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Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, Miami, Florida, USA  
    [ photos Knight Concert Hall ]
    [ photos Ziff Ballet Opera House ]


Arthur Kaptainis / The Gazette
March 8, 2011

. . .

Quite an opposite acoustic prevails downtown in the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall, part of the 2006 Adrienne Arsht Centre for the Performing Arts, which is said to be second only to Lincoln Centre among U.S. arts complexes in area. The angular exterior design (Cesar Pelli is the celebrity architect here) makes an impression only from a distance, and the interior of the concert hall (there is also an opera house) is a standard wood-and-fabric number, softened by some curves.

The sound was robust and golden on the night I went. Credit Artec consultants (the firm also retained as consultant for the new Montreal hall), but also the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, which sounded redoubtably central-European under Philippe Entremont (yes, that French pianist has transformed himself into something of a German conductor). It takes acoustics like this to support a tempo this slow in Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel. I spoke to a couple of musicians who thought the Knight Hall was the best hall they had played in on their U.S. tour.

The New World Symphony uses Knight Hall for its big-name-soloist programs, but the big act is the Cleveland Orchestra, which has established a winter residency in the place. Tonight you can hear Cleveland play (among other items) Ravel’s Bolero under Giancarlo Guerrero, the Costa Rican (speaking Spanish is an unstated prerequisite in the Miami area) who was named principal guest conductor of the Cleveland residency this week.

Hmmm. Ravel’s Bolero. I can think of an orchestra that does a fair job of that. But why would the MSO want to be in Miami and miss all this great Montreal weather?

. . .

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