Retired cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, now principal of the Birmingham Conservatoire, has launched a broadside in the Guardian against the Simon Rattle-led campaign for a new concert hall costing half a billion pounds.
Julian’s case: We’ve spent £111m on doing up the Royal Festival Hall. It is now good enough.
Just because a concert hall doesn’t bathe its performers in a comforting wash of sound doesn’t mean it is not a good hall for the listener. It is no coincidence that some of the greatest performances I have ever heard have been at the festival hall. It has proved to be the exception to all known acoustical rules. In fact its acoustic distinguishes the men from the boys, and the finest musicians raise their games accordingly.
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