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Architecture for Music: Carnegie Hall

This is the Sunday Series, a peek of things in the art music world.

Music has a close bound with architecture for quite some time. Concert halls and opera houses are also the ones which effects the music and also effected by music. These structures are devoted to music, from within them we witness the grow of musical arts.

This series presents the beauty of the structure, in which music creativity flows abundantly.


This is the Carnegie Hall, one of the main concert hall in North America. Located in New York, it is also one of the oldest concert hall still standing intact in the continent. Once a home for New York Philharmonic, this building is known for its quality and fame in the world of music, not just classical music, but also jazz and pop music industry.

It is named Carnegie after its main philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie Hall has 3 concert spaces, Isaac Stern Auditorium, Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall.

Isaac Stern Auditorium / Ronald O. Perelman Stage
The largest hall at Carnegie Hall has been the premier classical music performance space in the United States since its opening in 1891, showcasing the world’s greatest soloists, conductors, and ensembles. The hall was dedicated the Isaac Stern Auditorium in 1996, and the stage was dedicated the Ronald O. Perelman Stage in 2006. Throughout its century-plus history, the space has been the forum for important jazz events, historic lectures, noted educational forums, and much more. Designed by architect and cellist William Burnett Tuthill and renovated in 1986, the auditorium’s striking curvilinear design allows the stage to become a focal point embraced by five levels of seating, which accommodates up to 2,804.

Many legends of music performed here, and it is still a dream for many aspiring musicians to play in this very hall. This 2800-seat building is always the milestone for musicians who wants to ‘conquer’ North America. This saying proves it, ” To conquer Carnegie Hall is to conquer America.”

Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall
The new Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall opened in September 2003 as the site of a broad spectrum of performing and educational events. When it first opened its doors In 1891, Carnegie Hall comprised three auditoriums: the Main Hall, the Chamber Music Hall, and the Recital Hall, located underneath the Main Hall. The Recital Hall was leased to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1895 and was used as a theater by various groups until the early 1960s, when it was converted to a cinema. In 1997, a process began to reclaim the space for its original purpose, and construction began to create a versatile auditorium generally seating 599, with alternate stage configurations of different capacities.

This building is also leased for many institutions. Several artist even make his/her home in this very building while others have their studios in the complex. At the beginning of 2008, there is a plan to restore the entire building just for performance spaces, evicting those residents of the building. Without them the Carnegie Hall will be easier to be maintained. Eventhough this plan is very reasonable, it also threatens the life and the true nature of this historical building.

I don’t quite know the further story of this plan, but if you have any update upon this matter please make a comment below…. and let us know….

Joan and Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall
Located on the third floor of Carnegie Hall, the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall is an intimate auditorium ideal for recitals, chamber music concerts, symposia, discussions, master classes, and more. Seating 268 people, the elegant auditorium evokes a Belle Epoque salon and is “remarkable for the symmetry of its proportions and the beauty of its decorations,” according to a review from 1891, when the hall was known as the Chamber Music Hall.


About mikebm (1339 Articles)
An arts journalist, a conductor, an educator, a young arts manager whose passion drove him to leave a multinational IT cooperation to study Arts Administration and Cultural Policy in London and went back to Indonesia to build the scene there.

1 Comment on Architecture for Music: Carnegie Hall

  1. Good day! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your articles. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same subjects? Thanks!auto showroom

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