August 31, 2013 at 5:52 AMIn which great hall would you most like to experience an orchestra concert, either as a spectator or as a musician?
I realize that I will not please everyone with these options -- I'm limited to five, and there are surely far more great halls in the world than that! But here are some of the most well-known and interesting ones, all reviewed as having good acoustics. I also tried to get a mix of old and new, with locations around the globe. Think about these, and then feel free to tell us if you have another that you'd really love to experience.
If you want to know more about these halls, here are some links:
A history of Carnegie Hall
My love-in article about Disney Hall in LA
A New York Times review of Beijing's "Bird Egg"
A Wikipedia entry on the Berlin Philharmonie
A Wikipedia article on the Musikverein in Vienna
Here also is a really nice blog about concert halls around the world, though I suspect it gives some preference to visually-alluring halls.
I will choose the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam first and then Carnegie Hall as a close second.
Don't despair - even I, a mere orchestral fiddler, played in 2 of those halls. Perhaps, had I developed a more Prima Donna temperament, I might have made Carnegie Hall, too - we BBC Philharmonic players had to be content with the Avery Fisher in NYC.
Had I not retired in 2000, I might just have notched up the "Bird's Egg" and the Disney !
My favourites have been the "shoeboxes" that aren't too big, e.g. that famous Vienna one. Bradford, UK, has a nice one, as does Hamburg. Performing a symphonic standard, such as a Brahms Symphony, in such a hall can give one a feeling of playing "into" a warm and cohesive ensemble sound, enough of which reflects back to encourage the participants.
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