“Today the hottest ticket in San Francisco classical music is … at SoundBox, a new performance venue, launched by the San Francisco Symphony in 2014,” writes Joanna Pearlstein in Monday’s (3/13) Wired.com. “The 500-person audience sits on low-slung ottomans and benches—or simply stands. You can get fancy cocktails and snacks like bacon caramel popcorn at the bar…. Says Melody Parker, an acoustic engineer at Meyer Sound, ‘We’re able to … transform [the former rehearsal space] into something that’s suitable for many types of music,’ Parker says. The transformation is accomplished with 28 microphones and 85 loudspeakers installed throughout the room…. ‘If we’re playing a piece from the Middle Ages that was performed originally in a cathedral, we can change the sound in this room to have the sort of delay and rolloff that would exist in an actual cathedral,’ [Music Director Michael] Tilson Thomas says…. SoundBox presents five programs per year. This month’s program … will focus on artists’ responses to censorship and oppression and include sections about Weimar Germany, Soviet Russia, and contemporary America.” San Francisco Symphony Principal Percussionist Jacob Nissly says he likes “when we play we come directly off the stage, and we’re sort of part of the audience… It’s a much more real experience”

Posted March 17, 2017

Pictured: San Francisco Symphony concert at SoundBox. Photo by Stefan Cohen