May 5, 1891…The Music Hall (later Carnegie Hall) in New York City had its grand opening with first performer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Carnegie Hall is named after Andrew Carnegie, who paid for its construction. It was intended as a venue for the Oratorio Society of New York and the New York Symphony Society, on whose boards Carnegie served. Construction began in 1890, and was carried out by Isaac A. Hopper and Company. Although the building was in use from April 1891, the official opening night was on May 5, with a concert conducted by maestro Walter Damrosch and composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Conducting brought Tchaikovsky to America in 1891, where he led the New York Music Society’s orchestra in his Festival Coronation March at the inaugural concert of the Carnegie Hall.