Manhattan School of Music, Neidorff-Karpati Hall New York, New York

Manhattan School of Music is recognized as a premier international conservatory that has trained some of the world's most important performing artists and has upheld a tradition of excellence in music education for a century.

  • Location

    New York, New York

  • Sector


  • Service


  • Client

    Manhattan School of Music

  • Status


  • Size

    21,350 SF
    670 Seats

Neidorff-Karpati Hall is the largest venue on the Manhattan School of Music campus and heavily scheduled for many music ensembles, opera and musical theatre performances.  Limitations of the existing performance hall hindered large group performance in the existing multi-purpose music hall, as it lacked an appropriate acoustical stage environment and size. Large performance groups found themselves both behind the proscenium and in front of it. The renovation breathes new life into the original Art Deco space and features — designed by Arthur L. Harmon of the firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon (designers of the Empire State Building) in 1930 — while incorporating a contemporary aesthetic. The team protected and preserved the Art Deco details and the essence of the original 1931 design, updating and improving upon that original work to transform the hall, both visually and acoustically.

Indeed, once inside, a new modifiable one-piece orchestra shell transforms the stage to accommodate a full range of musical genres. A mobile proscenium arch allows or opera and music theater productions. The distinct neo-deco quality of the audiences chamber was enhanced by featuring refurbished interior elements; textured wall moldings, brass signage and railings, and unique wood chair rails.

Steinberg Hart designed a new grand entrance way through reconstituted existing spaces, furnishing the public and the student body with a larger, more accessible, and secure entrance that gives patrons direct access to the renewed Neidorff-Karpati Hall. “The grand new entrance on Claremont Avenue and the expanded entryway have aligned Manhattan School of Music’s center of gravity to the literal center point of the campus, providing more convenient access to many of the School’s key facilities and performance spaces, including the focus of this project: the beautifully reimagined and revitalized Neidorff-Karpati Hall,” shared Manhattan School of Music President James Gandre.