Live Sound

Alice Tully Hall Receives Acoustic Tune-Up

Read Mix Profile on Sound System for Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center in New York City 4/01/2009 8:00 AM Eastern

Alice Tully Hall
Photo: Iwan Baan

New York City's Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center officially re-opened on February 22, 2009, after a 22-month, $159 million renovation, featuring an acoustical design by JaffeHolden's chairman/director of design, Mark Holden. The 1,100-seat hall's new walls have been rebuilt from solid wood and resin and reshaped into sinuous curves to distribute sound reflections optimally and sustain a bright, clear sound for classical concerts, recitals and chamber music. The sound absorption of the original audience seats was tested in acoustic labs and replicated in the new chairs.

To create a more intimate musical environment, two automated stage extensions allow for adjustable staging options and audience capacities. New stage ceilings over the musicians can be tuned to enhance onstage hearing and projection of sound to the audience.

As the room is often used by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the theater will have a new automated film system, and JaffeHolden has engineered acoustic banners that will drop from the ceilings and cover the walls to transform the concert hall into a room that has the acoustics of a film theater; mods include speaker systems behind the portable screen and surrounding the walls. Additional speaker systems descend from the attic for jazz concerts, television and music festivals.

In addition, as a subway line is located below the venue, Metropolitan Transportation Authority subway tracks within 2,000 feet of the hall have been mounted on special rubber pads designed to limit the noise of the rumbling trains.