Monday, December 20, 2010

Buildings + Events| New World Symphony Facility, Miami Beach

“Bravo” to the Gehry New World Symphony Facility
by Irene Sperber

Entrance of the New World Symphony

Michael Tilson Thomas is Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, Miami Beach. A teaching facility, graduate music majors apply to NWS for the opportunity to expand their performance chops; an impressive number of NWS alumnae have been readied and hired into major Orchestra around the world.

The brand new game-changing Gehry designed New World Symphony building is slated to explode onto the concert scene January 25th. Located just a few blocks from the existing NWS off Lincoln Road, the concert hall and adjoining Lincoln Park (park by Dutch urban & landscape architects, West 8) will open up the symphonic experience to new generations of concert-goers. I took a press tour recently and was knocked out by the huge leap in revolutionary orchestral offerings. Gehry said that this is the most functional building he has ever created. Michael TilsonThomas and the NWS worked closely with Gehry Partners to insure that rooms worked with the purpose of the

Howard Herring, NWS President wanted a welcoming threshold: “How will we use electronic media to get people in - this is an experiment, a laboratory, learning as we go with the audience”. The Park will have it’s own wifi, able to communicate info with smart phones; posters alerting the public to upcoming events will go digital. There will be fiber optics throughout, allowing musicians far and wide to avail themselves of the high degree of instruction offered by the NWS. The Vienna Philharmonic will be able to teach, via fiber optics, after their working day in Austria.

Concerts will be projected onto outside walls so people in Lincoln Park can enjoy balmy Miami evenings along with the NWS soundtrack; half hour concerts will be offered throughout chosen evenings so as not to interfere with dinner plans or our modern short attention spans...... for $2.50. Inside audiences will be enveloped by sound rather than merely observers; seats can be moved about, several screens peppered around the ceilings will add information on composers or enhance with myriad visuals. Sound and design, light and installations will experiment in social engineering, with interaction bringing the symphonic world into the modern societal milieu.

New World Symphony Facility, Miami Beach
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Founding Director of the NWS, Michael Tilson Thomas