Opening Carnegie Hall

The Creation and First Performances of America’s Premier Concert Stage

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About the Book

Carnegie Hall is recognized worldwide, associated with the heights of artistic achievement and a multitude of famous performers. Yet its beginnings are not so well known. In 1887, a chance encounter on a steamship bound for Europe brought young conductor Walter Damrosch together with millionaire philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and his new wife, Louise. Their subsequent friendship led to the building of this groundbreaking concert space. This book provides the first comprehensive account of the conception and building of Carnegie Hall, which culminated in a five-day opening festival in May 1891, featuring spectacular music, a host of performers and Tchaikovsky as a special guest conductor.

About the Author(s)

Carol J. Binkowski is a musician, essayist, book reviewer (Library Journal) and nonfiction writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post among others. She lives in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

Carol J. Binkowski
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: 30 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9872-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2398-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Foreword by Gino Francesconi 1

Introduction 3

One • Beginnings 9

Two • Building 34

Three • The First Notes Performed 59

Four • Prelude to the Festival 84

Five • Opening Night—Tuesday: May 5, 1891 101

Six • Second Day—Wednesday: May 6, 1891 119

Seven • Third Day—Thursday: May 7, 1891 134

Eight • Fourth Day—Friday: May 8, 1891 149

Nine • Grand Finale—Saturday: May 9, 1891 163

Ten • Postlude 178

Epilogue 187

Appendix I. Books for Further Study 189

Appendix II. Online Resources 190

Chapter Notes 192

Bibliography 215

Index 235