BBC Proms at Hall for Cornwall
While BBC Proms always dominates the otherwise sleepy late summer music scene in London, this year nine chamber music performances have been programmed all around the UK. The most anticipated of these featured pianist Alim Beisembayev in a concert of Scarlatti, Liszt, and Chopin at the recently overhauled Hall for Cornwall in Truro.
The concert, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, was on Monday,
25 July, and is available on BBC Sounds.
Hall for Cornwall reopened in October 2021 after a £26m refurbishment masterminded by architects Burrell Foley Fischer along with Charcoalblue. The project has added seating capacity, reshaped the auditorium, renewed the audience experience, and allowed the venue to continue attracting performances to Cornwall.
In March, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra returned to Hall for Cornwall with conductor Kirlll Karabits conducting a programme that included the Cornwall-inspired symphonic poem, Tintagel, by Arnold Bax. BBC Radio 3 presenter, Petroc Trelawny tweeted – during the interval! – about the “amazing evening of music making” and that it was “brilliant to have an orchestra back here.” Charcoalblue Senior Consultant in Acoustics Vangelis Koufoudakis was present with the BSO, helping them adjust to the new venue.
“The variety of programming at Hall for Cornwall has inspired a system of adjustable devices to change the acoustic response of the auditorium. We were able to offer suggestions during the [BSO] rehearsal process, helping both the venue and the orchestra to get the most out of the Hall”
Vangelis Koufoudakis, Acoustician
The previous 1990s iteration of Hall for Cornwall had only 970 seats and was conceived as a flexible auditorium with a steep rake of retractable seating. With limited acoustic volume and the aspiration to add many more seats to the room, it had been assumed that only an electro-acoustic solution was viable. Charcoalblue’s acousticians sought to take advantage of other auditorium design objectives, including a shallow stalls rake, parallel sidewalls, and shallow balcony overhangs – and critically – extra acoustic volume gained by raising the roof. Variable acoustic banners, slotted between the open structure of the auditorium, now provide degrees of acoustic absorption to suit drama, amplified shows, and classical music. Byron Harrison, Managing Director of Acoustics at Charcoalblue, offers, “We are really pleased to have aligned the architectural, theatrical, and acoustic objectives for this complicated, but much loved, building.”