The retrospectives on the Walt Disney Concert Hall at ten years old are beginning. Mark Swed, the music critic for the LA Times, writes that "the 2,265-seat auditorium is acoustically one of the finest of its size in the world. Disney Hall has helped revitalize downtown, and it has inspired the L.A. Phil to become one of the most vibrant and forward-looking major arts organizations anywhere. Tourists take pleasure in merely touching the building's shiny surfaces. Yet Disney Hall is not what it could be."
He goes on:
Panicky cost-cutting measures during construction left out elements that would have made the exterior and lobby more dazzling and the hall more flexible. The Music Center, which maintains the hall, seems in danger of taking the venue for granted, not eager to invest in it when it can bask in glory by doing nothing. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is planning a subway line under the hall, raising concerns that train vibrations will spoil the sound.
Now, while Disney Hall is entering into its 10th anniversary in the limelight, is the time to begin thinking about the next 10 years and the decades beyond. Concert halls are meant to last.
LA Observed photo