New York's Carnegie Hall has made records of the first 50 years of its performance history freely available to the public for the first time. The venue's website now includes a search feature, giving access to details of more than 12,500 events, spanning the years 1891 to 1941. Users can search by keyword, composer, work, performer, date, or date range.

Among the information available so far in the database are complete programme details for nearly a hundred performances by Jascha Heifetz (pictured). On his US debut on 27 October 1917, for example, he played works by Vitali, Wieniawski, Schubert, Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Paganini and Tartini. Users can also find out what the eleven-year-old Yehudi Menuhin played at his debut New York recital: Tartini's 'Devil's Trill' Sonata, the Bach Chaconne and Chausson's Poème all featured on his programme.

More records from a total database of nearly 50,000 events are due to be made available on a regular basis over the next year, as part of Carnegie Hall's ongoing project to digitise its archives.

Photo: Library of Congress