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Carnegie—The most storied concert hall in the world

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Famous Conductors' Debuts at Carnegie Hall

Used with permission of MidAmerica Productions, Inc.

Walter Damrosch 1891New York Symphony Orchestra

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 1891New York Symphony Orchestra

Anton Seidl 1892- Grand Concert featuring Dr. Antonín Dvorák

Emil Paur 1893 Boston Symphony Orchestra

Theodore Thomas 1898 Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Richard Strauss 1904 Wetzler Symphony Orchestra

Modest Altschuller 1904 Russian Symphony Society of New York

Willem Mengelberg 1905 New York Philharmonic

Gustav Mahler 1908- New York Symphony Orchestra

Josef Stransky 1911 New York Philharmonic

Leopold Stokowski 1914 Philadelphia Orchestra

Pierre Monteux 1918  Boston Symphony Orchestra

Arturo Toscanini 1921 La Scala Orchestra

Bruno Walter 1923  New York Symphony Orchestra

Serge Koussevitzky 1924  Boston Symphony Orchestra

Wilhelm Furtwängler 1925 New York Philharmonic

Igor Stravinsky 1925 New York Philharmonic

Fritz Reiner 1926 Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Otto Klemperer 1926  New York Philharmonic

Artur Rodzinski 1926 Philadelphia Orchestra

Thomas Beecham 1928 New York Philharmonic

Eugene Ormandy 1929 Members of the New York Philharmonic (Anna Duncan, dancer, concert)

Leon Barzin 1929 American Orchestral Society

Erich Kleiber 1930 New York Philharmonic

Antonia Brico 1935 New York Women's Symphony Orchestra

John Barbirolli 1936 New York Philharmonic

Nadia Boulanger 1939 New York Philharmonic

Dimitri Mitropoulos 1940 New York Philharmonic

Erich Leinsforf 1943 High School of Music and Art Senior Symphony Orchestra and Choral Ensemble

George Szell 1943 New York Philharmonic

William Steinberg 1943 New York Philharmonic

Leonard Bernstein 1943 New York Philharmonic

Charles Munch 1947 New York Philharmonic

Rafael Kubelik 1953 Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Herbert von Karajan 1955 Berlin Philharmonic

Alfred Wallenstein 1956 Unnamed orchestra -Arthur Rubinstein concert

Sir Georg Solti 1957 New York Philharmonic

Carlo Maria Giulini 1960 Israel Philharmonic

Karl Boehm 1960 New York Philharmonic

Seiji Ozawa 1961- New York Philharmonic

Bernard Haitink 1961 Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam

Zubin Mehta 1963 American Symhony Orchestra

Wolfgang Sawallisch 1964 Vienna Symphony Orchestra

Colin Davis 1964 London Symphony Orchestra

Pierre Boulez 1965 BBC Symphony Orchestra

Lorin Maazel 1968 Philadelphia Orchestra

Andre Previn 1968 American Symphony Orchestra

Daniel Barenboim 1968 London Symphony Orchestra

Michael Tilson Thomas 1969 Boston Symphony Orchestra

Claudio Abbado 1970 Boston Symphony Orchestra

Kurt Masur 1974 Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig

Riccardo Muti 1975 Philadelphia Orchestra

Mariss Jansons 1975 Moscow State Symphony

 Simon Rattle 1976 London Schools Symphony Orchestra

Neville Marriner 1980 Minnesota Orchestra

Charles Dutoit 1982  Montreal Symphony Orchestra

Herbert  Blomstedt 1983 Dresden Staatskapelle

Charles Mackerras 1983 English Chamber Orchestra

Sergiu Celibidache 1984 Curtis Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra

Riccardo Chailly 1985 Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin

Esa-Pekka Salonen 1988 Swedish Radio Orchestra

John Eliot Gardiner 1988 Orchestra of St. Luke's

Nikolaus Harnoncourt 1996 Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Gustavo Dudamel 2007 Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela

Marin Alsop 2008 Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Andris Nelsons 2011 Boston Symphony Orchestra

Yannick Nézet-Séguin 2012 Philadelphia Orchestra


On the Carnegie Stage

Reproduced from

Consistent Genius


Among the more unusual items in Carnegie Hall’s Archives is one related to pianist Vladimir Horowitz’s performances. Gino Francesconi, director of the Hall’s Archives and Rose Museum, recalls, “When Horowitz would come, he would bring his own Steinway piano from home. Every time, he would have the stagehands move the piano around the stage to achieve the best sound.


The stagehands noticed that every time he said, ‘I’m happy where it is,’ it was pretty much in the same spot. So one of the stagehands decided to drive three screws into the stage to mark where the three different legs of the piano would go. Horowitz would arrive, and he would say the same thing: ‘No, I’m not happy with it there,’ and the stagehands would move the piano around the stage until he said, ‘Yes, I’m happy with it here.’ It always ended up positioned directly alongside the three screws.

“Periodically at Carnegie Hall, we have the stage floor redone, and I was watching them removing the stage floor one particular time when I realized, ‘Oh my goodness, they’re taking up the Horowitz screws!’ So I yelled, ‘Save those screws!’ And they did. One of the screws is in the museum on display. It just shows how remarkably precise he was. Every time he was satisfied with the movement of the piano, it was almost always over those nails.”



Over a period of almost six decades, Horowitz appeared at Carnegie Hall nearly 100 times. He made his Hall debut on January 12, 1928—a mere 40 years after the Hall opened—with Sir Thomas Beecham and the New York Philharmonic (one of three concerts in four days), and appeared here for the final time on December 15, 1986, as part of the Hall’s gala reopening following an extensive renovation. (Other artists who performed at the gala included Leonard Bernstein, Yo-Yo Ma, Marilyn Horne, and Frank Sinatra.)

The Comeback

On February 25, 1953, Horowitz performed a recital that included works by Brahms, Liszt, Scriabin, and Debussy. After he left the stage, he began an unannounced retirement from live performance. While he continued to release recordings, he did not perform again in public for 12 years. His return took place at Carnegie Hall on May 9, 1965; the news made the front page of The New York Times. As these were the days before telephone and online booking, people lined up around the block, from the Box Office on 57th Street around the corner to the stage door on 56th Street. Horowitz was back!

The great pianist went on to perform more than a dozen more concerts at Carnegie Hall through 1978, before returning once more after an eight-year hiatus to help celebrate the successful renovation of the Hall he had graced for nearly 60 years.

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