Flamenco in the Hall | Playbill

Classic Arts Features Flamenco in the Hall
As Carnegie Hall presents a festival of flamenco music, archivist Gino Francesconi looks back at previous flamenco performances at the venue.

This month flamenco returns to Carnegie Hall. In partnership with the World Music Institute and Miguel Marìn Productions, Carnegie Hall presents ԍFlamenco!, a festival over four evenings that celebrates the tradition and evolution of flamenco music and is part of the annual New York Flamenco Festival.

Flamenco music and dance first appeared here in the 1930s with some of the greatest artists from what has come to be known as that form's golden age. Flamenco was originally found only in nightclubs and cafés until Antonia Mercé, known as La Argentina, brought the combination of dance, song, and guitar to the concert stage. By the time of her Carnegie Hall debut in 1932, the "Queen of the Castanets"‹as she was called because of her extraordinary technique‹had already danced in New York City 48 times in less than four years. In 1939 another flamenco legend, Argentinita, sang and danced at the Hall with a number of flamenco greats including guitarist Carlos Montoya, who would make regular Carnegie Hall appearances for the next 50 years. Other artists who came to Carnegie Hall and became flamenco stars include Agustin Sabicas, one of the greatest guitarists of all time, and dancer Vicente Escudero, who made his farewell appearance at Carnegie Hall in 1955 and amazed audiences by returning five years later for a "final farewell" at the age of 68.

‹Gino Francesconi
Archivist and Museum Director, Carnegie Hall

Visit the Rose Museum to find out more about Carnegie Hall's rich and diverse history. Find fascinating mementos from that history in the Shop at Carnegie Hall; call 212-903-9610 for more information.

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