All About Carnegie Hall

carnegie-hall

You’ve all heard it before.  How do you get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice, practice, practice.

We took the easier route with the tour December 1, 2014.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t posting much on my travel blog yet so I don’t remember everything that happened.  I do highly recommend the tour if you’re in New York City.

If you want to go, other than practicing, Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east stretch of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street, two blocks south of Central Park.

carnegie-hall-map

The tour was very inexpensive, maybe $10 each.  We were taken by elevator up to the Main Hall (Isaac Stern Auditorium/Ronald O. Perelman Stage) first.  The stories that were told were fascinating!  I don’t remember most but I remember the guide telling us that after renovations audience members complained of a buzzing sound.  The floor had to be removed…

From 1995:

SOURCE OF CARNEGIE HALL COMPLAINTS DISCOVERED: CONCRETE UNDER STAGE
MARY CAMPBELL , Associated Press
Sep. 13, 1995 11:53 PM ET

NEW YORK (AP) _ For nine years, the people who run Carnegie Hall insisted there was nothing wrong with the acoustics at the famed concert hall.

Wednesday, they sang a different tune

This summer, a layer of concrete, apparently left over from a major renovation job in 1986, was discovered under the stage. The concrete was ripped out and a new floor was installed that administrators say should improve acoustics.
Since the renovation, musicians and critics have complained about the acoustics, saying the sound the hall was world famous for wasn’t the same, that the bass had become washed out and the higher instruments harsh.

Executive Director Judith Arron said Wednesday she had been assured there was no concrete under the stage since arriving at the hall in 1986.

But the tongue-in-groove maple stage floor, which usually lasts 20 years, had warped so badly after just nine years, it was difficult to push a piano across it.

The hall closed for repairs after three Frank Sinatra tribute concerts the last week in July. “As we tore the whole floor up,” Arron said, “we learned we had a lot more hard substance than we had anticipated.”

She speculated the concrete was added to reinforce the stage while scaffolding was on it during the 1986 renovation and then simply left there in workers’ haste to finish.

The concrete had been placed under two layers of plywood, on which the maple stage floor rests.

“Concrete retains moisture,” Arron said. “As the moisture collected in the concrete, it went into the plywood, which expands with moisture and pushed up the floor.”

Jim Nomikos, the hall’s director of operations, compared the removal of hundreds of pounds of concrete to “an archeological dig.”

Nomikos said the floor is now constructed the way it was from Carnegie Hall’s opening in 1891 until 1986.

“In my opinion we’re not reconstructing the floor. We just restored it,” he said. “I think what we have now is a floor that will have some resonance, as opposed to a floor that was dead.”

The project cost $180,000.

Aaron said there are no plans to sue anybody for the way the floor was laid in 1986. “We’ve been focused on doing the job right,” she said. “We think this is going to be great.”

The new floor will meet its first test Sept. 26, when the Philadelphia Orchestra plays. The hall’s official gala opening for its 105th season will be Oct. 5 by the Boston Symphony.

I remember the guide not being happy with us because I knew the answers to some of the questions she asked such as Tchaikovsky conducting at the opening.  When she mentioned that Ignacy Jan Paderewski had made his debut there,  Tom piped up that he had lived near Steinway Hall (and that Michael and I had just played there in the final concert in the old building).  She gave us the evil eye and we stopped talking so much 🙂

padereski-me

Plaque on Steinwall Hall (old building). This was just after Michael and I played there.

 

Paderewski

Plaque on Steinwall Hall (old building).

There were many, many pictures on the walls of people who had performed there.  All in all, a fantastic tour.  Take it if you’re in NYC!

1891 Andrew Carnegie’s new Music Hall opened

Andrew Carnegie’s new Music Hall opened with a five-day music festival beginning on May 5.

Guest of honor Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky conducted his Marche Solennelle on Opening Night and his Piano Concerto No. 1 several days later.

William Tuthill’s design reflects Gilded Age architectural tastes and engineering.  Since the Hall was built shortly before the advent of structural steel construction, its walls are made of fairly heavy brick and masonry, to carry the full load of the structure without the lighter support that a steel framework soon made possible. The Italian Renaissance design of the exterior reflects the eclectic architectural tastes of the period, which look to European models of earlier centuries for inspiration.  Tuthill deliberately chose to keep the styling and decorative elements simple, elegant, and functional, focusing his energies on designing an excellent acoustic environment.

I came across this interesting 1947 movie about Carnegie Hall for my Music Studio Blog and I’m posting it here, as well.

Jascha Heifetz (violinist) Tchaikovsky – “Violin Concerto in D, First Movement” – New York Philharmonic, Fritz Reiner, conductor
Harry James (trumpeter)
Vaughn Monroe (band leader)
Jan Peerce (vocalist)
Gregor Piatigorsky (cellist)
Ezio Pinza (vocalist)
Lily Pons (vocalist)
Fritz Reiner (conductor)
Artur Rodzinski (conductor)
Arthur Rubinstein (pianist)
Rise Stevens (vocalist)
Leopold Stokowski (conductor)
Bruno Walter (conductor)
Walter Damrosch (conductor)
Olin Downes (music critic)
New York Philharmonic Quintette (John Corigliano Sr., William Lincer, Nadia Reisenberg, Leonard Rose, Michael Rosenker)
New York Philharmonic

Storyline:
A mother (Marsha Hunt) wants her son (William Prince) to grow up to be a pianist good enough to play at Carnegie Hall but, when grown, the son prefers to play with Vaughan Monroe’s orchestra. But Mama’s wishes prevail and the son appears at Carnegie Hall as the composer-conductor-pianist of a modern horn concerto, with Harry James as the soloist. Frank McHugh is along as a Carnegie Hall porter and doorman, and Martha O’Driscoll is a singer who provides the love interest for Prince. Meanwhile and between while a brigade of classical music names from the 1940’s (and earlier and later) appear; the conductors Walter Damrosch, Bruno Walter, Artur Rodzinski, Fritz Reiner and Leopold Stokowski; singers Rise Stevens, Lily Pons, Jan Peerce and Ezio Pinza, plus pianist Arthur Rubinstein, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky and violinist Jascha Heifetz.

On December 17 ~ in Music History

Christmas Countdown: Good King Wenceslas

• 1749 ~ Domenico Cimarosa, Italian composer

OCMS 1894 ~ Arthur Fiedler, American violinist and conductor
More information on Fiedler

• 1910 ~ Sy (Melvin James) Oliver, Trumpeter, singer, arranger, bandleader, composer

• 1926 ~ Benny Goodman played a clarinet solo. This was not unusual for Benny except that it was his first time playing solo within a group recording session. Goodman was featured with Ben Pollack and His Californians on He’s the Last Word.

• 1930 ~ Peter Warlock [Philip Heseltine], British composer and music critic, died of a probable suicide at the age of 36

• 1936 ~ Tommy Steele (Hicks), Singer, actor

• 1937 ~ Art Neville, Keyboards, percussion, singer with The Neville Brothers

• 1937 ~ Nat Stuckey, Country singer, songwriter

• 1939 ~ Eddie Kendricks, Singer with The Temptations

• 1942 ~ Paul Butterfield, American blues singer and harmonica player with Paul Butterfield Blues Band

• 1943 ~ Dave Dee (Harmon), Tambourine, singer, record promoter

• 1955 ~ Carl Perkins wrote Blue Suede Shoes. Less than 48 hours later, he recorded it at the Sun Studios in Memphis. The tune became one of the first records to be popular simultaneously on rock, country and rhythm & blues charts.

• 1958 ~ Mike Mills, Bass with R.E.M

• 1961 ~ Sarah Dallin, Singer with Bananarama

• 1969 ~ Tiny Tim (Herbert Buchingham Khaury) married Miss Vickie (Victoria Budinger) on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. This is the Tiny Tim of the falsetto version of Tiptoe Through the Tulips fame. The NBC-TV program earned the second-highest, all-time audience rating; second only to Neil Armstrong’s walking on the moon. Mr. Tiny Tim and Miss Vickie had a daughter, Tulip. Then in 1977 they stopped tiptoeing together.

• 1969 ~ Chicago Transit Authority became a gold record for the group of the same name (they later changed their name to Chicago). When the album was released by Columbia Records, it marked the first time an artist’s debut LP was a double record.

• 1970 ~ The Beach Boys played to royalty at Royal Albert Hall in London. Princess Margaret was in attendance and shook the royal jewelry to such classics as Good Vibrations, I Get Around and Help Me, Rhonda.

• 1977 ~ Elvis Costello, making a rare TV appearance, agreed to perform on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

• 1978 ~ Don Ellis passed away

• 1999 ~ Rex Allen passed away

• 2004 ~ Johnnie Carl, Crystal Cathedral Orchestra conductor, took his life. Mr. Carl has been in the employment of the Crystal Cathedral for nearly 30 years and was internationally renowned as a conductor and as a composer and arranger of over 3,500 musical pieces. He was 57 years old.

• 2018 ~ Galt MacDermot, Canadian musician and composer (Hair), died at the age of 89

• 2018 ~ Raven Wilkinson, American ballerina, first African American woman to dance with a major ballet company, died at the age of 83

On November 11 ~ in Music History

veterans-day

OCMS Veteran’s Day OCMS

.1918 ~ This is Armistice Day or Remembrance Day or Veterans Day or Victory Day or World War I Memorial Day. The name of this special day may be different in different places throughout many nations; but its significance is the same. It was on this day, at 11 a.m., that World War I ceased. The Allied and Central Powers signed an armistice agreement at 5 a.m. in Marshal Foch’s railway car in the Forest of Compiegne, France. Even today, many still bow their heads in remembrance at the 11th hour of this the 11th day of the 11th month.

 

The Armistice of 11 November 1918 was the armistice that ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War I between the Allies and their opponent, Germany. Previous armistices had eliminated Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire from the war.

Also known as the Armistice of Compiègne from the place where it was signed, it came into force at 11 a.m. Paris time on 11 November 1918  (“the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”) and marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for Germany, although not formally a surrender.

 

 

.1883 ~ Ernst Ansermet, Swiss conductor

.1927 ~ Mose Allison, American jazz pianist, trumpeter and singer

.1929 ~ Dick Clark, TV producer, host of American Bandstand, former Philadelphia DJ

.1929 ~ Andy Kirk and his orchestra recorded “Froggy Bottom” in Kansas City.

.1931 ~ Leslie Parnas, American cellist

.1932 ~ The National Broadcasting Company opened its new studios at Radio City in New York City. They celebrated with a gala program at Radio City Music Hall.

.1938 ~ Kate Smith sang God Bless America for the very first time. It would later become her signature song. Irving Berlin penned the tune in 1917 but never released it until Miss Smith sang it for the first time on her radio broadcast. Actually, the song was then 20 years old, but it had never been publicly performed before.

.1944 ~ Frank Sinatra began a long and successful career with Columbia Records.

.1964 ~ Edward Steuermann, composer, died at the age of 72. Howard Lebow, one of Mrs. O’Connor’s teachers studied under Steuermann

.1974 ~ Leonardo DiCaprio, American actor

.1979 ~ Dimitri Tiomkin passed away.  He was a Russian-American film score composer and conductor.

.1992 ~ Erskine Hawkins passed away.  He was an American trumpet player and big band leader.

.2000 ~ Isadore Granoff, a Ukrainian immigrant who started teaching violin lessons as a teenager and built a famed music school in Philadelphia, died in his sleep at the age of 99. Granoff taught Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane and others during more than a half-century at the Granoff School of Music. Granoff taught amateurs and professionals. Some of his students went on to become prominent players of classical music, jazz, swing, big band and Latin sounds. Granoff sold the school in 1970 and later stepped down from the board of directors, renouncing the new owner’s promotional tactics.

.2015 ~ Dr. Maurice Hinson died. He was one of America’s most respected authorities on piano literature. Many of the books in the OCMS library were edited by Dr. Hinson.  Mrs. O’Connor took a piano pedagogy class with him several years ago and learned so much from him.

Among his outstanding achievements, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Music Teachers National Association at it Washington, D.C. convention in the spring of 1994, the Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Florida in 1990, and the Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Michigan in the fall of 1995. Dr. Hinson has performed, lectured and given master classes worldwide. His books and editions have become classic standards in the studios of serious piano teachers and students the world over. He was awarded the Franz Liszt Medal by the Hungarian Government in 1986. Hailed as a specialist in American piano music, some of his most recent articles appear in the New Grove Dictionary of American Music in the United States.

On October 18 ~ in Music History

today

 

• 1545 ~ John Taverner, English composer (Western Wynde), died at about the age of 55

• 1893 ~ Charles F Gounod, French composer (La reine the Saba), died at the age of 75

• 1898 ~ Lotte Lenya (Karoline Blamauer), Austrian actress and Tony Award-winning singer

OCMS 1898 ~ Shin’ichi Suzuki, Japanese educator and violin teacher
More information about Suzuki

• 1918 ~ Bobby Troup, American jazz pianist and actor (Emergency, Acapulco)

• 1926 ~ Chuck (Charles Edward Anderson) Berry, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer inducted in 1986, Lifetime Achievement Grammy (1985)
Washington Honored Eastwood, Baryshnikov, Berry (2000)

• 1935 ~ Victor record #25236 was recorded by Tommy Dorsey and orchestra. It would become one of the most familiar big band themes of all time, I’m Getting Sentimental Over You.

• 1943 ~ Russ Giguere, Guitarist, singer with The Association

• 1947 ~ Laura Nyro, Singer

• 1952 ~ Keith Knudsen, Drummer singer with The Doobie Brothers

OCMS 1961 ~ Wynton Marsalis, American jazz trumpeter, composer
More information about the Marsalis family
Grammy winner

• 1979 ~ Following extensive renovation to return Radio City Music Hall to the look and feel of its 1931 art deco glory, the venerable New York City theatre reopened. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was the first live presentation.

• 1983 ~ Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton received a gold record to add to their collections for their smash, Islands in the Stream.

• 2000 ~ Julie London, American singer and actress (Nurse McCall-Emergency), died at the age of 74

• 2000 ~ Gwyneth “Gwen” Verdon, American actress, singer and dancer (Cotton Club, Sweet Charity), died at the age of 75

• 2006 ~ Anna Russell, English music satirist and composer, died at the age of 94

On August 19 ~ in Music History

today

• 1881 ~ Georges Enesco, Rumanian composer, violinist and conductor

• 1918 ~ Sgt. Irving Berlin’s musical about army life in World War I opened at the Century Theatre in New York City. Yip Yip Yaphank included songs, such as Mandy and Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning.

• 1939 ~ Ginger (Peter) Baker, Trumpeter, drummer with Cream

• 1939 ~ The Dick Jurgens Orchestra recorded Day Dreams Come True at Night on Okeh Records. Eddy Howard was the vocalist on the piece. It became Jurgens’ theme song.

• 1940 ~ Johnny Nash, American pop-reggae singer, songwriter and guitarist

• 1943 ~ Billy J. Kramer (William Ashton), Singer with The Dakotas

• 1945 ~ Ian Gillan, Singer with Deep Purple

• 1947 ~ Gerard Schwarz, American trumpeter and conductor

• 1951 ~ John Deacon, Bass with Queen, score of Flash Gordon

• 1964 ~ The Beatles began their first North American concert tour. They would visit 26 cities.

• 1972 ~ NBC-TV presented The Midnight Special for the first time. John Denver was the host for the first show. Wolfman Jack was the show’s announcer. The Midnight Special proved to be a ratings success.

• 1991 ~ Richard Maltby passed away. He was an American musician, conductor, arranger and bandleader.

• 2001 ~ Singer Betty Everett, whose recording of The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss) made Billboard’s Top 10 in 1964, died Sunday. She was 61.

Everett is remembered primarily for one huge hit song in the 1960s, but she also recorded many other songs and was recognized as one of the top soul singers of her time.

Starting at age 9, Everett played the piano and sang in church. She continued to sing in gospel choirs before moving to Chicago in 1957, where she recorded a string of hits on local record labels such as C.J. Cobra and OneDerful that included I’ll Be There and I’ve Got a Claim On You.

Everett signed a contract in the early 1960s with VeeJay, a record label that was then issuing recordings by The Beatles.
Everett recorded The Shoop Shoop Song in the spring of 1964, and it soared to Billboard’s Top 10.

The song was later recorded by Cher in the soundtrack for the 1990 movie Mermaids and more recently by Vonda Shepard of the Fox television show Ally McBeal.

• 2017 ~ Bea Wain, American singer and radio host (Deep Purple, Heart and Soul), died at the age of 100

 

On August 8 ~ in Music History

today

Be sure your student reads and listens to Today’s Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

 

• 1886 ~ Pietro Yon, Italian composer
More information about Yon

• 1899 ~ Russell Markert, Choreographer, founded and directed the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes

• 1905 ~ André Jovilet, French composer and conductor

• 1907 ~ Benny Carter, American jazz solo saxophonist, trumpeter, composer and arranger

• 1921 ~ Roger Nixon, American composer

• 1921 ~ Webb Pierce, Singer

• 1923 ~ Jimmy Witherspoon, Singer

• 1923 ~ Benny Goodman was 14 years old as he began his professional career as a clarinet player. He took a job in a band on a Chicago-based excursion boat on Lake Michigan.

• 1926 ~ Urbie (Urban) Green, Musician, trombonist who played with Cab Calloway

• 1932 ~ Mel Tillis, Singer, songwriter

• 1933 ~ Joe Tex (Arrington, Jr.), Singer

• 1934 ~ Bing Crosby became the first singer to record for the newly created Decca Records. His songs, Just A-Wearyin’ For You and I Love You Truly, were recorded as Decca number D-100.

• 1938 ~ Connie Stevens (Concetta Ingolia), Singer

• 1939 ~ Philip Balsley, Singer with The Statler Brothers

• 1941 ~ Les Brown and His Band of Renown paid tribute to baseball’s “Yankee Clipper”, Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees, with the recording of Joltin’ JoeDiMaggio on Okeh Records. From that time on, DiMaggio adopted the nickname, Joltin’ Joe.

• 1949 ~ Keith Carradine, Actor and composer, whose recording of I’m Easy reached No. 17 on the U.S. charts in 1976.

• 1950 ~ Andy Fairweather-Low, Musician, guitar, singer with Amen Corner

• 1958 ~ Harry (Harry Lillis III) Crosby, Singer and actor, son of Bing Crosby and Kathryn Grant

• 1958 ~ Chris Foreman, Musician, guitar with Madness

• 1960 ~ Tell Laura I Love Her, by Ray Peterson, wasn’t a big hit in Great Britain. Decca Records in England said the song was “too tasteless and vulgar for the English sensibility.” They destroyed 25,000 of the platters this day.

• 1961 ~ The Edge (David Evans), Musician, guitar with U2

• 1974 ~ Roberta Flack received a gold record for the single, Feel Like Makin’ Love. Flack, born in Asheville, NC and raised in Arlington, VA, was awarded a music scholarship to Howard University in Washington, DC at the age of 15. One of her classmates became a singing partner on several hit songs. Donny Hathaway joined Flack on You’ve Got a Friend, Where is the Love and The Closer I Get to You. She had 10 hits on the pop charts in the 1970s and 1980s.

• 1975 ~ Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderly passed away

• 1997 ~ Duncan Swift, jazz pianist, died at the age of 74

• 2017 ~ Glen Campbell died at the age of 81. He was an American singer, songwriter, musician, television host, and actor.

On August 3 ~ in Music History

today

Back to School Music Quiz

 

 

 

 

• 1778 ~ La Scala, one of the world’s great opera houses, opened on this day. They premiered William Tell by Gioachino Rossini

• 1823 ~ Francisco Asenjo Babieri, Spanish composer

• 1884 ~ Louis Gruenberg, Polish-born American composer

• 1902 ~ Ray Bloch, Conductor and orchestra leader

• 1917 ~ Charlie Shavers, Trumpeter with the John Kirby Sextet and composer of Undecided

• 1918 ~ Les Elgart, Lead trumpet, bandleader for Les and (brother) Larry Elgart

• 1921 ~ Richard Adler, Broadway Composer, lyricist

• 1926 ~ Tony Bennett (Benedetto), Grammy Award-winning American singer of popular music

• 1941 ~ Beverly Lee, Singer with The Shirelles

• 1949 ~ B.B. (Morris) Dickerson, Bass and singer with War

• 1951 ~ Johnny Graham, Guitarist with Earth, Wind and Fire

• 1963 ~ The Beatles made their final appearance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England. The group was about to leave its hometown behind for unprecedented worldwide fame and fortune.

• 1963 ~ The Beach Boys’ Surfer Girl, was released on Capitol Records. It became one of their biggest hits. Surfer Girl made it to number seven on the hit music charts  on September 14, 1963

• 1963 ~ Comedian Allan Sherman’s summer camp parody, Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter from Camp) was released on Warner Brothers Records. The melody was based on the Dance of the Hours from Ponchielli’s opera La Giaconda. This dance was also performed in the original Disney movie Fantasia.

• 1971 ~ Paul McCartney formed a new band called Wings. Joining McCartney in the group were Denny Laine, formerly of The Moody Blues, Denny Seilwell and McCartney’s wife, Linda.

• 1998 ~ Alfred Schnittke, one of the most original and influential composers to emerge from the Soviet Union, died. He was 63.

• 2001 ~ Jeanne Loriod, the leading performer of an electronic instrument used in film scores and symphonic works to produce mysterious glassy tones, died in southern France. She was 73. Loriod, who played the ondes martenot – invented by the French musician Maurice Martenot – died of a stroke in Juan-les-Pins, Le Monde newspaper reported.

She was the younger sister of pianist Yvonne Loriod, who was married to composer Olivier Messiaen. The three musicians often collaborated.

The ondes martenot – which translates as “Martenot waves” – produces electronic waves from a system of transistors, a keyboard and a ribbon attached to a ring on the performer’s forefinger.

Loriod’s career took her all over the world. She performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic, among others.

Composers such as Tristan Murail, Jacques Charpentier and Michael Levinas wrote works for her, according to Le Monde. Loriod had also been planning to collaborate with the pop group Radiohead, the paper wrote.

• 2008 ~ Louis Teicher died at 83.  He was half of the piano duo Ferrante & Teicher, which toured for four decades and released 150 albums, some as suitable for elevators as for concert halls.

• 2016 ~ Ricci Martin, an entertainer/musician son of Dean Martin, died at the age of 62.