Carnegie Hall prepares to open a different kind of season

Posted on: October 6, 2021

The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin will reopen Carnegie Hall with the first of their seven concerts there this season. Photo: Chris Lee

“After nearly 19 months without concerts, Carnegie Hall, the nation’s pre-eminent concert space, plans to reopen its doors to the public on Oct. 6,” writes Javier C. Hernández in Friday’s (10/1) New York Times. “With the coronavirus still omnipresent, the reopening is a logistical feat, involving questions about air-ventilation systems, crowd control and hand-sanitizing stations. It’s also an emotional moment for Carnegie, which lost millions of dollars in ticket sales during the pandemic and at one point was forced to reduce its staff by nearly half. The hall … is planning a lighter-than-usual season of about 100 concerts (versus the usual 150) as it tries to gauge demand. Clive Gillinson, the hall’s executive and artistic director since 2005, says Carnegie is ready for the challenge. The hall has added entrances, upgraded ventilation systems and increased the frequency of bathroom cleaning…. Gillinson discussed the new season, which begins with the Philadelphia Orchestra and its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, performing Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the virtuoso Yuja Wang alongside works by Valerie Coleman, Iman Habibi, Bernstein and Beethoven. Gillinson also spoke about the lack of racial diversity in classical music and the return of the arts amid the pandemic.”