$36 Million DiMenna Center for Classical Music Raises System Integration Bar
NEW YORK: The recently completed DiMenna Center for Classical Music provides an exemplary home for Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Constructed over the past year on the first three floors of a six story West 37th building shared with the celebrated Baryshnikov Arts Center, the new complex is designed to serve a multiplicity of music rehearsal, recording, broadcast, teleconferencing, educational and streaming purposes.
Featuring an innovative acoustic design developed by Akustiks, LLC, and installed by Masque Sound, the ambitious project is highlighted by the Mary Flagler Cary Hall, a 50 x 50 sq. ft. rehearsal/recording studio with a 30′ high ceiling. The 20 x 30 sq.ft. Norman S. Benzaquen Hall rehearsal/recording studio capped by a 25′ high ceiling, offers a similarly comprehensive integration scheme. The complex also encompasses two dedicated smaller Rehearsal Studios; two Practice Studios and
a Central Control/Learning & Media Studio.
“The DiMenna Center is one of the most ‘connected’ rehearsal/production studios in New York City,” said Masque Sound principal Geoff Shearing. “We have collaborated with Akustiks principal designer Anthony Nittoli on a number of high profile assignments recently, but this was one of our most demanding and comprehensive integration programs to date.”
Masque Sound project manager Matthew Peskie reports, “The Cary Hall incorporates 32 dedicated microphone lines; two 16 channel stage boxes; eight tie lines, four speaker level tie lines; multiple remote control video camera connectivity with four video tie lines; CAT6 cabling for A/V networking plus a two channel intercom system. The entire compound is similarly outfitted, scaled to the specific needs the smaller rooms.”
“Our mandate was to make the DiMenna Center an extremely flexible production facility,” Nittoli said. “The wiring and system integration aspects were the projects’ most critical elements. We were confident that Masque Sound’s skill set and attention to detail were a perfect match for Orchestra of St. Luke’s needs. The decision to create a console/speaker agnostic Central Control Room was particularly decisive, and it placed a special emphasis on the integration mission,” Nittoli added.
By offering clients the option to record and playback on systems of their choice, The DiMenna Center has introduced a uniquely creative environment. Exceptional room acoustics make he DiMenna Center adaptable to virtually any type of performance, from classical to jazz. Many producers and artists have specific desk and speaker preferences, all of which are readily available on rental basis. The Central Control Rooms’ universal wiring program enables it to accommodate virtually any technology package. The remote control cameras enables producers and engineers to maintain constant visual connectivity with the artists, and the CAT6 networking connectivity permit secure data transmission between every room in the complex.
As the culmination of a 36-year-fundraising process, Marianne C. Lockwood, president emeritus of Orchestra of St. Luke’s has called the $36 million complex a “dream come true.” Clearly, the final results have been well worth the wait. The DiMenna Center for Classical Music has rapidly assumed a highly respected position in the hierarchy of NYC music venues. Performers and audiences alike have remarked that the sound, flexibility and stunning appearance of the rooms provides an extraordinary environment for rehearsing and recording.
Photo: Masque Sound project manager Matthew Peskie at Control Room panel designed to receive lines run directly from the Mary Flagler Cary and Benzaquen Halls, for sessions requiring multi-tracking. Panel has complete connectivity to the main AV rack.
Photo 2 Orchestra of St. Lukeâ€™s Mary Flagler Cary Hall
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in live concert, TV Broadcast, corporate, industrial, theatrical, house of worship and sports events. The firm’s 3rd generation owner Geoff Shearing also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. The company’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, twenty minutes from mid-town Manhattan. (201) 939 8666, www.masquesound.com
About Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Now in its 36th year, Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) is one of America’s foremost and most versatile ensembles. Dedicated to engaging audiences throughout New York City and beyond, OSL performs approximately 75 orchestral, chamber, and educational concerts each year. In March 2011, OSL opened The DiMenna Center for Classical Music-its first permanent home, and New York City’s first rehearsal and recording facility dedicated to classical music. For the Orchestra of St. Luke’s calendar of events, tickets, and more information, visit OSLmusic.org.
About The DiMenna Center for Classical Music
The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, located at 450 West 37th Street, is New York City’s first space dedicated to classical music rehearsal, recording and education. In addition to serving as Orchestra of St. Luke’s first permanent home, The 20,000+ square foot DiMenna Center offers local and touring musicians unprecedented access to high-quality rehearsal and recording space in midtown Manhattan at affordable rental rates. The DiMenna Center’s building is also home to Baryshnikov Arts Center. For more information, visit DiMennaCenter.org.