Sunday, May 5, 2013

May 5 - Carnegie Hall

Practice, practice, practice! That’s how you get to Carnegie Hall, which opened on May 5, 1891, with an inaugural concert led by German maestro Walter Damrosch conducting the New York Symphony Society, and Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky conducting his “Festival Coronation March.” Construction of the Italian Renaissance-style building, begun in 1890, was financed by industrialist Andrew Carnegie to provide New York’s orchestra and Oratorio Society with their own venue. It consists of the Main Hall, Chamber Music Hall and Recital Hall, all of which have been renovated over time. The brick building avoided use of support beams by employing the Guastavino method of supporting arches; as a result, its concrete and masonry walls are several feet thick, affording the concert spaces with outstanding acoustical properties. It is one of the last large buildings in New York built entirely of masonry, without an internal steel framework. In 1960, organized protests saved Carnegie Hall from the wrecking ball.

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