Carnegie Hall in New York City threw a a gala concert Tuesday night featuring James Taylor and other renowned musicians to mark its 120th anniversary.
The festive evening paid tribute to the hall’s illustrious history, highlighting many of the extraordinary musical and cultural events that have taken place on the hall’s legendary stages over the past 12 decades.
“Tonight we celebrate the 120-year history of this Hall. The world recognizes Carnegie Hall as one of the great venues for classical music, but it is important to remember that folk music, Blues, Jazz, Rock ‘n’ Roll got played here,too,” said James Taylor at the event’s opening.
He invited the audience to travel through history by performing his classic songs with his band. Aside from being the linchpin of the evening, Taylor also assembled an all-star lineup, including Grammy Award winners Barbara Cook and Bette Midler as well as famous British singer Sting, to represent as many facets of the hall’s history as possible.
The audience were surprised to see former U.S. president Bill Clinton come to the stage at the end of the concert. He expressed his gratitude for Carnegie Hall to provide music education for more than 170,000 individuals each year and emphasized the importance to let everyone have access to the power of great music.
Taylor, 63, is an American singer, songwriter and folk rock icon, and the winner of 40 gold, platinum, and multi-platinum awards, and five Grammys. He has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame. In March 2011, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by U.S. President Barak Obama.
Built in 1891, Carnegie Hall is one of the most prestigious venues in the world for both classical and popular music, presenting about 250 performances each season.