Clay Aiken – A Crowning Achievement

Throughout the world, great cities are defined by their unique icons; London has Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament; Paris has its Eiffel Tower; Washington has the Washington Monument, the Capitol and the White House; Athens has the Acropolis; and New York has the Statue of Liberty, the Great White Way of Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and Carnegie Hall.

The world-famous Carnegie Hall is primarily a concert venue, but it is also a place of extraordinary excellence.  For over a century, it has been the dream and crowning achievement of every musician to perform at Carnegie Hall.

From the outside, the building is not very imposing.  It is a brick and terra cotta building in the style of the Italian Renaissance.  It is the 2,760 seat, multi-balconied, main concert hall that makes the venue so impressive.  It is well known for its amazing acoustics.

In 1889, Andrew Carnegie presented the city of New York with a $2-million gift for the Music Hall. The site purchased by the philanthropist for the concert house (renamed Carnegie Hall in 1898) was located on Seventh Avenue and Fifty-seventh Street, near a stretch of vacant lots, coal yards, and scattered row houses.

The opening of Carnegie Hall took place on the 5th May 1891. Walter Damrosh and Peter Llyich Tchaikovsky lead the opening ceremony of the hall. The building continued to be owned by the Carnegie family  until 1925.  Because of its outstanding acoustics, Carnegie Hall became the home of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Carnegie Hall has conducted more than fifty thousand performances since it’s opening. It presents classical, jazz, folk, world and popular music with breakthrough and veteran performers. Since opening in 1891, this concert hall has become the emblem of musical achievement around the world, and has showcased the world’s finest artists—from Tchaikovsky to Mahler, Horowitz to Callas to Bernstein, and even Judy Garland and the Beatles.

After February 20, 2012, the name of Clay Aiken can be added to the list of musicians that have performed at Carnegie Hall.

The Distinguished Concerts International – New York announced earlier this week that Clay will be a special guest on their President’s Day concert titled “Reflections of Life.”  Clay will be joining Conductor, Timothy Seelig and composer/conductor, Greg Gilpin in an evening filled with musical excellence.

Do you plan on attending the concert in February?  If so, please take notes of Clay’s performance, as the venue does not allow any recording or videos.

 2012 – The year of Clay Aiken!!


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  1. I am so proud of Clay that he will perform at Carnegie Hall! This is such a wealth of information about the hall. Thanks!

  2. I an so glad that Clay will soon be added to the people who have performed at Carnegie Hall. I would love to go…but, it just isn't affordable right now…but, you can bet your bottom dollar if I lived in New York..I would be there. Everybody who goes…hope you enjoy…which I know you will. Also, don't forget to make notes for all of us left behind.

  3. So exciting, wish I could attend! I love this ” 2012 – The year of Clay Aiken!!” I can’t wait 🙂

  4. I love the sound of this : " After February 20, 2012, the name of Clay Aiken can be added to the list of musicians that have performed at Carnegie Hall." Yes, 2012 is going to be a GREAT year for Clay.

    musicfan, thanks for the historic info on Carnegie Hall.

    • What an honor for Clay to be asked to perform at Carnegie Hall, the epitome of class and elegance. That beautiful voice deserves such a showcase as CH. I'm so proud of him and all that he's accomplished.

  5. I have heard of Carnegie Hall since I was a child but did not know that much about the history until your column today. I am so thrilled that Clay’s beautiful voice will be singing in this outstanding hall. I am sure it will be an amazing night to remember for all there.

  6. Thank you Musicfan for all the background on Carnegie Hall. I had no idea of it at all, only the fact that the best, perform there. I am thrilled to be going to this concert. I can't pass up on going to CH and Clay singing there… I've always wanted to go there, and now is my opportunity….Scratch that off my bucket list….I can't wait to hear Clay and tell you all about it.

  7. What an accomplishment for Clay Aiken. Only the best get to perform there and he is the best.
    I'm so very proud of him. Sure wish I could go, but cannot wait to hear about it. Wonder what he will sing.

  8. Two years ago I went to Carnegie Hall to see my second favorite singer, Russell Watson, perform. While waiting for the concert to start, I thought, "How great it would be to see Clay sing here." My dreams are coming true! I have tickets for row O….not as close as I would like to be, but it will be heaven anyway!

  9. So excited for all of you that will be able to see Clay at Carnegie Hall – I am extremely happy for
    him and think this is a great honor for him to be singing there. He does make a person proud!!!

    Kay and all the rest who will be able to – enjoy – and return with all of the news for us here waiting.
    Prayers are answered and "Dream Do Come True" – After getting to go to the Gala, this was proof
    for me!!!

  10. I think that televising anything in Carnegie Hall would be a travesty of sorts. I don't believe that it has ever been done and doubt that it ever will. I may well be wrong about that and Musicfan can let me know.

    I know it is so hard when you cannot make the events that Clay is attending but don't forget come February 12th, CA starts and we will have weeks and weeks of Clay to thrive on.

  11. So happy that I will be among the privileged who will get to hear that glorious voice sing in Carnegie Hall. How great for Clay and for those of us close enough to NY to be able to attend. What a year it is starting out to be!!!!

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