How Do We Get to Carnegie Hall?

How Do We Get to Carnegie Hall?

Practice may be what gets you to Carnegie Hall, but what can you expect once you’re there? All over the world, musicians young and old aspire to perform in the hall that has become the epicenter of the modern classical music world. Even if Carnegie Hall seems larger than life, performing there is well within your grasp. Over the past 34 years, MidAmerica Productions has brought thousands of performers to Isaac Stern Auditorium/Perlman Stage at Carnegie Hall and we want to give you a look at how it all comes together: from initial conception, to inviting conductors and performers, to the day of the concert itself.

Planning, Planning, Planning

The entire process starts about 18 months before the actual concert will take place. MidAmerica Productions first works with Carnegie Hall to coordinate potential concert dates even before programs or groups are locked in. Once these dates are secure, we begin contacting notable conductors all over the world to see if they’d like to perform with us in the upcoming concert season, and if so, what they’d like to perform. Next we reach out to choirs or performance groups recommended by the conductor or other top musicians and invite them to audition for us, and finally we work with the conductors and prospective musicians to lock in repertoire and a date for the concert.

This planning stage may take a few short months, or may take as long as a year. In fact, we’ve just recently closed registration for our 2017 concert season and are already starting to schedule concerts for 2018. Once they have confirmed their participation in the concert, the performers rehearse independently to familiarize themselves with the music in preparation for their five-day residency in New York and Carnegie Hall.

The Night of the Concert

Performers may spend a portion of the time in New York at leisure to enjoy the historic landmarks, Broadway performances, and culinary delights, but from the first day of their residency they are immersed in music, with offsite rehearsals in preparation for their upcoming performance. The day of the concert, however, follows a strict itinerary to ensure the smoothest experience for everyone involved.

Carnegie Hall facade in midtown manhattan with cars and american flag
The outside of Carnegie Hall is relatively unchanged since its construction in the 1800s

For an 8 PM concert, performers will arrive at Carnegie Hall for a dress rehearsal at 4:30 in the afternoon. The program is rehearsed in reverse order, meaning that the first group on the program rehearses last and the last group rehearses first. Shortly before 8PM the musicians performing first leave their dressing rooms and walk down to the stage. There is a moment, just as the musicians head out onto the stage, where they realize that they’re really here at Carnegie Hall. Although they’ve been in and around the venue for the better part of a day, when they see the stage lit, and the audience seated and finally feel the full weight of it: “I am performing in Carnegie Hall!”

After the concert, the performers are taken on a scenic cruise around the Statue of Liberty. Dinner and drinks are available as the musical residency is capped off with a starlit trip down the Hudson, in full view of New York City’s famous skyline.

For 34 years MidAmerica Productions has produced choral and instrumental performances in historic venues all over the world. If you are interested in performing at Carnegie Hall or in purchasing tickets to one of our upcoming concerts, call us at 212-239-0205, or visit our website at www.midamerica-music.com. We hope to see you soon.

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