Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of the most sophisticated concert halls in the world. The design of the Hall and its acoustics evolved together.
the perfect instrument
When architect Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, he took into account how musicians would experience the building. He believed if the sound is good, the musicians would feel more confident and, in turn, would play better. With this in mind, Gehry worked closely with expert acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota and then-Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen to create the perfect instrument for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
An orchestra is only as good as the hall they play in, and to that extent, a hall becomes an instrument of its orchestra.
In the building of Walt Disney Concert Hall, acoustic tests were performed on a one-tenth-scale model. Everything had to be reduced by the same amount, which required that the frequency of sounds be increased tenfold to reduce the wavelength to a tenth of normal, and the model was filled with nitrogen to expel the oxygen and water vapor that absorb high-frequency sounds. Testing was considered dangerous since no one could breathe in the oxygen-deficient model.
The acoustical clarity of Walt Disney Concert Hall caused members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic to be both excited and anxious. Repertoire that they had learned, and knew how to play well, would have to be relearned in the new Hall.