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!

Fondest Memory

Li Liu: Unforgettable Night

Fondest Memory

Joanne Bouknight: Backstage at a Carnegie Hall debut

Most Inspiring Experience

Charlotte: Flying solo

Favorite Concert

Yakov Keiserman: An event to remember

First Time

Tom Ruppe: Country in Carnegie

Fondest Memory

Emmanuel Jerume: An Evening of Romance: Best Marriage Proposal Ever!

Most Inspiring Experience

Paul Puccioni: Tom Paley returns to play at Carnegie Hall after a 66 year gap!

Fondest Memory

Debbie Iannucci: Our Magical Night

Most Unusual Experience

Ana Paola: Andrew is for the Birds (Only they will be able to sing it)

Fondest Memory

Helene Feldman Szabo: My father, the violinist

Most Inspiring Experience

Kathryn Mabry: MJ's "HEAL THE KIDS"

First Time

Ivy Pittman: Leontyne Price

Fondest Memory

Rebecca M: Practice Practice Practice

Most Inspiring Experience

Misha Keylin: How I got to (perform as soloist at) Carnegie Hall at age 11

Fondest Memory

Rebecca Melton: An Unforgettable Memory

Fondest Memory

Linda Bornschein: JK Rowling

Most Inspiring Experience

Keith Gibson: With Leonard Bernstein

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

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    • Fondest Memory

      Li Liu: Unforgettable Night

      Performing at Carnegie Hall is always a dream of every musician. The pursuit of this dream, like great winds, have carried me here from the furthest. In May 2016, I was invited to play at Carnegie Hall as the winner of competition. The timing aligned magically with my doctoral graduation. I felt it was like my graduation recital, which perfectly completed my doctoral study. What's more, the unforgettable night was also a sparkling starting point of my career as a pianist. Thank you, Carnegie Hall, for giving me such wonderful experience.

    • Fondest Memory

      Joanne Bouknight: Backstage at a Carnegie Hall debut

      I've been doing a personal Instagram drawing/archiving project titled This Day in Family History, and March 6, 2002, is one of those days, and this drawing is my commemorative post. On that day, our elder son, Cornelius, 12, sang the boy solo in Bernstein's brilliant Chichester Psalms with The Oratorio Society of New York in Carnegie Hall. The boy solo evokes the shepherd David, who serenely sings Psalm 23 before and after an angry men's chorus sings the raging Psalm 2 (that angry bit came from a discarded West Side Story fragment). Cornelius sang under the direction of the warm, kind and talented Lyndon Woodside. It was an exciting evening (not to mention the rehearsals 2 days before in a cavernous church basement on Park Avenue). I took no photos during the concert, as I was firmly told not to (this was before you could sneak cell phone photos), so I couldn't really draw the stage with Cornelius singing, so I made these sketches from photos & video stills from before & after the concert, as I had taken a small film camera and a video camera with me. But after filming for a minute or two backstage during the warmup (which is how I got that image of Neilie standing in the giant doorway waiting to do a quick rehearsal) I was ordered to stop. I discovered the next day I'd accidentally--honest!--left the video camera on record when I put it in my purse and thus recorded all kinds of stuff, including a conversation with the wonderful woman who was in charge of Neilie's floor (I wish I remembered her name! She'd worked there years, was blonde & 50s, and nicely but firmly told me when it was time for me to leave my son & go to my seat--she would make sure Cornelius got on stage in time). As it turns out, I also recorded the entire Chichester Psalms. Since we did not sit close to the stage and my purse was zipped shut, the sound is super muffled, but it's there! Brad Harris was Neilie's voice teacher, and Brenda Harris is a fabulous opera singer, and was Neilie's mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors a few months before, and she has sung in Carnegie Hall more than a few times. We offered Neilie the option of sleeping in the next day but he went to school at 7:30 am because he didn't want to miss building rockets in first-period science.

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Charlotte: Flying solo

      Growing up in a third-world country, all I've known of the greatest musicians had been through a screen. But in 2013, I had my first chance ever to see the Wiener Philharmoniker at the Carnegie Hall. A 21 year old kid, I commuted by myself for 5 hours to the City and I remember it was magical being in a historical hall, watching what was easily the pinnacle of classical music. I left a changed person, eternally moved by a profoundly transformative experience.

    • Favorite Concert

      Yakov Keiserman: An event to remember

      I was unemployed. On that night 1am Sunday i left my girlfriend, bought Sunday Times and boarded F train to go home. After going through help wanted ads i looked at arts and leisure section. It was a minor miracle that I noticed tiny postage stamp size ad about my dearest most precious favorite singer from France Mireille Mathieu performing at Carnegie Hall. My heart skipped quite a few beats. Needless to say first thing in the morning i ran through the snow, ice, pools of water to get tickets. In all my excitement i made a mistake and went to the Radio City. People at the box-office there had no clue and i nearly had a heart attack. Realizing finally my mistake i went to the Carnegie Hall , got a very good tickets in the orchestra for me and my girlfriend. The concert exceeded all very high expectations. My favorite singer is a petite lady but a giant of a singer. What a match, me, my girlfriend, Carnegie Hall and Mireille Mathieu. Memories of this event will stay with me for the rest of my life.

    • First Time

      Tom Ruppe: Country in Carnegie

      In 1969 I heard my first song by Tom T Hall at age of 17 and enjoyed his music and songs while working at a factory in S. Plainfield NJ 2 of my co-workers developed a love and admiration for Tom T Hall we were non-conformist compared to others in our age group as far as music went. When we heard Tom T and Johnny were coming to Carnegie we got tix right away. I don't recall the date in 72 or 73 when we went to see him but I recall walking into the concert area and looking around and said this is the Basilica of all Music Halls I also remember the kindness of the usher to 3 kids in their early 20's that was almost 45 years ago.

    • Fondest Memory

      Emmanuel Jerume: An Evening of Romance: Best Marriage Proposal Ever!

      On September 18, 2016, I had the great privilege of producing a classical music concert, featuring the Manhattan Chamber Players, in honor of my then-girlfriend Danielle LaJeunesse. I was able to surprise her, our family members, our friends and members of the general public (who were present for the soirée). The sole purpose of the concert was to use it as the backdrop to propose to Danielle… and she said YES. It took me over a year to plan surprise concert. Nonetheless, well worth the effort because it was an amazing and emotional night for me and Danielle. I will cherish the memory of this September night forever. The joke goes: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.” Now, I can change my answer to ‘fall in love and produce a classical concert for your girlfriend.’ Carnegie Hall is not just a New York institution and an icon. It is now a part of my life story and wherever I may find myself in the future, I will always have a piece of Carnegie Hall with me.

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Paul Puccioni: Tom Paley returns to play at Carnegie Hall after a 66 year gap!

      The great Lead Belly played his last ever concert at Carnegie Hall in 1949. On that bill was a young musician called Tom Paley. Tom went on to form The New Lost City Ramblers and became a folk artist of world-renown. Tom Moved to England in the 1960s. I was putting on a tribute concert to Lead Belly called Lead Belly Fest at London's Royal Albert Hall with artists such as Van Morrison and Eric Burdon of the Animals. If I was paying tribute to the great bluesman I knew I needed Tom Paley to be on that bill. He was sensational! On the back of that concert I decided to bring the event to New York City and especially to Carnegie Hall because of Lead Belly's history with the venue. I secured artists such as Buddy Guy, Eric Burdon, Edgar Winter, Marky Ramone and many more. Included in this line up was 89 year old Tom Paley, now the last man alive to have shared a stage with Lead Belly. With the projector shining a huge image of Lead Belly onto the back wall, Tom Paley walked out to play with his son Ben. He sat down, looked around the hall and was perhaps transported back over half a century in that instant. He greeted the audience and began to play the tune "On a Monday" as he had done in 1949. It was spell-binding. Briefly, time had no meaning as the audience was transported to that special, transcendental place that can only be reached by listening to a genius immersed in their playing. Tom was no longer 89, but now a youthful man of 23 with his life ahead of him. He was wide-eyed and happy, sharing the stage again for the first time with the musical titan that is Lead Belly.

    • Fondest Memory

      Debbie Iannucci: Our Magical Night

      In 2008 my partner and I went to see the messiah together for the first time. She knew it was my favorite piece of music. We got to be in the first row a real treat. I watched my mary gibney conduct quietly in her seat, it brought tears to our eyes. One year later my Mary passed away from cancer so I am so happy we had that night back in 2008 at the messiah, now I return every year alone with a small amount of Mary's ashes so that she can enjoy every performance at Carnegie. As I listen to each note played I can still see mary conducting quietly enjoying the performance. Thank you Carnegie hall for giving us such a wonderful night/experience back in 2008 I will be there in 2016 in her honor remembering her life.

    • Most Unusual Experience

      Ana Paola: Andrew is for the Birds (Only they will be able to sing it)

      Some artists weave their way into our lives in a very intimate, and magical way. I first encountered Andrew Bird, when walking through a maze of warehouses on my way to work in Chicago. I had no idea the music would steal my heart. I have walked across a concert in Central Park, and as haunting as the music, he followed me, across the Pulaski Bridge, when I needed a pick-me-up for my stroll during a tough time in my life. I recall trying to capture how the fireflies lit up in time with the violin melody in Central Park. Some artists can inspire beyond their ability to even know us. I am looking forward to honoring a great musician this coming week. Thank you Carnegie Hall, for helping me to honor and enjoy the music of a very talented artist.

    • Fondest Memory

      Helene Feldman Szabo: My father, the violinist

      My father, Irving (Isadore) Feldman played Carnegie Hall as a violinist in the 1930's. As a child, in 1957, 1958 and 1959, I had my piano recital at Carnegie Hall from m the piano teachers guild. My last year, 1959, the judge for my recital was Van Cliburn's mother The grandeur of the recital hall is a memory I still have today.

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Kathryn Mabry: MJ's "HEAL THE KIDS"

      On Valentine's Day 2/14/2001, I was blessed w/ tix from a fan club to attend Michael Jackson's campaign for his "Heal The Kids" foundation. I am an avid & loyal MJ fan & I felt privileged to attend this phenomenal event at this prestigious institution, in a box seat amongst a who's-who of celebrities, including one of his best friends, namely Elizabeth Taylor. To say I was inspired is understated, but visiting Carnegie Hall for my first time was forever memorable. I would return 11/21/2016 after winning tix to Christmas in NY which was exceptional & my ticket invited me to share my story. Thank you does not say enough!

    • First Time

      Ivy Pittman: Leontyne Price

      In September 1987 I had the pleasure of seeing Leontyne Price perform. It was my first time ever hearing a live opera singer. The magnitude of her voice gave me chills. The evening was magical for me. To this day I can still hear her voice and see her graciously bowing at the conclusion of her performance. It was truly a priceless experience.

    • Fondest Memory

      Rebecca M: Practice Practice Practice

      At an early age I took piano lessons. My six year old self didn't see the point of scales, and arpeggios. I hated fingering, and wanted to put the fingers I wanted, where I wanted. I remember always hearing music greats talk of Carnegie Hall, and it was always a dream of mine from those early years to play there. I would fantasize about playing there, never really thinking it would happen. A few years later, when I was 14, I started lessons from a new teacher, Mrs. Judith Fairchild. I never knew one person could make such a positive influence and impact on my life. She taught me to love scales, and that Bach fingering wasn't so bad. I started doing piano competitions, and after placing in an International Chopin Society competition, I got the news that I was invited to play at Carnegie Hall. It all seemed like this really long dream. When the day finally arrived that I walked inside the great hall, I pretty much took in every little detail as i walked through the historic building. I always figured that stepping out on stage, I would be a nervous wreck. But as I walked from side stage, towards the center, shining piano, I felt surprisingly calm and so humbled. I had the opportunity to play in such a rich and beautiful room, and all I wanted to do was play my heart out. Mrs. Judith, thank you for investing so much into me. Thank you for being such a huge part in my journey to Carnegie Hall. And above all, thank you for sharing this love of piano with me. To Carnegie Hall, thank you for providing such an awe-inspiring history of music that people have been able to enjoy for decades. This will always be a memory that I will cherish forever.

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Misha Keylin: How I got to (perform as soloist at) Carnegie Hall at age 11

      When I immigrated to the USA at nine and was immediately accepted as a violin student by the legendary Dorothy DeLay at The Juilliard School, I had no idea that just a few years down the line I would be called on to perform Wieniawski's Polonaise No. 1 in A major in a concert titled "Artist to End Hunger" at Carnegie Hall on December 6, 1981. To have shared the stage that night with legendary classical figures such as Renee Scotto, Grace Bumbry, Cleveland Quarter, amongst others, this was a dream come true for me. Although I have gone on to perform in nearly 60 countries on five continents (including other Carnegie Hall performances), this is still probably the greatest professional experience that I have ever had. Long live the beautiful stage and the acoustics!

    • Fondest Memory

      Rebecca Melton: An Unforgettable Memory

      Growing up, there was never really a time that I can remember when I didn't know how to play piano. My older sisters had taught me since I was little. I took a break and played violin for a few years, but eventually I came back to piano. Piano was always where my heart was. When I was twelve I began taking formal lessons, and quickly went into competing as well. Most people know the old joke, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Pracice Practice practice! Playing at Carnegie Hall was always a dream of mine since I was seven years old. It has always been a motivator for me as a musician, to put my heart into everything I do, and one day, maybe I would get to perform there. Fast forward a few years of competing, and after placing at an International Chopin Society competition, I was given the opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall when I was fifteen. The day I went to New York to play, was one of the most inspiring things. To walk through a building so rich with history and passion was surreal. During this time, my family broke the news to me that I had to stop taking lesions and doing competitions because we couldn't financially do it. Carnegie Hall was the last place that I've performed, and going in knowing that, I wanted to put every emotion into the song I played, leaving it all on the stage. Beethoven said, "To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable." I have continued to play piano for my church and have taken any opportunity I get to express myself through this great language of music. So thank you, to Carnegie Hall, for giving me the chance to show my love for music there.

    • Fondest Memory

      Linda Bornschein: JK Rowling

      What an amazing venue for JK Rowling to share her passion and mission with her Lumos foundation to get children out of institutions and back to their families! Seeing this amazing author and humanitarian speak was magnificent and then getting to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was icing on the most delicious of cakes! The world is so lucky to have the words of JK Rowling!

    • Most Inspiring Experience

      Keith Gibson: With Leonard Bernstein

      Performing with the Conductor Leonard Bernstein.

    • 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.