Q&A: What is wrong with London’s concert halls?

Professor Trevor Cox writes .....

Sir Simon Rattle is to join the London Symphony Orchestra in 2017, and has been doing some strong lobbying to get a new concert hall in London. What is wrong with the current venues? And is it worth £100-200 million to build a new one?

Simon Rattle has been lucky to have been resident in two high quality concert halls. Pictured above is Symphony Hall in Birmingham, which was opened in 1991. The acoustic design was done by the late Russell Johnson and is often quoted as having the best acoustics in the UK. Unlike most large concert halls, this was not a one-off design created by a starchitect. This is one from a small family of halls around the world with a similar design based around the traditional shoebox shape, with each newer hall being a refined and improved version. The first was in Dallas and the last in Lucerne. This gradual refinement meant that Lucerne is often seen as one of the best auditoria in the world rivalling the best classical halls.

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