In November 2013, the Carnegie Hall Archives moved into its new spaces after a two-and-a-half–year renovation. Our collections—including more than 30,000 concert programs, 14,000 photographs, 6,000 posters, 2,500 architectural drawings, and hundreds of boxes of administrative records—were stored at the Fortress in Long Island City. Members of the Fortress team helped us return everything safely to our new high-density storage room at Carnegie Hall. Here’s what the move looked like ... in less than a minute. (And if you’re wondering why it’s taken so long for us to share this, we’ve been working on preserving and digitizing most of our archival treasures so that we can make them more easily accessible to everyone. Look for an update on those activities soon!)
We went to the streets of New York City and asked, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” This is what they answered ...
Renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato presents a series of three master classes focusing on opera arias. Four singers have been selected to participate in this set of public events, which will be held in Carnegie Hall’s Judith and Burton Resnick Education Wing on January 8–10, and streamed live online via medici.tv.
DiDonato’s performances have been called “a model of singing in which all components of the art form—technique, sound, color, nuance, diction—come together in service to expression and eloquence” by The New York Times.
Friday, January 8 | 4 PMJoyce DiDonato Master Class | Watch now ›
Saturday, January 9 | 4 PMJoyce DiDonato Master Class | Watch now ›
Sunday, January 10 | 4 PMJoyce DiDonato Master Class | Watch now ›
Amalia Avilán Castillo, Soprano
Miya Higashiyama, Mezzo-Soprano
Daniel Moody, Countertenor
Anthony Robin Schneider, Bass
Justina Lee, Piano
Adam Nielsen, Piano
Free replays of Joyce DiDonato's 2015 master classes in the Resnick Education Wing are still available for streaming until February 23, 2016.
With the passing of conductor and composer Pierre Boulez, Carnegie Hall celebrates the life of one of the most important and influential artists of the 20th century. Carnegie Hall was privileged to elect Pierre Boulez as an Honorary Trustee in 1995, and to appoint him as holder of the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair from 1999 to 2003. During the 1999–2000 season, he was one of the Hall’s first Perspectives artists.
Boulez made approximately 75 appearances at Carnegie Hall, conducting close to 60 performances on our stages, and his works have been performed on more than 80 programs.
Pierre Boulez conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on January 31, 2010. Photo by Steve J. Sherman.
A legendary composer, conductor, musical philosopher, and activist, Pierre Boulez was a visionary and trailblazing global force for modern music. As an arts educator, he was inspirational, challenging audiences to explore a new aesthetic of music through his musical research center IRCAM and offering profound insights to young musicians during the Professional Training Workshops he led through Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. Boulez’s work in Paris served as an inspiration in the conception of Zankel Hall, the opening season of which included performances by Boulez with Ensemble Intercontemporain.
Pierre Boulez will be deeply missed by all of us at Carnegie Hall and by the entire artistic community, though his brilliant musical legacy and pioneering spirit will stay with us all.
Pierre Boulez leads Ensemble Intercontemporain in a 2003 performance of his Répons, a piece that calls for seven separate stages with the conductor in the middle. Photo by Steve J. Sherman.
Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe invites you to sing along in a lively concert of favorite American songs on Saturday, January 23. Below, Stephanie Blythe shares her thoughts on the shared experience of music making.
Get tickets and sing along with her on January 23 here.
“Sing, America!” is an invitation, an opportunity for the performers and the audience to take one more step together in an effort to share the experience of performing, of making music. It’s an opportunity to have a personal encounter with songs that captured moments of our shared culture that reflect who we were and who we are. Throughout history, group singing has served an important function: as a way to pass oral traditions, to bolster the courage of fighting men and women, to support athletic teams, to share spiritual beliefs, to protest an injustice, to teach children, to celebrate a nationality, to entertain. In every instance, group singing has a very specific agenda: to create a community and sense of solidarity.
I remember where I learned to lead a group sing-along. It was at White Lake Covenanter Camp—a place run by my church that I attended first as a camper, then eventually as a counselor. Singing was a major part of our duties, as many of us did not only lead fun songs in the mess hall during meals or at the evening campfire, but we also learned to lead campers as well as our home congregations in four-part a cappella Psalm singing, which is a major component of our worship service.
I can’t recall the exact song I led the first time—it may have very well been “Down By the Old Mill Stream,” “The Grand Old Duke of York,” or “The Lord Will Light My Candle.” What ever it was, the feeling that group singing engendered in this awkward, nerdy, over-vocal teen was a sense of belonging—a feeling of joy that overwhelms the senses when voices are raised in the unanimity of song. That feeling is visceral for me, and I know it is for many, many other people as well. It is such a palpable feeling that it becomes a passion for some. In my case, it led to a career.
When I became a professional opera singer, I was 24. The process was overwhelming and incredibly fast. I barely knew what I was doing, but I found myself in a wonderful situation as a Young Artist at the Metropolitan Opera. As a young singer, I was totally immersed in opera and art song—I don’t think I can adequately describe the sensation of singing with a magnificent orchestra or a brilliant pianist. The flips that your stomach does when you are standing just behind the curtain and the stage manager gives you a preparatory warning that your entrance is seconds away ... The chills that come when you reach the end of a magnificent Mahler symphony, and you join the chorus in an exhortation of life eternal … These moments are indescribable! But I can tell you that the feeling of singing with the audience gives me just as much of a thrill.
I began singing Tin Pan Alley songs around the year 2000. My dear friend, mentor, and colleague Alan Louis Smith had written me an astounding song cycle for my 30th birthday called Vignettes: Ellis Island. The cycle is based on interviews collected by Paul Sigrist for the Ellis Island Oral Histories Project. These interviews revolved around the personal journeys of 20 immigrants, and the songs tell the stories in their own words. The cycle is so very specific in its topic and tone that for a moment we struggled over what to program alongside it. Then it suddenly became very clear to us that we should perform the songs that they would have heard in their new country in the early 20th century.
We offered five terrific Irving Berlin numbers: “If You Don’t Want My Peaches,” “You’d Be Surprised,” “Always,” “I Love a Piano,” and “What’ll I Do?” We also included nostalgic songs like Ray Henderson, Buddy DeSylva, and Lew Brown’s “If I Had a Talking Picture of You,” and cheeky ditties like “Go On and Coax Me” by Andrew B. Sterling and Harry Von Tilzer. It was that concert that made me curious about the music of Tin Pan Alley and the notion that this music was performed not only by professional artists, but primarily by folks in their own homes, reading sheet music at the piano in the parlor. This was active as well as passive entertainment.
After debuting this recital with Alan at the piano, I continued to tour it over the years with my collaborative partner Warren Jones. We offered this concert many times in several cities across the country, and even utilized the Tin Pan Alley portion of the concert in other programs. The songs were always welcomed with big smiles and often knowing nods of recognition. But one thing happened every single time we performed “Always.” Mouths across the audience would move along with mine as I sang—sometimes soft humming or singing would occur. Hands would reach for each other, often a tear would be wiped away. It became clear to me that this precious, shared moment could be more—that we could raise our voices together with Berlin’s words:
“I’ll be loving you, always.
With a love that’s true, always.
When the things you’ve planned,
Need a helping hand
I will understand, always.”
It took a few years and a few other experiments with group singing in recital to convince me that this could be offered on a larger scale, as in a whole concert. I realize that this isn’t a new idea, of course, but it was a new concept for me as a recitalist. Years after singing “Always” for the very first time with Alan, we presented it together again in a complete sing-along concert in the summer of 2014 at Tanglewood, with several piano and vocal fellows of the Tanglewood Institute. As we opened the concert with Berlin’s gem, I felt the energy of the crowd raise in anticipation of joining in with us. I looked out at that sea of smiling faces and felt the community forming. It is an experience we adore and are so grateful to share with you this afternoon. Thank you for being a part of this event. We invite you to raise your voice in song, and above all to have fun. “Sing, America!”
The holidays are here and no gift compares to cooking for the ones you celebrate this season with. Impress your holiday guests this season with recipes from STARR's Culinary Director Ashley James and Executive Pastry Chef Monica Glass.
Learn more about STARR Events.
1 large turkey (20–22 lbs.)
2 gallons water
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 sliced oranges
2 sliced lemons
1/2 cup pickling spice
1 tablespoon finely chopped chipotle chili
4 cinnamon sticks
6 pieces of star anise
2/3 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons separated
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons bread flour
1 cup pecans + 1/4 cup separated and chopped
1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
3 whole eggs
5 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 firm-ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Your baby loves to hear the sound of your voice, and the more words you sing to your baby, the better you can bond with him or her. Research shows that singing songs—like lullabies—supports your baby’s brain and language development.
Singing lullabies is also good for you as a parent! Singing to your baby can help create an important bond between you and your child. Studies have shown that a strong connection is key to healthy emotional development in young children.
We collaborated with Too Small to Fail to share some simple tips on how you can create your own lullaby to sing to your baby. Remember that as you sing, hold your baby close and look into his or her eyes. This helps your baby feel calm, safe, and loved. As a parent, you can use the lullaby to express hopes and dreams for you and your family. Take pride in making something special just for your little one.
A gentle song to help your child fall asleep
A favorite song you want to share with your child at bedtime
A special song you make up that is unique to you and your child
At bedtime, rock your baby and hum. A tune will probably come naturally. Let your mind wander, and when words pop into your head, try singing them to your tune. You can use any words that you want - if you can say it, you can sing it! And, even if you don’t feel confident about your singing, know that your voice is special to your child, and is the voice that your baby will love the best.
We call you ...
My nicknames for you are ...
We gave you your name because ...
You are my ...
safe ... home ... gentle
love ... sweet ... hush
night ... moon ... stars
I hope you ...
My wish for you is ...
In life you can ...
Watch this video for more information on how you can create your own lullaby:
Learn more about Carnegie Hall's Lullaby Project.
With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson reminisces recording for the original Star Wars soundtrack when he was a cellist for the London Symphony Orchestra.
John Williams brought the music recording for the first Star Wars film to the London Symphony Orchestra whilst I was still a cellist in the orchestra. Today it is hard to imagine there was ever a time when no one had heard of Star Wars! In those days, film music recordings were made with a large screen behind the orchestra on which the movie was shown, to enable the conductor to coordinate the music with the film. Nowadays, the conductor has a small screen that only s/he can see. We all used to spend every recording session both playing the music but also trying to watch the film out of the corner of our eye. However, as is the case with almost all movie soundtrack recordings, John recorded the music in short sections of perhaps one to five minutes, and completely out of order, so we had absolutely no sense of the story. Although we were all blown away by the music, it never occurred to any of us that we were playing a part in movie history; on the contrary, we all wondered who would ever go to see the film as it just looked like a light kids’ movie!
Once the movie was finished, George Lucas arranged a private London screening for everybody in the UK involved in making the film, including the orchestra musicians. Because the screening was free, almost every player attended, but with minimal expectations. All the more extraordinary then that at the end, the cinema exploded with applause; everyone was totally blown away by the film.
From that day onwards, there was not a Star Wars film or, for that matter, any film involving John Williams’ music, that anybody would ever have missed, even if they were at death’s door. The thing that to this day amazes me about John’s film music scores is that you only need to hear the first fragment of the music and the film appears before your eyes. He has a magical ability to capture the essence of a film from the first note of music.
Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program brings the transformative power of music to people in the justice system and in communities throughout New York City by offering workshops, concerts, and long-term projects designed to have a powerful impact on participants’ daily lives. Dennis, 15, first became involved with Carnegie Hall through a Musical Connections songwriting project at Passages Academy, a school for court-involved youth. Working with Nós Novo—a band that fuses Celtic, Brazilian, and jazz traditions—and hip-hop collective Circa ’95, Dennis and other participants developed songs over a series of workshops, recorded them in a professional studio, and celebrated their new works with a set of performances for family, friends, staff, and the community, including a concert at Carnegie Hall.
But Dennis didn’t stop there. During the songwriting sessions, he mentioned to Carnegie Hall staff that he played the violin, but after his previous instrument broke, he wasn’t able to get a new one. He had started learning violin at age seven, and said that playing the instrument calmed him down and kept him safe while growing up in an otherwise unsafe neighborhood. With encouragement from Carnegie Hall and the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, Dennis applied to receive a refurbished violin as part of the Student Promise Awards scholarship sponsored by StringQuest, an online music education site, writing, “If I had a violin, it would get me through the day when things are going south.” Thanks to his great essay and a nomination from Carnegie Hall, Dennis received a new instrument, giving him the opportunity to continue his musical exploration.
Dennis’s story is just one example of Carnegie Hall’s commitment to working with youth in the justice system.
Carnegie Hall continued to support Dennis in his musical pursuits once he transitioned home. He takes part in weekly Digital Music Production Workshops, part of the Hall’s new afterschool youth programming in the Resnick Education Wing. During the sessions, he works with professional musicians and producers to create, record, and produce his own music, gaining hands-on experience with creative software and audio-mixing consoles, while learning about music production techniques used in hip-hop, rap, and R&B. Dennis also learns the violin as part of the Harmony Program, a community-based afterschool string program.
Dennis’s story is just one example of Carnegie Hall’s commitment to working with youth in the justice system. Songwriting projects in juvenile justice facilities, public high schools, and other venues help keep vulnerable youth engaged in school and their communities, giving them the opportunity to tell their stories and build a positive sense of self. Young people on probation are also given the chance to explore the arts through transformative projects in a variety of disciplines as part of NeON Arts, a program of the NYC Department of Probation in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.
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