(CBS4) — South Beach is putting a new twist on the fussy old image of a symphony concert. Tuesday night, the $160 million New World Symphony Concert Hall opens to the public amid huge fanfare and architectural accolades.

Grand Opening ceremonies kick off at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday with the first symphony to be performed Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. as conductor Michael Tilson Thomas leads the symphony in Wagner’s ‘Overture to The Flying Dutchman.’

The new concert hall on Miami Beach was designed by world-famous architect Frank Gehry who decided to bring a more modern touch to the symphony listening experience.

The New World Symphony hall, with 756 seats, has “fixed”’ acoustics, with only acoustical curtains in its four walls to adjust its sound. The hall does not utilize the “shoebox” seating design but instead is built in an “arena” format with the audience seated on all four sides of the performers. It’s a relatively modern idea, designed to put the audience closer to the performers.

Gehry’s concert hall is also the first American concert space built from the ground up to include sophisticated video, theater-style lightning, and flexible stage space that can accommodate not just an orchestra, but soloists and chamber groups.

And you don’t have to be inside the building to enjoy the show. When weather permits, performances in the hall will be piped out through state-of-the-art speakers and projected on an 80-foot-by-100-foot exterior wall for audiences in an adjacent park. These “wall-casts” allow people outside to see and hear what’s happening inside.

The New World Symphony hall will also be connected to more than 200 universities and other institutions via a new data transmission vehicle called Internet2, the new generation of Internet connecting educational, nonprofit and research institutions.

The New World Symphony Concert Hall is located just off Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road at 500 17th Street.

Click here for more information.

  1. Dave Radile says:

    I think this accomplishment deserves some video footage. I’ve read the reviews in several magazines but I suspect that you have to see it in three dimensions to really appreciate something like this. And of course, being tucked away in Madison heights, VA means the best I can hope for is a video.

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