SANFORD I. WEILL TO RECEIVE CARNEGIE HALL MEDAL OF EXCELLENCE ON THURSDAY, MAY 28 AT CARNEGIE HALL; Mr. Weill Recognized for Outstanding Leadership in Business and Philanthropy, Including Dedicated Work Over Three Decades on Behalf of Carnegie Hall

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Mr. Weill Recognized for Outstanding Leadership in Business and Philanthropy,
Including Dedicated Work Over Three Decades on Behalf of Carnegie Hall

Sandy Weill, Medal of ExcellenceCarnegie Hall announced today that Sanford I. Weill will receive the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence at a gala benefit on Thursday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Terrace and Terrace Room. The award recognizes Mr. Weill’s outstanding leadership as a passionate philanthropist, exceptional businessman, and dedicated supporter of the arts who has worked tirelessly for more than three decades as a Carnegie Hall trustee to support and expand the scope of the Hall and its activities. It also honors Mr. Weill in recognition of his transition earlier this year from his longtime role as Chairman of Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees to his new post as President, succeeding Isaac Stern as only the second person to hold the this title since Carnegie Hall was established as a non-profit in 1960.

“We are thrilled to honor Sandy Weill by presenting him with Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence,” said Ronald O. Perelman, Chairman of Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees. “Sandy has achieved unparalleled accomplishments in the financial, education, and medical sectors, and has become one of Carnegie Hall’s most cherished benefactors over his twenty-four years as Chairman and his more than thirty years on the board. His unwavering leadership and generosity continue to propel Carnegie Hall into the future of music as one of the premier performance venues in the world.”

Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director, said, “Sandy’s leadership over the last three decades has been transformative for Carnegie Hall. Organizations could spend lifetimes looking for such a leader, and we are deeply grateful that the Hall has meant so much to him personally. The hard work and dedication of both Sandy and his wife, Joan, have made a meaningful difference in safeguarding this historic concert hall, and helping to define its future in terms of performances and education, as it continues to evolve to serve the audiences of today and tomorrow.”

“I’m very touched to receive this honor,” said Carnegie Hall’s President Sanford I. Weill. “Carnegie Hall is one of our world’s terrific treasures, and it’s been deeply rewarding to see it flourish over the years as a great concert hall, an important center for music education, and a place that brings people of many different cultures together through the power of music. Even as we appreciate all that’s been accomplished, it’s exciting to lay the groundwork for the Hall’s next 125 years, ensuring that music lovers will enjoy it for many generations to come.”

Carnegie Hall’s 2015 Medal of Excellence Gala is chaired by Ronald O. Perelman, Chairman and CEO, MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc.; Robert F. Smith, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, and Joan H. Weill, longtime philanthropist and arts supporter.

All proceeds from this gala evening benefit Carnegie Hall’s artistic, education, and community programs. The event also launches Carnegie Hall’s 125th Anniversary Campaign. The Campaign’s goal is to raise $125 million by May 5, 2016—the 125th anniversary of the opening of Carnegie Hall—in support of expanded artistic and educational programming as well as new digital initiatives in coming years.

The May 28 gala includes a cocktail reception in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Terrace Room followed by a seated dinner and award ceremony on the tented Weill Terrace atop the Hall. Gala tables are priced at $100,000, $60,000, and $30,000, and include a table of ten guests at the gala award dinner. Individual gala tickets are priced at $6,000 and also include dinner. To reserve gala tables and tickets, please call the Special Events Office at 212-903-9679 or email [email protected].

About the Honoree
Sanford I. Weill joined Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees in 1983 and was elected Chairman in 1991. In February 2015, he retired from his post as Chairman after twenty four remarkable years of service and a total of thirty two years as a Carnegie Hall trustee, transitioning to a new role as President, a title formerly held by the late violinist Isaac Stern. Mr. Weill is only the second person to hold the title of President since Carnegie Hall was established as a non-profit in 1960.

Under Mr. Weill’s leadership, the scope of Carnegie Hall’s operations has grown dramatically as this world-class concert hall has transformed over the decades into a vibrant presenter offering an increased number and range of concerts. Carnegie Hall today is an institution poised to serve concertgoers of the 21st century through the finest music presentations allied to a central commitment to music education and community engagement. Important accomplishments during Mr. Weill’s board tenure include an impressive series of historic renovations throughout Carnegie Hall’s landmark building; a significantly strengthened financial profile; and major expansion of the Hall’s music education programs, with the Hall now engaging close to half a million people in New York City, throughout the US, and worldwide.

From the beginning of his service to the Hall, Mr. Weill worked closely with violinist Isaac Stern and board leaders to safeguard the famed concert venue, a building saved from demolition in 1960, however still in dire need of restoration. Upon joining the board, Mr. Weill co-chaired, with Chairman James D. Wolfensohn, the $60 million Campaign for Carnegie Hall, leading to the historic 28-week restoration of Carnegie Hall’s main auditorium and recital hall in 1986, a project that modernized the Hall’s facilities and brought these two concert venues back to their original glory. The Carnegie Hall Recital Hall was reopened in January 1987, renamed as the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall in recognition of the Weills’ leadership and generous support.

With these extensive renovations completed, focus was placed on building a solid financial base to support Carnegie Hall’s programming with $75 million raised from 1992 to 1997 to establish Carnegie Hall’s Endowment Fund. Thanks to the stewardship of Mr. Weill and his fellow trustees, Carnegie Hall’s endowment has grown from $4 million in 1991 to $320 million today, contributing to the organization’s strong financial profile. Carnegie Hall recently achieved credit ratings of A+ from Standard & Poor’s and A1 from Moody’s recognizing the organization’s excellent fiscal health.

Among other major highlights of Mr. Weill’s tenure as Chairman: in 2003, the completion and unveiling of Zankel Hall—Carnegie Hall’s modern, underground concert venue—paved the way for expanded performance and education programming. The new $100 million hall, immediately popular with audiences, has enabled new dimensions to be added to Hall’s programming mix, including concerts by both established and up-and-coming artists, adventurous new music programs, and increased world, jazz, pop, and rock music offerings.

Also in 2003, Carnegie Hall established the Weill Music Institute (WMI), the new umbrella under which the Hall’s existing education and community programs would be significantly expanded with a goal of reaching increased local, national, and international audiences. The work of WMI was buoyed by a new endowment supporting music education created earlier in the year, with more than $60 million raised in one night at a March 2003 gala celebrating Mr. Weill’s 70th birthday and his 20th anniversary as a trustee. Today, WMI is a leader in the field of music education, expected to reach half a million students, educators, young artists, and community members in 2015-2016, including more than 330,000 children and teachers through Link Up, Carnegie Hall’s curriculum for elementary school students, which partners with 80 orchestras worldwide.

Most recently, Mr. Weill led Carnegie Hall’s Studio Towers Renovation Project campaign, a comprehensive undertaking that has created inspirational new spaces for music education on the Hall’s upper floors while also fully refurbishing the Hall’s backstage areas and offices. The $230 million project, designed to support Carnegie Hall in transforming its facilities to meet the needs of artists and audiences in the 21st century, was capped with the opening of the new Judith and Burton Resnick Education Wing in September 2014. Programs housed in the new wing include interactive events for families and New York City public school students; rehearsals and training workshops for young professional musicians; and professional development for educators. Adjacent to the new wing are new spaces for entertaining and the Weill Terrace, a new outdoor roof terrace that serves as an ideal gathering place for those engaged in Carnegie Hall events and activities. Carnegie Hall marked the completion of the Studio Towers Renovation Project and the start of its 2014-2015 season with a spectacular post-concert Opening Night celebration in the tented Weill Terrace and Terrace Room atop the Hall.

Throughout his chairmanship, Mr. Weill’s emphasis on strategic planning as well as strong fiscal management has kept the historic institution looking ahead. A committed fundraiser who has always led by example, campaigns led or co-chaired by Mr. Weill have raised $525 million for Carnegie Hall’s endowment and capital projects.

Sanford and Joan Weill continue to be very active and generous philanthropists, supporting organizations around the globe. In addition to his post with Carnegie Hall, Mr. Weill recently retired as Chairman of Weill Cornell Medical College after 20 years and is now Chairman Emeritus. He is Founder and Chairman of the National Academy Foundation (since 1982); Chairman of Weill Hall and The Green Music Center at Sonoma State University; Chairman of the Executive Council at University of California, San Francisco; Chancellor’s Advisory Board member at University of California, Davis; and Director of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation. He is a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he and Joan are recipients of the 2009 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.

About Carnegie Hall
Since 1891, Carnegie Hall has set the international standard for excellence in performance as the aspirational destination for the world’s finest musicians. Carnegie Hall presents a wide range of performances each season on its three stages—the renowned Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, intimate Weill Recital Hall, and innovative Zankel Hall—including concert series curated by acclaimed artists and composers; citywide festivals featuring collaborations with leading New York City cultural institutions; orchestral performances, chamber music, new music concerts, and recitals; and the best in jazz, world, and popular music. Many concerts each season are heard by listeners worldwide via the Carnegie Hall Live radio and digital broadcast series, produced in partnership with WQXR. Complementing these performance activities, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute creates extensive music education and community programs that are expected to serve more than a half a million people in the New York City area, nationally, and internationally next season, playing a central role in Carnegie Hall’s commitment to making great music accessible to as many people as possible. For more information, visit

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