Colburn School unveils Gehry design for chamber music, dance

| March 31, 2022 | 0 Comments

A long-held dream is closer to realization. Long sought by many music-loving Angelenos, a 1,000-seat concert hall appropriate for chamber music players — from quartets to something the size of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra — now is moving toward construction.

COLBURN CENTER, in a rendering of the view from Hill Street, is the backdrop for a conversation between Colburn School president Sel Kardan, at left, and the new facility’s architect, Frank Gehry.

Warner Henry
There was no local music lover who pushed harder to create such a chamber music hall than the late Warner Wheeler Henry, who grew up in Windsor Square. The new hall will be a part of our town’s renowned school for music and dance, the Colburn School — an institution on whose board of directors Warner Henry served for many years.

Gehry Partners
The astonishing new hall is the product of the design skills of Gehry Partners, and it will incorporate many of the acoustic features of its near-neighbor, Walt Disney Concert Hall, also designed by Gehry Partners. The main feature of the new facility, denominated the Colburn Center at the Colburn School, is the concert hall. The hall has been named in honor of Terri and Jerry Kohl to recognize the couple’s generous leadership gift.

At the project announcement on March 16, Colburn School president Sel Kardan spoke of the “great joy and excitement” of reaching this point in the years-long effort to create the new center. He said that the campaign overseen by Colburn board chair emeritus Carol Colburn Grigor already had raised $270 million of the campaign’s $350 million goal.

IN-THE-ROUND seating for the audience envelops performers on the stage of the new Terri and Jerry Kohl Hall to be built on Olive Street, just east of the existing Colburn School.

Terri and Jerry Kohl Hall
The new concert hall is designed specifically for chamber music. As with the setting for a string quartet in the living room of a private home, the new hall is designed for an in-the-round experience.

Audience seating comes right down to the floor level of the musicians’ circular stage. The balconies actually seem to float away from the walls; they were designed that way to enhance acoustics.

In addition to the concert hall, there will be four dance studios and a 100-seat flexible studio theater – all with glass walls overlooking Hill Street.

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