Radio France, the state organization run by the dashing Mathieu Galet, owns seven public radios, and runs two orchestras and two choirs. To host their concerts, which are usually transmitted live on France Musique, a new fabulous auditorium has been built by AS architecture studio and reopened on November 14 of last year.
I recently attended a Beethoven and Schubert concert conducted by Swiss pianist Christian Zacharias, and it was great fun to hear him in the car, a few minutes after the concert, being interviewed by Judith Chaîne on France Musique, and making comments on the music. I was bewildered by the beauty and sense of intimacy of the 1 461 seat auditorium.
Decorated with four different kinds of woods, beach, birch, cedar and cherry tree, the room has fantastic acoustics designed by Yasu Toyota, and a feeling of cosiness that most modern concert halls lack. The balconies are fragmented so that no member of the audience is ever more than 17 m away from the central stage even though the auditorium is built vertically. Seats surround the orchestra which gives a feeling of an intimate “salon” to the room. And the stage built in a tender wood, vibrates with the sound of cellos and bass. It is a discreet place in a listed building, entirely conceived for the quality of hearing and brilliant communication between public and artists. A new way of presenting classical music and a very special hall, well worth a visit this winter.
Myung-Whun Chung has left the conductor’s position of the Orchestre philarmonique to the Finnish chef Mikko Franck but still comes back from time to time (on November 6 th for Mahler’s symphony n°6). In December, the superb organ built by Gerhad Grenzig near Barcelona with 5 055 pipes will be inaugurated from 10 to 13 th with Christoph Eschenbach, Mikko Franck and Marie Noëlle Maerten conducting.
James Conlon comes back to Radio France on January 14 and 17 th with Daniil Trifonov at the piano. For all of you who like real music, this is the true place to be. Subscriptions can be taken for symphonies only, piano or Mozart series. And for children under 28, a seat costs 11 euros.
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