#TBT: Speaking Of Concert Halls

So you want to learn about concert hall projects; well, you’ve come to the right place. In the wake of the New York Philharmonic’s bombshell announcement about scrapping the existing concert hall renovation plan and Cincinnati Symphony’s mega-renovation project coming online to overwhelmingly positive reviews, focusing today’s #TBT post on the topic of concert hall projects seems like a no-brainer.

Adaptistration People 099To that end, concert hall projects have been one of Adaptistration’s longest running regular topics that also enjoys some of the deepest dives into research and multi-year examination. Let’s look at some of the gems you can uncover.

Size Matters

Not even one year old yet and the blog was already making waves in the field. One of the very first major research projects was Size Matters, a series that examined several recently completed, ongoing, and planned concert hall projects. The articles include detailed survey responses from each group about their project along with comments from their respective executives and musicians. To this day, it remains one of my absolute favorites and even ended up producing a few spin-off series.

Read Size Matters articles

Learn From An Expert

We mentioned guest author Chris Blair in a recent post about guest authors but there’s no way we could overlook his contributions over the years on the topic of concert hall design and acoustics for this #TBT installment. Simply put, this is the man you want to listen to when it comes to these subjects. Spoiler alert: it was his firm, Akustiks, that did Cincinnati’s recent renovation.

Read Chris Blair’s articles

Schermerhorn Symphony Center

One of the most valuable spin-offs from the Size Matters series are the articles about Nashville Symphony’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center (SSC). Not only did we follow the project over the course of the initial construction, but we covered their subsequent flood disaster recovery as well.

I’m pleased to say the SSC series stands as the most in-depth, far reaching, and exhaustive series available on the subject of contemporary concert hall design.

Read Schermerhorn Symphony Center articles

Curious To Know How Concert Hall Projects Fail?

In 2005, we examined the collapse of the Virginia Performing Arts Foundation, which in turn meant the Richmond (VA) Symphony never realized their dream of a new concert hall. Farther down the east coast, we tracked the Atlanta Symphony’s efforts to build a new Santiago Calatrava designed concert hall. The wheels for this project fell off one by one thanks to, among other things, relying too much on government funding and inadequate project leadership.



Hey Look, An Entire Category On Concert Hall Topics

Of course, there’s a Concert Hall category. 33 articles (not counting this one)…and counting.

Concert Hall category archive

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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