Festive Anniversary Concert Features Dazzling Line-Up of Special Guests:
Martina Arroyo, Emanuel Ax, Michael Feinstein, Renée Fleming, Marilyn Horne,
Lang Lang, Isabel Leonard, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and James Taylor, with the
Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Oratorio Society of New York Led by Pablo Heras-Casado
Carnegie Hall today announced that actor Richard Gere is set to host its 125th anniversary gala benefit concert on Thursday, May 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Carnegie Hall’s season-long 125th anniversary celebration reaches its pinnacle on May 5—exactly 125 years to the day since the Hall first opened its doors in 1891—with an all-star performance by many of the world’s most beloved artists, both Carnegie Hall artist trustees and longtime friends, including appearances by Martina Arroyo, Marilyn Horne, pianist Emanuel Ax, singer/pianist Michael Feinstein, soprano Renée Fleming, pianist Lang Lang, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and singer/songwriter James Taylor. Principal Conductor Pablo Heras-Casado leads the Orchestra of St. Luke’s—which has been presented by Carnegie Hall since 1986. The performance also features the Oratorio Society of New York (Kent Tritle, Music Director), an ensemble long associated with Carnegie Hall since its opening in 1891.
This historic performance will include a wide range of music as the evening’s featured artists—many of whom serve on Carnegie Hall’s board as Artist Trustees—salute the Hall’s illustrious history with an exciting mix of solo, chamber, and choral works, plus solo and ensemble selections from the worlds of opera, classical song, musical theater and contemporary popular song. The program features an array of works from Handel to Dvorák, from Richard Strauss to George Gershwin and James Taylor, and more.
Mercedes T. Bass is the Gala Lead Chairman for this event which benefits Carnegie Hall’s artistic and music education programs. The event’s Gala Chairmen Committee includes the Blavatnik Family Foundation; Annette de la Renta; Susan and Ed Forst; Frederick Iseman; JJR Foundation; Robert K. Kraft; Jenny and John Paulson; Sana H. Sabbagh; Beatrice Santo Domingo; Mrs. Henry T. Segerstrom; David M. Siegel and Dana Matsushita; Hope and Robert F. Smith; Sir Martin and Lady Cristiana Sorrell; S. Donald Sussman; and Joan and Sanford I. Weill. Bank of America and South Coast Plaza are Gala Sponsors. LVMH is the Gala Dinner Sponsor. The gala includes a black-tie dinner-dance at the Waldorf Astoria with the artists following the concert. The Gala Dinner-Dance will start at approximately 9:00 p.m. immediately following the performance. All gala benefit tickets are available by calling 212-903-9679 or visiting carnegiehall.org/specialevents.
Concert-only tickets—priced at $100 to $350—are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or online at carnegiehall.org.
On the eve of Carnegie Hall’s 125th birthday—Wednesday night, May 4—the top of New York City’s iconic Empire State Building will be lit “Carnegie Hall red,” honoring this special milestone anniversary.
About Carnegie Hall
Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie was inspired to build Carnegie Hall by his new wife, Louise, who sang in the Oratorio Society of New York. While on a honeymoon cruise to Scotland in 1887, Louise along with Walter Damrosch—conductor of the New York Symphony Society and Oratorio Society, also on his way to Europe—asked Carnegie to create a new home for music in New York City. The hall was designed by William Burnet Tuthill, a professional architect and cellist (and fellow Oratorio Society member), who had never built a concert hall before.
When the Hall’s cornerstone was laid in 1890, Carnegie proclaimed that “it is probable that this Hall will intertwine itself with the history of our country.” This was true from the start when it opened on May 5, 1891 with a spectacular concert featuring famed Russian composer Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, conducting his own music in his American debut. Since then, its walls have echoed with applause not only for the greatest classical, jazz, and popular musicians, but also for the foremost comedians, authors, social crusaders, world figures, and orators of our time.
It seems inconceivable now that Carnegie Hall, having fallen into disrepair in the late 1950s, was once slated for demotion. The building was saved only when bought in 1960 by the City of New York after a major campaign led by renowned violinist Isaac Stern and key civic leaders. The Hall was soon designated as a National Historic Landmark, and, after a series of significant building-wide renovations over the last thirty years, has been rejuvenated and transformed into one of the greatest homes for music and music education in the world today.
Gala Sponsors: Bank of America and South Coast Plaza
Gala Dinner Sponsor: LVMH
Concert-only Tickets: $100–$350