New York Phil’s Latest Renovation Plan Seems To Have Been Worth Waiting For

On Monday, the New York Philharmonic (NYP) and Lincoln Center announced what appears to be the actual renovation plan and design for the Philharmonic’s new hall. While observers have been conditioned to assume the organization’s are more likely crying wolf than renovation, it seems that the latest rendition is likely to stick.

That’s a good thing, because the initial information looks fabulous.

For now, renderings are in short supply but just look at what’s in store.

Interior rendering of Geffen hall

Interior rendering of Geffen hall

While notes of a vineyard design are present, it’s still a strong shoebox concept. And if there’s an acoustics firm out there capable of giving New York what it so badly needs, it’s a•’ku•stiks.

They’re the firm behind some of the most remarkable successes across the globe over the past decade. Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville (2006), Cincinnati’s massive renovation (2017), Ordway Center Concert Hall (2015), Teatro Mayor in Bogotá, Colombia (2010), and the list goes on and on.

As of now, there’s not much information available but if you’re a regular reader, you’ve already had an insider view thanks to a series of guest author posts from one of a•’ku•stiks principals, Christopher Blair.

Blair will be heavily involved in the project and if you want to walk a mile in his shoes, so to speak, here are a quintet of must-read articles that will provide some insight into what you can expect.

Orchestral Acoustics 101: Avery Fisher Hall

Orchestral Acoustics 101: Vineyard vs. Shoebox

Building Concert Halls, Part 1: What makes a great concert hall?

Building Concert Halls, Part 2: Well-worn paths to failure

Building Concert Halls, Part 3: How to ensure success

And you never know, he just may write something special for us at some point soon.

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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