REOPENING OF @SuntoryHallE TOKYO AFTER RENOVATION

Suntory Hall (Location: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi) celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2016. To mark this occasion, a major renovation has been carried out on the entire hall and the additional entrance has been constructed in a seven-month project that was launched in February 2017. Suntory Hall is scheduled to reopen its doors on 1 September.

The renovations were carried out under the basic concepts of “Tradition and Innovation” with focus on the three key points of “Inheriting Tradition–Acoustics and design”, “Designing Diversity – For all audiences”, and “Improving our facilities – Developing a next-generation performing space for music”.

In its pursuit of “the world’s most beautiful sound”, Suntory Hall will continue to take on challenges and engage in initiatives that can be achieved only by Suntory Hall. Initiatives are carried out based on the following guidelines:
1. Offering creative and high quality performances organized by the Hall
2. Engaging in educational programs aimed at the succession and development of music culture
3. Towards a more global Hall strengthening global services

  • Three key concepts behind full renovation of the Hall
  1. Inheriting Tradition – Acoustics and design

Since opening its doors in 1986, Suntory Hall has continued to pursue “the world’s most beautiful sound”. The renovations were carried out in order to maintain the acoustics and atmosphere of the Hall.

  1. Designing Diversity – For all audiences

The renovations focus on achieving universal design aimed at providing a comfortable environment to a wide range of visitors. The vineyard-style design dictates the need for slopes and other physical constraints, but every possible repair and improvement was carried out in several areas to ensure better accessibility.

  1. Improving our facilities – Developing a next-generation performing space for music

Remarkable cutting-edge technological innovations in acoustics and lighting have been incorporated in renovations to enhance facilities. The stage and seating area lighting have been changed to LED, and equipment such as digital signage and laser projectors have been newly installed.

Please see the following link for details:
http://www.suntory.com/culture-sports/suntoryhall/facility/reopening20170901/

  • Re-opening concert on 1 September

The main program of the Re-Opening Concert marking the new beginning of Suntory Hall after renovations will be Rossini’s “Messe solennelle (Missa Solemnis)”, performed using the critical edition by D. Daolmi/ Foundatione Rossini published in 2013 (Japan premiere).
Please come to enjoy the reopening of the new Suntory Hall featuring a full orchestra, mixed chorus, and the glorious sound of the organ that has undergone a full-scale overhaul by master craftsmen of the world-renowned Rieger Orgelbau of Austria.

Contact the following for interviews, inquiries or requests for photos or documents:
Public Relations Department, Suntory Hall
suntoryhall-pr@suntory.co.jp
Tel.: +81-(0)3-3505-1002 Fax: +81-(0)3-3505-1007
1-13-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-8403
http://suntory.jp/HALL/

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Buenos Aires opens new Concert Hall

For a long time things didn’t run well in Argentina. And there are still many issues waiting to be improved, especially in the arts sector. Teatro Colón for example is suffering from severe mismanagement.

However, on May 21st 2015 a new arts centre (including a 1750-seat-concert hall) has been open in the more-than-refurbished former Main Post Office, downtown Buenos Aires (“Centro Cultural Kirchner“). Old architecture is combined with cutting-edge technical equipment. Acoustics are reported to be superb. One mustn’t agree with the Kirchner regime in political questions at all, but this new building seems to be an outstanding and interesting new hot spot for the National Symphony Orchestra as well as for internationally touring orchestras.

Watch the government “propaganda” video, which at least offers a good impressions of the new venue and the whole project:

Hamburg Elbphilharmonie: First impressions of Great Hall under construction

After several delays and an explosion of costs the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie is going to be opened on January 17, 2017. Drafted as a new stunning landmark at Hamburg harbour site with great architecture the main question is about the acoustics. However, this will be a challenge and (hopefully) miracle, to be expierienced in late 2016… The promotion video looks promising!

Worldwide unique: The Bayreuth Festival Orchestra

There are many classic music festival around the globe. And there are many festival orchestras perfoming worldwide. But there is only one Bayreuth Festival Orchestra. And this one is unique: Since its first appearance in 1876 the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra is recruited out of a selection of superb orchestra musicians from Germany, other international well known orchestras and a couple of music conservatoire professors. Orchestra directors are (s)elected musicians themselves, for everey section: strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion. They decide whom to invite for the next season. This is a matter of a continuing high standing quality and an outstanding audience experience.

Bayreuth Festspielhaus

. Bayreuth Festspielhaus

Some 200 musicians started rehearsing  in the Bayreuth Festival premises in late June. The know “their” Wagner scores for years and sometimes by heart. They love to perform this music in the very special, stair like (and from the auditorium side invisible) orchestra pit. This pit construction is a guarantee for an unique acoustics. The musicans are soundkeepers of a German Wagner sound, especially when Christian Thielemann is conducting. This is a part of German orchestra tradition and an unique orchestra sound. Traditionally, on July 25 the first night of the festival will be open for a prominent audience which will walk on the red carpet in front of the “Festspielhaus”. And listen to an unique orchestra.

Concert halls – Temples of art and cultural work place

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg HarbourConcert halls have to fulfil varying functions for audiences and musicians. Beginning in London in the late 17th century, cities with strong civic traditions such as Hamburg and Leipzig soon also erected purpose-built concert halls. Originally following a “shoe box” design, more recently architects and acoustical engineers have advocated other shapes. Acoustics are, of course, a central aspect for musicians when rating a concert hall.
Yet other aspects are important, too: historical and architectural flair, catering and, often mentioned, but frequently overlooked by architects, a spacious backstage that allows easy storage of and access to instruments. From the perspective of audiences, other aspects gain importance: of course, acoustics are fundamental again, but listeners also appreciate features such as smooth audience flows with short (or no) queues at doors, toilets or bars; seats that are easy to find and that also offer good views; or the setting of the concert hall with good accessibility or beautiful vistas.
Among new concert halls, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg – still under construction – is certainly among the most ambitious. Christoph Lieben-Seutter, director of both, Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle, Hamburg’s other concert hall, knows about their different profiles in terms of size, atmosphere and acoustics. Rather than creating competition, he is confident that they will complement each other. Given its protracted development, the Elbphilharmonie is a good example for the fact that concert halls – established, newly built, or planned – often court controversy. Other topic examples in Germany are the cities Bonn, Dresden, Saarbruecken, Bochum and Konstanz where concert hall plans face opposition for a number of reasons.
For example Stephan Braunfels, designated architect for the Saarbruecken project, knows the difficulties. But apart from financial and political questions, a concert hall architect also has to face other aspects, such as local style history and the combination of acoustic and visual experiences.