Plans for a gala centennial season at Carnegie Hall beginning August 1990 and continuing through May 5, 1991, have been announced.
Details of the 10-month celebration of the opening of the world-famous music hall on May 5, 189l, were spelled out at an onstage press lunch by violinist Isaac Stern, who saved Carnegie from the wrecker's ball in 1960, and Judith Arron, the hall's general manager."There is no better way to honor the last hundred years of great music-making than to use it as both a standard and a point of departure for the next hundred years," Arron said. "Our goal is to continue to bring the best soloists and orchestras to our stage from all over the world and to present new talent and cultivate the contemporary repertoire."
Arron said the New York Philharmonic, for whom philanthopist Andrew Carnegie built the hall, will open the centennial observance with a concert with fireworks in Central Park under the baton of Zubin Mehta on Aug. 20.
During the season there will be concerts by the Leningrad Philharmonic, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Israel Philharmonic, the Carnegie Hall recital debuts of tenor Placido Domingo and suprano Kathleen Battle, and a performance of the complete Bach suites for unaccompanied cello by Yo-Yo Ma.
Ten international composers, including Americans William Bolcom and Ned Rorem, Alfred Schnittke of Russia, Toru Takemitsu of Japan, Luigi Nono of Italy and Michael Tippett of Britain, have been commissioned to write works for world class artists or an instrumental ensemble including mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, pianist Maurizio Pollini and the Beaux Arts Trio.
Special programs in Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall will premiere works commissioned for such artists as soprano Dawn Upshaw, guitarist Eliot Fish, recorder virtuoso Michala Petri and a group of cabaret artists. There also will be 12 concerts of folk music from all over the Americas and the Carbbean featuring local and indigenous artists.
The May 5, 1991, gala concert will climax 10 days of festival programs and will feature an opening fanfare for antiphonal brass and percussion commissioned from American composer Joan Tower. The fanfare will be performed by members of the Philharmonic and the Empire Brass Quartet.
Carnegie Hall will hold workshops in choral music led by Robert Shaw, chamber music led by Isaac Stern and in youth concerts. There will be centennial exhibits by the New York Public Library, Municipal Arts Society and International Center for Photography, which is preparing a show that will travel around the world.
Russia is sending a large collection of mementos and musical scores of Peter Ilyich Tchaikowsky, the co-conductor of the opening 1891 concert with Walter Damrosch. It will be exhibited in the new Carnegie Hall Tower, a 59-story office building to the east of the hall which will provide a museum for Carnegie Hall's archives and expanded backstage facilities.