Chicago Symphony to explore acoustic revamp of hall

Posted on: June 21, 2013

“The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association plans to redouble its efforts to fix the hall’s problematic acoustics,” writes John von Rhein in Friday’s (6/21) Chicago Tribune (subscription required). “The auditorium’s dry … sound was not significantly improved … by several expensive renovations over the years and is to undergo [what Music Director Riccardo Muti called] ‘a massive change’ with respect to acoustics…. Acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota was invited to consult with Muti and orchestra officials during the conductor’s residency here in April… ‘This is a potential project and very much in the exploratory phase,’ said CSO spokeswoman Rachelle Roe.’  … It is Muti’s view that although the sound that reaches the ears of audience members ‘doesn’t suffer’ in quality or quantity, ‘the reverberation is not enough,’ and there are further problems with the distribution of high and low frequency sound throughout the hall, which dates from 1904. … The most extensive attempt thus far to improve the hall’s acoustics was at the heart of the $110 million renovation and expansion that in 1997 transformed Orchestra Hall and the surrounding spaces into Symphony Center.”

Posted June 21, 2013