how do you get to carnegie hall? (no, seriously.)

carnegie hall – it’s not just a venue, it’s our national cathedral of music.  judy garland, benny goodman, count basie, the beatles, duke ellington, bob dylan, george gershwin… aw hell, it would be easier to list the musical titans who didn’t play here.  and while it has hosted more jazz and pop luminaries than probably anywhere else on the planet, for the past 120 years carnegie hall has always been this country’s premiere place of worship for classical music.  i guess when you have tchaikovsky at your grand opening, things are off to a very good start.  dvořák attended the world premiere of his final symphony in this hall.  lenny bernstein conducted over 430 performances here.  but perhaps nothing gets the beaver’s tail thumpin’ faster than thinking about gustav mahler calling carnegie home as the music director of the new york philharmonic.  from this very stage, maestro gustav not only conducted three of his own symphonies (#1, #2, and #4, for all those mahler-heads out there), but on tuesday february 21st, 1911 at 8:15pm, with a 104° fever, he began conducting a performance (featuring mendelssohn’s fourth symphony, for all those mahler-heads out there) that would ultimately be his last.

the oregon symphony is only 4 years younger than carnegie hall – nevertheless, tonight is finally the band’s debut within its historic and hallowed walls.  invited to eavesdrop on an afternoon rehearsal before the real deal tonight at 8, this insanely lucky beaver will be spending more time in carnegie hall today than it ever could have hoped for, soaking up the miraculous sounds of maestro carlos and this brilliant band.  let the final countdown begin ~ bravo!

[ps – remember y’all, tune into all classical 89.9 tonight @ 5pm to hear the whole darn thing live!]


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