How to surprise the parents? Book your Carnegie Hall debut, then….

How to surprise the parents? Book your Carnegie Hall debut, then….


norman lebrecht

May 13, 2018

The entreprenurial pianist Nicholas King, a man who has been running a non-profit while studying at Juilliard, is about to graduate.

To mark the achievement, he has booked Carnegie Hall for his debut and landed a job as V-P at the investment firm AllianceBernstein.

Since he won’t need to make his living at the keyboard, it’s a no-pressure debut. But Nicholas has upped the stakes. ‘The concert is a gift to my parents for their continued support throughout my performance career, and they have absolutely no idea that the concert is dedicated to them!’ he tells Slipped Disc. ‘Warning: There is a 200% percent chance that my mother will cry during the concert. It is recommended that all audience members emotionally prepare themselves before attending.’


  • Thomasina says:

    …When? He could pay the Carnegie Hall? The concert will be free or there are many people who will pay for him? And if his mother is a reader of this blog?

    • Sixtus says:

      He’s booked Weill Recital Hall, not the big, famous and considerably more expensive concert hall just next door. And tix are $30, not free. Anybody who can successfully run a non-profit knows where his money is best spent. I hope he at least breaks even.

    • Nicholas King says:

      Hi Thomasina,

      I raised the money to rent out Weill Hall over the past academic year. Tickets are for sale through the link in the article. My parent’s aren’t musicians so I’m fairly certain that they won’t see this post. I organized the event to celebrate my graduation from Juilliard and publicly thank my parents for all of their support throughout the years. I thought it would be a thoughtful gesture to showcase all of their hard work during my musical career. It will end with bringing them up on stage to take a bow. I hope that you can make it!

      • Ingrid says:

        Having known your mother since we have been 4 years old, we have chatted about many things… I am so elated with your decision, they will be thrilled, yet mostly honored. Mums the word I won’t tell…. and yes she and I have discussed handkerchiefs, having cried with my family while you performed at the Disney Concert Hall upon peering down seeing your family beam with pride and joyful tears, I am so delighted to be able, along with my sister and mother, who was your grandmothers baking buddy… to experience this event with your family, my family.

  • Marj says:

    Good for you. I think its a fabulous idea and wonderful gesture. I assume dinner afterwards somewhere nice nearby?

  • Mark Cogley says:

    Everyone should know that the phrase “performed at Carnegie Hall” does not mean what it used to. Years ago there was Carnegie Hall and Carnegie Recital Hall. Now there is something called “Carnegie Hall” under which umbrella three performing halls are subsumed: the rather recently created Zankel Hall, Weil (formerly Carnegie) Recital Hall and “Stern Auditorium”, which is what we used to call Carnegie Hall, named after Isaac Stern, who saved it from demolition 58 years ago. Of course this re-definition is financially helpful in obtaining rentals and then people can claim a “Carnegie Hall” debut. But it is rather shoddy – most people are still under the impression it means what it did 25 years ago.

  • rg says:

    Somebody needs to explain to Norman the difference between Carnegie Hall and Weill Hall.

  • Nigel Goldberg says:

    Not only to Norman. I have read many biographies stating that people have made their debut at the Carnegie Hall when, in fact, it was the Weill or Zankell Hall.

  • Paul King says:

    It indeed was a wonderful surprise for both, my wife Marilyn and I.
    The secret held so well that, we only just read your article a few days ago.
    Nicholas is a fine young man, and a son with whom, we are all very proud.
    – Paul King