After more than two years of waiting, the group that is renovating Music Hall has finally revealed the plans for the hall. Yes, you’ll get 62 percent more restrooms and lots of new bars in the plan, now at $135 million. But what’s happening to the concert hall, Springer Auditorium? It has long been known for its grandeur as well as its fine acoustics. There will be a vast number of changes to the concert space. They include changing the cubic volume of Springer Auditorium, building new walls of concrete board inside the old walls, re-raking all three floors with new materials (concrete with wood overlay), moving the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra farther out into the hall on a thrust stage, putting the musicians on risers installing new acoustical clouds, reworking the orchestra shell, taking out about 1,000 seats, putting in new seats and changing the configuration of them, which includes getting rid of the center aisle.
According to acoustical consultant Paul Scarbrough of Akustiks, it will basically be a new hall within the old hall, but with the gallery level untouched. He calls that the “saddlebag” –– a place were sound can resonant above.
Scarbrough says he’s making subtle acoustical changes, “because first you have the fact that the hall already has a very good acoustic.”
Will it work? And will the hall retain what Scarbrough calls “musical memory”? Here are the stories I have written since the plans were unveiled to the public in late February.
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