Carnegie Hall: Not the Place to Hold a Benefit in NYC


So, of the $189,793 worth of proceeds Carnegie Hall will take in if Sunday’s Haiti fundraiser–featuring the world-beating pianist Lang Lang, conductor Christoph Eschenbach, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, and Wyclef Jean–sells out completely, how much will Haiti get? About $8,000, reports the New York Times. The rest will go to the venue’s astonishingly high rental and promotional costs, “with the biggest chunks going to stagehands and newspaper advertisements.” A Unicef spokesman, making the best of it, told the paper that “It’s an enormous profile raiser,” and that “the fact that the donation may not have six zeros after it doesn’t mean it’s not worth making, that’s for sure.”

Still, it’s hard to conceive of a more inefficient charity effort–except maybe that of Jean’s scandal-ridden Yele Foundation, anyway. Weirdly, his scheduled duet with Lang Lang is pretty much the only place Carnegie is giving organizers a break–after learning that Jean would be involved, the venue agreed to donate “the $1,875 cost of a sound system and $780 for other audio equipment.” So, birds of a feather, basically. [NYT via Vulture]

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