The Critic: The concert hall of the future

architectural rendering of the new David Geffen Hall in New York City with orchestra and audience

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Andrea Chin, Communications Director

March 1, 2022

Diamond Schmitt's re-imagined design of David Geffen Hall at the Lincoln Center is featured in The Critic's March 2022 issue in an article by Norman Lebrecht, music and cultural commentator and author of the classical music blog Slipped Disc.

"It is impossible to judge the acoustics at this stage, but capacity has been slashed from 2,738 seats to 2,200, which will improve sound distribution. Better still, blocks of seating can be raised or removed at will. A football-like terrace of seating at the rear of the stage is ideal for those of us who like to get up-close and personal with the musicians, but the seats can be retracted at the touch of a button to allow enlargement of the orchestra or a deeper backstage. The stage itself has been brought 25 feet forward to increase intimacy between performers and public — “more visceral,” says Deborah Borda, president of the New York Philharmonic — and the ceiling is higher. The side walls have been redesigned in wood with a view to “wrapping the orchestra with the room”.

We cannot know if the sound is perfect until the orchestra is let loose at full cry, but the plan takes the best principles of Boston’s nineteenth century shoebox shape and melds them with modern vineyard style of Hamburg and Paris. It ought to be good. One Philharmonic player who had a sneaky squeak of an instrument on stage tells me it really is."

To read the full article, please see here.