Fine tuning on the fly gives Soka Performing Arts Center rich sound

Posted on: October 11, 2011

Wednesday (10/7) on the Los Angeles Times blog Culture Monster, Christopher Smith writes, “The unlikely locale of Aliso Viejo may have just become Southern California’s most obliging host to orchestras coming our way. Tuesday night’s performance by the St. Petersburg Symphony in front of more than 600 at the new Soka Performing Arts Center, the second appearance by an orchestra at the hall, confirms initial impressions that the Orange County venue welcomes all musical comers. Yasuhisa Toyota—largely acknowledged as the world’s leading acoustician—has bestowed an acoustic alchemy that makes orchestras playing here sound nigh on splendid. And while there was a noticeable schism in Tuesday night’s program—the St. Petersburg ensemble seemed more assured delivering Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony vs. Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto—the hall itself again delivered sonic luster at almost every note. … The key is found in 10 velour draperies hidden from view, seven in the ceiling and three behind the back and side walls. Cut to different sizes and weighing 28 ounces per square foot, these can be opened or closed with stops in between with no more effort than pushing a button on a remote control that ‘tunes,’ if you will, the hall to the amount and kind of sound likely to be generated.”

Posted October 11, 2011