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First Lady Helps Celebrate Opening of Philharmonic Hall

Sept. 24, 1962 - A new epoch in New York’s concert life began last night with the opening of Philharmonic Hall, the first unit of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The inaugural concert matched the significance of the occasion. The auditorium, besides being part of a vast cultural center in a changing part of the city, is also the first symphonic hall to be opened in New York since the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1908. Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy led a long list of prominent persons who attended the concert, which featured Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic for the first time in its new home. They included Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Governor Rockefeller, Mayor Wagner, and Adlai E. Stevenson. Mrs. Kennedy entered the auditorium at 9:04 p.m. She was accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3d (pictured) and others. She received a standing ovation from the audience. A minute later, Leonard Bernstein came to the podium and also received a standing ovation. The program included “Serenade to Music” by Vaughan Williams, the first movement of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, the Gloria from Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis,” and “Connotations,” a new work by Aaron Copland.


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