The Concert Hall • Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center
The centerpiece of The Meyerson is the Eugene McDermott Concert Hall, an intimate, acoustically superior performance space with seating for up to 2,062. Created by world-renowned acoustician Russell Johnson, every detail of the concert hall was designed to achieve the highest acoustical quality, with special elements of the design providing the capability of tailoring the acoustical environment to every performance.
“The acoustics of this hall are comparable to the great concert halls of Europe, and of the world.
The concert hall itself becomes an instrument of the orchestra, and we adjust to it
and fine tune our music-making to the hall week after week.”
- Dallas Symphony Orchestra Music Director, Jaap van Zweden
A system of four acoustical canopies, suspended above the stage, can be raised, lowered and tilted to enhance the sound clarity. The canopy units are 5 inches thick and constructed of laminated wood securely bonded together and attached to a steel frame. The canopies completely cover the stage, Choral Terrace and a portion of the Orchestra Floor (about 4,000 square feet). Selecting a canopy height for each concert is dependent on several factors including the size and location of the performance group, the instrumentation, and the style or character of the music being performed.
The main canopy (center front) weighs 42 tons, and is capable of tilting up to 7 degrees, with a high trim of 74 feet and a low trim of 35 feet. The side canopies (left and right) weigh 15 tons each and move together in tandem, and have a high trim of 76 feet and a low trim of 37 feet. The rear canopy, weighing 12 tons, has a high trim of 73 feet and a low trim height of 37 feet.
The reverberation chamber is a 300,000 cubic foot, U-shaped space, which surrounds the upper perimeter of the shoe-box shaped concert hall. The reverberation chamber is lined with 72 hinged, 4-inch-thick concrete acoustical doors that can be adjusted to tailor the reverberation decay. With the doors closed, the reverberance of the hall is reduced; when opened, the reverberation is increased. Acoustical curtains are also available to decrease reverberation within the chamber. The entire system is used to achieve the desired articulation of sound.
Acoustical curtains are available throughout the concert hall. This comprehensive system of 62 motor operated, multi-layered sound absorbing cloth curtains can be extended out of storage pockets to cover most of the wall surfaces of the audience and choral seating areas.
Other acoustical features include 39 antechambers to provide sound locks at all entrances to the concert hall, including backstage; and materials chosen specifically for their acoustical enhancement features (African cherry wood walls/mohair fabric on seats/terrazzo floor) are used throughout the concert hall.