Niels Erik Lund (pictured), head of facility development at the Danish Radio (DR) Koncerthuset in Copenhagen, Denmark (featured on Mix magazine’s August 2015 cover), is heading to Sydney, Australia, to participate in the most thorough renovation and optimization of the Sydney Opera House since its inauguration in 1973. Lund is internationally acknowledged for his participation in the design process, development, and operations of the Danish Radio Concert Hall (Koncerthuset). Lund’s participation in the Sydney project is planned to run until spring 2017.
The renovation will include the concert hall, the technical installations at the Joan Sutherland Theatre, the public areas, and the general accessibility. Lund will be responsible for the concert hall’s acoustics, stage design, logistics, accessibility and general experience.
In 1957, the design of the Sydney Opera House was awarded by an international jury to Danish architect Jørn Utzon. The new team is to lead the prestigious work to secure the Sydney Opera House its position as one of the world’s leading cultural institutions and a Unesco World Heritage site.
“It is going to be a very exciting challenge for me,” says Lund. “If someone in the last 10 years had asked me if there was a dream place for me to work, I would have said the Sydney Opera House.” Lund says he has been Australia twice before, on tour as a sound engineer for the DR Big Band, which performed in the very same concert hall.
Specializing in jazz and big band recordings, Lund started working at Danish Radio in 1997 as a sound engineer/mixer. In 2000, Lund joined one of the working groups chosen to design the new Danish Radio Concert Hall complex, today known as DR Koncerthuset. In his duties, Lund served as the link between DR and French architect Jean Nouvel and the Japanese acousticians of Nagata Acoustics. For his work on the project, in 2009 Lund was presented the Emil Holm Award for his work in securing world class facilities for the musicians at Danish Radio.
Before his time at DR, Niels Erik and his brother Henrik, owned and ran recording studio Easy Sound, which in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s took a leading role in the Danish music industry. Artist like Miles Davis, Sneakers, Sanne Salomonsen, CV Jørgensen, Kasper Winding, Anne Linnet, Thomas Helmig, Sko & Torp, Shu Bi Dua and Palle Mikkelborg are among the clients who recorded at Easy Sound.
Early in his career, Lund worked in the U.S. as a staff sound engineer at Westlake Audio in Los Angeles where he established a long-time working relationship with sound engineer/mixer Bruce Swedien and producer Quincy Jones.
Leif Lønsmann, Director of the DR Koncerthuset, says he welcomes the fact that The Sydney Opera House spotted the talent of Lund. “It is a tremendous honor for Niels Erik, but also to Danish Radio and the country of Denmark,” says Lønsmann. “The Sydney Opera House is a global model, in the same way the BBC is for broadcasters.”