Carnegie Hall is one of the most celebrated music venues in the world. This concert hall is located in Midtown Manhatten in New York City, about two blocks south of Central Park. Carnegie Hall hosts about 250 performances each season and has hosted a number of famous performers, performances and world premieres since it was opened in the late 1800’s. There are three separate performance halls on the site. The Main Hall (Isaac Stern Auditorium) is the largest performance hall with 2,804 seats, Zankel Hall is the second largest and the Weill Recital Hall is the smallest. Carnegie Hall is one of the largest buildings in the city made entirely from masonry and is well recognized as a landmark in the city. It is also listed as a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Let’s find out who designed this famous concert hall.
Who designed Carnegie Hall?
Carnegie Hall was the idea of Andrew Carnegie who paid for the construction. He served on the board of both the Oratorio Society of New York and the New York Symphony Society and the music hall was originally intended as a venue for these organizations. He chose fellow board member William B. Tuthill as the architect for the project. Tuthill extensively studied the great European concert halls and was known for his great musical ear (sometimes referred to as his “golden ear”). This meant that his design for Carnegie Hall led to some of the finest acoustics of any concert hall in the world!
Did you know?
The first performances began in April 1891, but the official opening of the new concert hall came a month later (May 5, 1891). This event was a concert conducted by Walter Damrosch and the famous Russian composer Tchaikovsky. It is believed that Tuthill left the building during this performance to check his drawings and ensure that his design would be able to support the weight of the large crowd!
Carnegie Hall was originally simply called “Music Hall,” but was renamed Carnegie Hall in 1893 after the governing body of the building persuaded Carnegie to allow his name to be used.