attending The Rolling Stones' first concert in New York City. It was June 20, 1964, and the Stones were playing afternoon and evening gigs at Carnegie Hall. I went to the afternoon show, and the Stones blew my mind. I was a junior in high school in Manhattan. That year, a friend and I had started going to the Saturday afternoon concerts at Carnegie Hall. My initiation into live music was a truly amazing show by Ray Charles and his orchestra. We also saw the Beach Boys and the Dave Clark Five. While leaving one of those concerts, we were handed a small card with a photo of the most unusual-looking band I had ever seen. The card read, "England's newest sensation, the Rolling Stones." We had never heard of them. It was Carnegie Hall's next show, and we decided to go. Nearly fifty years have passed, but I will never forget the incredible buzz from that concert. It changed everything for me. The set included "Not Fade Away," "Walking the Dog," "Route 66," and "I Just Wanna Make Love to You," among others. I had not seen or heard anything like it since Elvis. The so-called "English Invasion" was on, but this was the first English band I saw the took American blues and R&B to rock 'n' roll. Mick Jagger's dancing and singing were hot! Brian Jones's charisma was so strong he seemed to front the band. Keith was the root of it all musically, and Bill and Charlie were rock steady. Together, the Rolling Stones made all the girls scream. Five decades later, the Rolling Stones are still rolling. No other musical group has endured like they have.

    • Most Unusual Experience

      Eunice Townsend: My Passion for Nina and Carnegie Hall

      I was introduced to the amazing talent of Nina Simone by a disc jockey named Symphony Sid. He played her music late at night when most working people were sleeping. I was 12 years old at the time and in awe of the places jazz music could take you. "I Loves You Porgy" was a strong, sad, unforgettable cry for help. I somehow felt the intensity of the love Nina was singing about and wanted separately to see her on stage. That didn't happen until much later when I had the spiritual opportunity to go to Carnegie Hall where she was performing. Even now as I recall the event I feel the same chill of excitement I felt then; the hairs on my arms acknowledge what's about to happen. A young black woman going to Carnegie Hall to see Nina Simone, I was in a place where the world was perfect. My first trip to Carnegie Hall was nothing less than spiritual, it was beautiful, large, and welcoming and it was where Nina Simone was going to perform any number of songs. The seats were plush and the ushers were helpful in directing my friend and I to our seats. We felt sophisticated, like we belonged there (and I've never stopped having that feeling whenever I visit). Finally, Nina Simone arrived on stage, the buildup was tantalizing and I was almost emotionally worn out by the time she stepped on that stage; however, she wasn't alone. She arrived with her guru and a child, I didn't realize at the time that it must have been her daughter. Well, I was speechless. Who performs on stage with their guru in tow? As usual when Nina appeared on stage, after the clapping and yelling, thereafter silence was demanded from her. This silence was strange, people were unable to comprehend what was happening. What was the purpose of the guru? Well, Nina went on to give an unbelievable performance. As the finale approached, the guru left the stage and Nina engaged in her African style gyrations and moaning the difficulties of being black, tears of joy welled up. Joy for having seen this genius, joy for being seated in the most beautiful hall I'd ever been in, joy for understanding her pain, and joy for being fully alive in Carnegie Hall.

    • Fondest Memory

      Genny Imas: Thank you, Carnegie Hall!

      I've been living in New York for almost 38 years. One of the first things in New York was my visit to 57th and 7th to see Carnegie Hall. I heard so much about it while living in the former Soviet Union, and being a big music lover it was one of my priorities to at least see this place, if not to attend a concert. Over the years I eventually attended many various wonderful and unforgettable performances here, bumped into many famous people, sat in a box next to Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras and experienced wonderful acoustics that Carnegie Hall is so well known about. Once I retired I have decided to volunteer at Carnegie Hall, first at the gift shop and then to become a docent, taking groups of visitors on a tour around one of the most famous music auditoriums in the world. I've been doing this for the last 6 years, and it is such a great pleasure and privilege to represent this place in front of so many people from all over the world. Each tour for me is learning something new about the Hall. There are endless stories about its history and musicians who performed here, and it is always a pity when we run out of time not being able to tell our visitors more. That is why I am always happy to stay after a tour, talk to our guests and answer their questions. During one of these tours I have met Monika, a tourist from Germany, who happened to be a wonderful, warm and friendly person. Once we started talking we both realized that something immediately clicked between us. To make my story short, we have become close friends, corresponding frequently, sharing our life stories with each other, visiting each other on both sides of Atlantic and introducing family members to each other. Not only Carnegie Hall presented me with a pleasure of hearing the best music, but also gave me a wonderful new friend!

    • Favorite Concert

      Deborah Reid: Fabulous Dianne Reeves Concert

      I attended the Dianne Reeves Concert on Wednesday, March 30 and it was extremely memorable. She is such a consummate artist and her voice is fantastic. I really enjoyed the venue and hope to see more concerts here.

    • Fondest Memory

      Patricia Riley: A Member of the Family

      I became a member of the Carnegie family when I taught at Ralph Bunche Elementary School in Harlem. I had the opportunity to experience three great concerts, and it is very difficult for me to choose. However, the last two concerts were great. Randy Weston and Dianne Reeves were phenomenal! The staff at Carnegie was accommodating, and professional. I will participate on a regular basis. Please continue with more modern jazz concerts.

    • Fondest Memory

      Antonia: Meeting Arvo

      Discovered the concert announcement by coincidence, in the subway. Got tickets, right before they sold out. An audience more diverse than we had ever seen at Carnegie before. A concert that was simply amazing... And then, at the end -- he appeared on stage, unexpectedly: Arvo Pärt. Frail and shy, waving us off through thunderous applause. I will never forget that evening.

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Robert Cart: Meeting my childhood idol

      Though I've performed at Weill Hall several times, I first performed on the Stern Auditorium stage with an orchestra in December 2014. We accompanied Sir James Galway, my childhood idol, and after the concert I actually spoke to him and finagled his autograph on my flute case. The selfie with Sir James and Lady Jeanne was great, too. It was a magical evening.

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      John O'Brien: The Best

      Couldn't be more proud of my daughter. She's been practicing and performing piano for 6 years now. This is her second performance at the famed Carnegie Hall. The name Carnegie Hall conjures up images of "the best." And that she certainly is.

    • First Time

      Randee Cope: Dreams Do Come True

      Fifty five years ago, when I was 5 years old, my family moved from New York City to Dallas, Texas. We lived next door to two accomplished classical pianists, and I remember their sister's face the morning we walked to school together when she told she was going to New York because her brothers were going to perform at Carnegie Hall. Of course I was happy for her, but as a child I did not really understand the magnitude of that. Fast forward many, many years... this night has been one of my hopes and dreams for my son, Todd Cope, principal clarinetist for the OSM. When he texted me one year ago that the OSM 2016 Tour included a performance at Carnegie Hall, I felt that exact same excitement and pride informing our family and friends as my friend did for her brothers. Being one of the world's premier concert halls, 71 of our family and friends from all over the world came together to experience this OSM performance of beautiful music at Carnegie Hall. It was an amazing evening!