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Royal Festival Hall stands its ground

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Conductor Simon Rattle’s comment that London lacks a truly world-class music venue will have irked the capital’s leading concert auditoriums, not least the Royal Festival Hall.

The early 1950s Grade I-listed building reopened in 2007 following a refurbishment by Allies and Morrison and an extensive acoustic upgrade by US acoustician Kirkegaard.

Beforehand, however, there were complaints the acoustic work could not live up to the brief, with Arup Acoustics founder Derek Sugden among those saying it would fail to meet the South Bank Centre’s demands.

Rattle is returning to the capital as music director of the London Symphony Orchestra amid government plans for a brand new venue in the capital.

A Southbank Centre spokeswoman said it welcomed the feasibility study for this proposal, adding pointedly: ‘The Royal Festival Hall has been the home of classical music in the capital for over 60 years and we look forward to continuing the proud tradition of presenting some of the world’s finest musicians and orchestras who are eager to perform here.’



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