Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center
The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center is a concert hall located in the Arts District of downtown
Downtown Dallas
Downtown Dallas is the Central Business District in Dallas, Texas USA, located in the geographic center of the city. The area termed "Downtown" has traditionally been defined as bounded by the downtown freeway loop: bounded on the east by I-345 Downtown Dallas is the Central Business District...

Dallas, Texas
Dallas is the third-largest city in Texas and the ninth-largest in the United States. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the largest metropolitan area in the South and fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States...

, Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

). Ranked one of the world's greatest orchestra halls, it was designed by architect I.M. Pei and acoustician Russell Johnson's Artec Consultants, Inc. and opened in September 1989.

The Center is named for Morton H Meyerson, arts patron and business partner of Ross Perot
Ross Perot
Henry Ross Perot is a U.S. businessman best known for running for President of the United States in 1992 and 1996. Perot founded Electronic Data Systems in 1962, sold the company to General Motors in 1984, and founded Perot Systems in 1988...

, who provided $10 million in funds for its construction. It is the permanent home of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra. It performs its concerts in the Meyerson Symphony Center in the Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas, United States....

 and the Dallas Symphony Chorus, as well as the primary performing venue of the Dallas Wind Symphony
Dallas Wind Symphony
The Dallas Wind Symphony is a professional concert band based in Dallas, Texas .The DWS was founded in 1985 by Kim Campbell and Southern Methodist University music professor Howard Dunn...

 as well as several other Dallas based musical organizations. The Meyerson Symphony Center is owned and managed by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.


The exterior of the large pavilion and lobby is circular and constructed of glass and metal supports to contrast with the solid geometric lines of the actual hall. Architect I. M. Pei
I. M. Pei
Ieoh Ming Pei , commonly known as I. M. Pei, is a Chinese American architect, often called a master of modern architecture. Born in Canton, China and raised in Hong Kong and Shanghai, Pei drew inspiration at an early age from the gardens at Suzhou...

 has described the structure of the hall's interior as "very conservative". "It is conservative for reasons I no longer accept," he said in 2000. "I feel that the hall doesn't fully represent what I would have liked to do. It was my first one." Because the music performed in the hall was likely to be from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Pei was unwilling to impose modern styles of architecture
Modern architecture
Modern architecture is generally characterized by simplification of form and creation of ornament from the structure and theme of the building. It is a term applied to an overarching movement, with its exact definition and scope varying widely...

 on the interior.

The trustees and acoustic team had decided on the shoebox style before Pei was hired, and he sought to sculpt the exteriors with more innovative designs. "I felt the need to be free," he said. "Therefore, to wrap another form around the shoebox, I started to use curvilinear forms.... It does have some spatial excitement in that space for that reason."

The Meyerson Symphony Center also is home to the 4,535 pipe C.B. Fisk Opus 100 organ, known as the Lay Family Concert Organ. While it had been Charles Fisk's dream to build a monumental concert organ (the firm unsuccessfully bid on the contract for San Francisco's Davies Hall), and despite years of planning and design, he never lived to see it built, dying in 1983. The resulting instrument, nearly unanimously hailed as a musical triumph, while building on some of his ideas, was quite different from his original designs.


The Eugene McDermott Concert Hall, designed by Russell Johnson's firm, Artec Acoustic Consultants (also responsible for the Pikes Peak Center
Pikes Peak Center
The Pikes Peak Center is the concert auditorium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It serves as an entertainment, cultural, educational, and assembly center for the citizens of El Paso County, the Pikes Peak region, and the surrounding area.- History :...

's El Pomar Great Hall), is in the standard European shoebox style
Shoebox style (architecture)
In architecture, shoebox style refers to the functionalist style of modern architecture characterised by predominantly rectilinear, orthogonal shapes, with regular horizontal rows of windows or glass walls...

 and seats 2,062. 74 thick concrete chamber doors around the top of the hall weighing 2.5 tons each can be opened and closed to increase or reduce reverberance, 56 acoustical curtains help diminish sound vibrations and a system of canopies weighing more than 42 tons is suspended above the stage and can be raised, lowered, or tilted to reflect the sound throughout the audience chamber. The shoebox design was intended to achieve acoustics performance comparable to that of the Vienna Musikverein
Musikverein, Vienna
Wiener Musikverein, , commonly shortened to The Musikverein, has a twofold meaning: it is the name of a famous Vienna concert hall, as well as the short name for the music society, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde [Society of Music Friends], that owns the building.This building is located on...

 and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw
The Concertgebouw is a concert hall in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Dutch term "concertgebouw" literally translates into English as "concert building"...

Russell Johnson, who died in August 2007, requested in his will that he be buried in the Meyerson, but logistical complications prevented the request from being granted.


The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center has:
· 260000 square feet (24,154.8 m²) above ground space
· 225000 square feet (20,903.2 m²) below ground space
· 35130 cubic yards (26,858.8 m³) of concrete
· 30000 square feet (2,787.1 m²) of Italian travertine marble
· 22,000 pieces of Indiana limestone
· 4,535 organ pipes
· 2,062 seats
· 918 square panels of African (Makore) cherrywood
· 216 square panels of American cherrywood
· 211 glass panels (no two alike) comprising the conoid windows
· 85 feet (25.9 m) high ceiling in the concert hall
· 74 concrete reverberation chamber doors, each weighing as much as 2.5 tons
· 56 acoustical curtains
· 50 restrooms
· 4 private suites for meetings, banquets, and recitals

See also

External links

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