Frank Gehry on the architecture of concert halls and classical music

Posted on: January 30, 2020

“The architect Frank Gehry has made few concessions to life in his tenth decade,” writes Justin Davidson in last Wednesday’s (1/22) New York magazine. Gehry is “keeping a close eye on the dozens of designs destined for sites on several continents.” In addition to museums, residences, and towers, Gehry has designed several concert halls. “Q: What makes a project exciting for you? Gehry: I love doing concert halls. I love classical music. How do you make a building communicate? How do you make the stage conducive to interaction or the orchestra share what the audience is feeling? It has to do with scale, materials, placement of details. Q: Have your thoughts about how to achieve that changed since Walt Disney Concert Hall? Gehry: Classical music has changed. While I’m changing, they’re changing…. Concert halls need to be able to do a lot of different things now. The Pierre Boulez Saal we did in Berlin was a gift to [the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, co-founded by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said]. It’s only 700 seats, so it’s easier to make it more intimate. We flew a balcony overhead, floating, and the acoustician said it wasn’t going to work. Now he wants us to do it again every time.”