Christian Thielemann on video: This hall has the best acoustics in the world

Christian Thielemann on video: This hall has the best acoustics in the world


norman lebrecht

November 18, 2015

Three artists, big in Japan, sing the praises of Suntory Hall, Tokyo, ahead of its 30th anniversary. Zubin Mehta sings the praises of his very good friends and benefactors. Anne-Sophie Mutter does a straight plug for her next season.

And Christian Thielemann takes the opportunity to declare that Suntory has the best acoustics in the world, superior to Berlin and Vienna.


suntory hall


  • Olassus says:

    They’re right! It is No. 1.

  • Alexander Hall says:

    Thielemann does NOT actually say that Suntory is superior to Vienna and Berlin. He simply says – listen to the German original and not the inadequate English translation, which turns Mutter’s word “festives” into “prestigious” in English – that Suntory is special and has acoustics which are comparable to the very best in the world. That is very different from what is billed in the headline.

    • Ray Richardson says:

      Nothing new in that. Unfortunaely NL is a compulsive sensationalizer. Look what Michael White had to, say when writing in the Independent some years ago on “When the Music Stops” :

      “…….artists get away with their charges because the whole business is steeped in corruption – which Mr Lebrecht, with the untiring moral zeal of someone on the doorstep from the Sunday People, is determined to expose. As a compendium of gossip about who earns what and slept with whom to get it, it’s a fascinating read. But as a serious response to an important issue which does need to be addressed, it fails – partly because Lebrecht’s approach is blinkered, fixed on the conclusion that he wants to reach.”

      It’s a shame his zeal is so indiscriminate and spoils the useful info one can find here occasionally.

    • Mary . . . says:


    • Mary . . . says:

      @ Alexander Hall (Y)

  • Jorge Grundman says:

    Everybody must differenciate two kind of acoustics impressions on any hall. On the stage and on the audience areas. One could be better than the other. So it could be better for the audience but bad for the performer.

    In this case I suppose they are talking about the stage acoustics.

    What one could imagine is that if the artist feels good with the stage acoustics will make a better performance…But this is not sure…

  • M2N2K says:

    Acoustically, that hall is definitely one of the best.

  • Paul says:

    With his limited US career, I doubt that he has ever conducted in Symphony Hall in Boston, the best as far as I, and many other people, are concerned.