The Road to Carnegie Hall

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Practice, practice, practice… or so goes the old canard.

However, for the Louisville Orchestra, the road to the legendary New York City concert hall starts with an exciting announcement. The leadership of Carnegie Hall recently announced an upcoming performance by the Louisville Orchestra at that venue. Invited to appear on the “Carnegie Hall Presents Series,” the Louisville Orchestra will perform on Saturday, February 20, 2021. Teddy Abrams and the Orchestra will be joined by the Louisville Ballet and by singer-songwriter Jim James. 

The program includes James and the LO in the NYC premiere of the fully-orchestrated version of the song cycle The Order of Nature, from the Decca Gold released last October. James and Abrams collaborated to create a thrilling set for voice and orchestra that “deftly straddles rock-and-roll and classical.” The Louisville Ballet travels to NYC with the Orchestra to reprise the newly choreographed ballet Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland. A bold, original choreography by Andrea Schermoly lifts this American classic with a spare, yet warm sensibility that honors the work’s tradition and glows with exuberant love. The program opens with Sacred Geometry by Carnegie Hall’s resident composer Andrew Norman, a work inspired by the architecture of the Chartres Cathedral that received its premiere at Carnegie Hall in 2003. 

[Read More about The Order of Nature]

The LO isso proud to be in the company of orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Berlin Philharmonic on the “Carnegie Hall Presents” series. Representing Louisville and Kentucky in New York City, the culture capital of the world, is an extraordinary honor.

In announcing the performance, Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times says, “Go ahead and call the Louisville Orchestra a “regional” (as opposed to “major”) ensemble. That’s a meaningless distinction for the many people excited by the adventurous programs the dynamic young conductor Teddy Abrams and his excellent players have been giving.”

This will be the third appearance by the Louisville Orchestra at Carnegie Hall , which invites only a handful of orchestras to their venue each season. The first, in January 1950, featured the mother of modern dance, Martha Graham, in a performance that rocked the nation. A primal artistic force of the 20th century, Graham was commissioned by the Louisville Orchestra (the first time an orchestra ever commissioned for choreography), together with American composer William Schuman and they created the orchestral ballet Judith. Music and dance audiences and critics thronged the performance and the Louisville Orchestra received international acclaim.

The second appearance, in November 1989, was under the baton of Lawrence Leighton Smith and featured two works commissioned by the Louisville Orchestra and two other contemporary pieces. The program led NY Times music critic Bernard Holland to write, “For the last 40 years, the Louisville Orchestra has been giving American composers a specific reason to write symphonic music.”

Orchestrating a renaissance of that dynamic commissioning and creative era of the Louisville Orchestra, Teddy Abrams provides a unique energy to the city as music director since his appointment in 2014.

Tickets for the performance are currently available to subscribers of Carnegie Hall. Individual tickets go on sale in mid-August.