April 11, 1888: Concertgebouw, Home of Nearly Perfect Acoustics, Opens

Tony Long Email 04.11.07

1888: The Concertgebouw concert hall opens in Amsterdam.

The Concertgebouw, designed by Adolf Leonard van Gendt, is renowned above all else for its superb acoustics. Its architecture was inspired by the Neue Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Germany, another first-rate hall that was destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II.

Today, only two other concert halls -- the Musikverein in Vienna and Symphony Hall in Boston -- are considered comparable acoustically to the Concertgebouw.

The acoustics of the main hall, which seats approximately 2,000 people, are ideally suited for the late Romantic repertoire that is one of the pillars of European classical music. It is less suited for amplified music, although a number of famous rock bands have played there over the years.

The hall, home to Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, hosts roughly 800 performances of all types every year, making it the busiest concert hall in the world.

(Source: Various)

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