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Carnegie Hall’s 125th Anniversary Celebration
Season launches with Opening Night Gala concert with
Alan Gilbert, Evgeny Kissin, & the New York Philharmonic on October 7, 2015

All-star anniversary gala featuring Carnegie Hall Artist Trustees on May 5, 2016
marks 125 years to the day that Carnegie Hall first opened

125 Commissions Project
Carnegie Hall commemorates 125th anniversary by commissioning 125+ new works by established and emerging composers over next five seasons

Debs Creative Chair: Kronos Quartet
Pioneering group to hold Debs Chair for the launch of
Carnegie Hall’s 125 Commissions Project, as they begin their own
Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire initiative;
NYC residency includes Carnegie Hall concert and week-long workshop for young musicians

Perspectives: Evgeny Kissin, Sir Simon Rattle, and Rosanne Cash
Evgeny Kissin celebrates 25 years since his Carnegie Hall debut with six concerts, including performances in opening and closing weeks of the season with the
New York Philharmonic and The MET Orchestra

Sir Simon Rattle launches two-season Perspectives leading
complete Beethoven symphony cycle with the Berliner Philharmoniker

Singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash curates four-concert celebration of Southern roots music featuring appearances by The Time Jumpers;
Ry Cooder / Sharon White / Ricky Skaggs; and St. Paul and The Broken Bones

The Somewhere Project
Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute launches citywide creative learning project
exploring West Side Story, culminating in large-scale production
of the musical in restored factory in Queens, NY
conducted by Marin Alsop and directed by Amanda Dehnert, March 4–6, 2016

(For Immediate Release: January 28, 2015, NEW YORK)—Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director, today announced Carnegie Hall’s 2015–2016 season consisting of more than 170 concerts as well as wide-ranging education and community programs created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. The upcoming season includes performances by many of the world’s greatest artists and ensembles representing classical, pop, jazz, and world music, with events presented on Carnegie Hall’s three stages, in the Hall’s new Resnick Education Wing, and throughout New York City.

Among the major season programming highlights announced by Mr. Gillinson are plans to celebrate Carnegie Hall’s 125th anniversary with two gala concerts as well as the launch of a major commissioning project, to result in the premieres of at least 125 new works from the Hall’s 2015–2016 to 2019–2020 seasons. To mark the beginning of the five-year project, Carnegie Hall has appointed the contemporary music group Kronos Quartet to hold the position of the Richard and Barbara Debs Creative Chair for the 2015–2016 season.

Mr. Gillinson also announced three Perspectives series of artist-curated programs for 2015–2016 with pianist Evgeny Kissin celebrating 25 years since his Carnegie Hall debut across six concerts, conductor Sir Simon Rattle launching a two-season series with a complete Beethoven symphony cycle in five November concerts with the Berliner Philharmoniker, and singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash curating a four-concert series focusing on American roots music.

As a major highlight of the Hall’s extensive education and community programs in the new season, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) launches The Somewhere Project, a citywide exploration of West Side Story in spring 2016. This unique creative learning project will engage students and community members through events in all five New York City boroughs, anchored by a large-scale professional-level production of the iconic musical in March 2016 at Knockdown Center, a restored factory in Queens, conducted by Marin Alsop and directed by Amanda Dehnert.

“In creating this 125th anniversary season, we wanted to build for the future while remaining strongly rooted in Carnegie Hall’s heritage and legacy of legendary performances. We were excited about celebrating who we are today and—even more so—looking ahead,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s executive and artistic director. “Alongside our terrific line-up of concerts this season by many of the world’s great artists, we’re eager to set sail on our five-year commissioning project and to engage more and more people in New York and around the world through the Hall’s growing education and community mission. As Carnegie Hall embarks on its next 125 years, we are working to ensure that it remains a key destination for all those who love music and an institution that plays a meaningful role in people’s lives.”

2015–2016 Season Highlights Overview

Carnegie Hall launches its 125th anniversary season with a celebratory Opening Night Gala concert on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 by the New York Philharmonic led by Music Director Alan Gilbert, and featuring pianist Evgeny Kissin, who kicks off his season-long Perspectives series playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The Opening Night program also includes the world premiere of a fanfare by Magnus Lindberg, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and commencing an ambitious 125th anniversary commissioning project, which will result in at least 125 new works commissioned from leading composers—both established and emerging—to be premiered at the Hall between the 2015–2016 and 2019–2020 seasons.

Tied to the launch of its 125 Commissions Project, Carnegie Hall has appointed the groundbreaking contemporary ensemble Kronos Quartet to hold the Richard and Barbara Debs Creative Chair for the upcoming season. Fifty of Carnegie Hall’s 125 anniversary commissions will be part of Kronos’s project Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, in which 10 new works will be co-commissioned by Kronos and Carnegie Hall each year for five years. As a central part of its Debs Creative Chair residency, Kronos Quartet leads a week-long workshop for student and young professional quartets in April presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, capped by a public performance in Zankel Hall. In addition, Kronos performs the world premiere of a Fifty for the Future commissioned work at its own Zankel Hall performance in April alongside premieres of music by Karin Rehnqvist and Fodé Lassana Diabaté.

Carnegie Hall’s 125th anniversary celebration reaches its pinnacle on Thursday, May 5, 2016—exactly 125 years to the day that the Hall first opened its doors—with an all-star gala featuring appearances by Carnegie Hall’s esteemed artist trustees: Martina Arroyo, Emanuel Ax, Renée Fleming, Marilyn Horne, Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, Audra McDonald, Jessye Norman, and James Taylor. Carnegie Hall’s Perspectives series of artist-curated programs continue in 2015–2016, with pianist Evgeny Kissin, conductor Sir Simon Rattle, and singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash each offering concerts highlighting their artistic vision and musical virtuosity.

Evgeny Kissin performs a series of six concerts showcasing the pianist’s remarkable versatility, performing two grand concertos by Russian composers with two world-renowned New York orchestras: the New York Philharmonic with Alan Gilbert and The MET Orchestra with James Levine. Mr. Kissin also takes part in a trio concert with distinguished performers violinist Itzhak Perlman and cellist Mischa Maisky; champions the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Albéniz, and Larregla in a solo recital program performed twice within one week; and a special program in which he recites Yiddish poetry in a performance that celebrates Jewish musical traditions.

Sir Simon Rattle’s Perspectives series spans two Carnegie Hall seasons, beginning in 2015–2016 with a complete cycle of Beethoven’s nine symphonies, which he performs with the legendary Berliner Philharmoniker in five concerts over five consecutive days.

Singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash curates a four-event Perspectives series, offering concerts that represent the rich and disparate elements of American roots music, from traditional bluegrass and country to soul music, and from Western swing to hardscrabble, virtuosic folk music. Featuring some of the greatest artists working in these fields, the concerts are a celebration of the thread of Southern roots music, showcasing a soulful and quintessentially American cultural form. She hosts three concerts in Zankel Hall—by the 11-piece band The Time Jumpers; by multi-instrumentalists Ry Cooder and Ricky Skaggs exploring traditional blues, gospel, and bluegrass with vocalist Sharon White; and by Alabama-based soul septet St. Paul and The Broken Bones. She concludes her Perspectives with her own concert in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, featuring songs from her critically acclaimed album The River & The Thread, plus other works with special guests.

Additional highlights of Carnegie Hall’s season include performances by an array of top American and international orchestras and acclaimed performers, including two concerts by The Cleveland Orchestra, the first led by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, the second featuring two Mozart piano concertos with Mitsuko Uchida as both soloist and conductor; The English Concert and Artistic Director Harry Bicket continuing their multi-year project presenting Handel operas and oratorios at Carnegie Hall with a performance of Orlando with Iestyn Davies in the title role; pianist Yefim Bronfman performing a complete Prokofiev piano sonata cycle over three concerts; and an audience sing-along of popular American songs with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe.

Jazz and world music highlights include the return of Dianne Reeves, one of the foremost jazz singers in the world, for an evening of swinging, sultry song; legendary pianist and composer Randy Weston celebrating his 90th birthday with a performance by his African Rhythms ensemble, which combines the rich music of Africa with the African-American tradition of jazz; and concerts featuring Spanish flamenco guitarist Vincente Amigo and a double bill showcasing Portuguese fado, Spanish flamenco, and Latin song traditions with vocalists Ana Moura and Buika.

Season pop highlights include a concert by mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and some of her closest musical friends singing standards, American songbook, and folk and pop tunes; an audience-sing along with gospel singers Donnie McClurkin and Kim Burrell led by producer, composer, and director Ray Chew; Tony Award–winning singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik performing selections from his latest album and versatile catalogue of music in Zankel Hall. In addition, Steven Reineke and The New York Pops present six performances with special guests to include Montego Glover, Capathia Jenkins, and Sy Smith for a concert tribute to the music of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald; as well as holiday concerts with Tony Award nominees Stephanie J. Block and Brian d’Arcy James.

Music education and community programming created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) continues to expand, serving people of all ages in all five boroughs of New York City, nationally, and around the globe. 2015–2016 WMI highlights include The Somewhere Project, a citywide exploration of West Side Story that culminates in professional-level production of the iconic musical in a restored factory in Queens, NY, conducted by Marin Alsop and directed by Amanda Dehnert; workshops and master classes for young professional musicians by leading artists, including mezzo-sopranos Marilyn Horne and Stephanie Blythe, baritone Sir Thomas Allen, pianist Mitsuko Uchida, and Kronos Quartet; expanded family, after-school, and teacher training programs in Carnegie Hall’s new Resnick Education Wing; and a historic July 2015 first tour of China by the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America conducted by Charles Dutoit with pianist YUNDI.

For a fifth consecutive year, Carnegie Hall and WQXR 105.9 FM in New York will partner to produce Carnegie Hall Live, an engaging nationwide live broadcast and digital series featuring 12 performances from Carnegie Hall’s season. To encourage community and conversation, the series offers robust digital content surrounding each concert, including live web chats, Twitter commentary by the broadcast team from backstage and in the control room, live and on-demand audio, special videos, program notes, photo galleries, and more. The full schedule of the 2015–2016 Carnegie Hall Live broadcasts will be announced at a later date.

For the eleventh consecutive year, Bank of America will be Carnegie Hall’s season sponsor. “On behalf of everyone at Carnegie Hall, I’d like to thank Bank of America for their remarkable support, not only here at the Hall, but working with arts and cultural organizations all around the world,” said Mr. Gillinson. “We are very grateful for our continued partnership, one that plays a central role in helping us to bring inspirational musical experiences to audiences at Carnegie Hall and throughout New York City.”

“Bank of America is pleased to enter our eleventh year as season sponsor of Carnegie Hall,” said Rena DeSisto, Global Arts and Culture Executive for Bank of America. “This partnership is emblematic of our longstanding commitment to be a leader in supporting the arts around the world, through partnerships with world class institutions such as Carnegie Hall, to local programs that make the arts thrive in local communities. We believe strongly that cultural organizations and programs are part of the foundation on which healthy communities and economies are built.”

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Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

Breguet is the Exclusive Timepiece of Carnegie Hall.

MasterCard is a Proud Supporter of Carnegie Hall.

United is the Official Airline of Carnegie Hall.

Click here for a complete season press kit.

For complete 2015–2016 season information, including concert calendar, please visit

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