Monday, February 7th, 2011
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The World's Most Exciting New Concert Hall


Miami Beach now, unexpectedly, has two of the most exciting buildings in the world. The first was a parking garage, by Herzog & de Meuron, which serves little public benefit except beauty. (Though it is a boon to the wedding and party industry, and it also serves much private benefit to its owner, and no doubt it will be converted entirely into rich people lofts in the future.) That the owner calls it a "civic space" is pretty ridiculous; his penthouse is on the roof of the building and the flat rate for parking is $15. But the new home of the New World Symphony, reviewed today by Alex Ross, a few blocks away, is out of this world. I'm not a Frank Gehry fan in general but the hall is designed entirely to engage and invite the public; it fights every problematic issue of the death of classical music and the cloistering of its audience. Each night during performances, the exterior broadcast of the music and video from inside plays to packed standing-room-only crowds. And you think: wow, they actually got it! To watch an older arts institution prioritize innovative ways to create and engage new audiences is fantastic.

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freetzy (#7,018)

Finally, a place to wear my pastel green linen tuxedo with cargo pants.

The Disney's nice too. Doesn't really have the foot traffic at concert time for this kind of setup. It does have a separate theatre/performance space for extra avant-garde stuff – the RedCat. (Having seen a Branca symphony in the main hall I think requires that "extra" designation.)

Although I do trust Jackie Gleason when he said that "Miami Beach audiences are the greatest audiences in the world!"

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