Completed in 1995, The Kyoto Concert Hall is the home to the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra.
It was designed by Arata Isozaki, the principal architect for the Barcelona Olympic Pavilion.
The complex is made up of three primary blocks: The Main Hall, The Ensemble Hall Murata, and the Foyer. In keeping with a Kyoto look, the exterior is subdued in color and design.
Once inside, you follow a circular Entrance Hall up and around to the Main Hall (below left). The entrance hall was built with Florentine limestone. In the center of the Hall are twelve pillars that represent the twelve Asian zodiac symbols.
The Main Hall has two balconies that surround the main audience and the stage area. Seating 1,839 people, the Hall has the largest pipe organ in Japan.
We attended a recent performance that doubled as a lesson on what an orchestra is.
The conductor lead the orchestra in a program of classics by Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, and Leonard Bernstein. Each piece was interspersed with the appearance of a popular tv comedy duo, Rozan, and their jokes and questions to the conductor.
The conductor then answered the questions in simple terms - and then demonstrated with the next piece - for the many parents and children in attendance.
1-26 Hangi-cho, Shimogamo, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Tel: 075 711 3090
1 minute walk from subway Kitayama Station on the Karasama Line.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010