Adapting Stage Acoustics in Response to COVID

Last fall I delivered a lecture in Amsterdam about stage acoustics for orchestras, thinking it was a great opportunity to share what I’d learned over the years and looking forward to further study.  A year later, I have no idea when I’ll be allowed to travel to hear the Concertgebouw again and the picture of an orchestra on a stage – any orchestra on any stage! – looks wildly different than …

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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 …

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The Acoustical Curmudgeon, Volume 1: Eating/Drinking Establishments

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After reading an article by Kate Wagner in the 11/27/2018 edition of The Atlantic that examined the increase of noise levels at restaurants, I knew acoustician Chris Blair, one of Adaptistration’s most popular guest authors, would have plenty to say on the topic. Chris’ article expands on The Atlantic piece by providing a deeper dive into the subject and presenting approaches establishments can consider to help rectify the problems. ~ Drew McManus Perhaps …

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Building Concert Halls, Part 3: How to ensure success

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In contrast to the “outside in approach” discussed in my last installment, great concert hall design starts with accommodating the essential requirements of both performers and audience, then moving outward in its architectural expression for support areas and public spaces….an “inside out approach”. There is an old expression: “form follows function” which today’s designers of concert halls and theaters would do well to return to their philosophy. And this concept can …

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

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In 2002 my company, Akustiks, was hired to design a new concert hall for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra had been playing for many years in a large multi-purpose theater under the direction of Maestro Kenneth Schermerhorn. Increasing difficulties in scheduling the theater to accommodate what was becoming a full-time orchestra in part led to the realization that if the orchestra was to reach its potential, a new home would …

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