Sverdlovsk Philharmonic: a vision with d&b in White

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The concert hall of the Sverdlovsk Philharmonic is located in the city of Yekaterinburg some eighteen hundred kilometres east of Moscow, just over the Ural Mountains. Founded on the 10th of July 1936 during the Soviet era, the city was then named Sverdlovsk and though it has since reverted to Yekaterinburg, the Philharmonic Orchestra has elected to retain the name. In terms of cultural significance Sverdlovsk is rated the third most significant orchestra in Russia, after Moscow Philharmonic and Leningrad Philharmonic. One of the lasting positive effects of the Soviet era was its cherishing of musical culture, Sverdlovsk is typical; its massive ornate exterior is matched by the beauty of its baroque interior and is home to a fine acoustic. That said Alexander Kolotursky, director of the Sverdlovsk, saw a need for a twenty first century rebranding of the hall and called upon his house sound engineer Shamil Gaynetdinov to define a new audio system.

“I also work as production manager and front of house engineer for the Russian rock band SG,” Gaynetdinov began. “This keeps me up to date on state of the art sound technologies. I know d&b audiotechnik loudspeakers very well and was confident one of their systems would be the ideal choice. Although my experience of the classic d&b sound was from the rock environment, it was all too apparent that d&b systems are remarkably musical and do not get in the way of hearing the actual instruments; this would be of most importance to Mr Kolotursky and indeed to our marvellous orchestra.”

Alexander Soloukhin is Head of Complex Solutions department at ARIS, a leading Russian pro audio consultancy that specialises in concert halls, and is the Distributor for d&b audiotechnik for all of Russia. “The Sverdlovsk Philharmonic Hall hosts concerts by the Philharmonic Orchestra, a symphonic choir, and the Youth (student) Symphonic Orchestra. The acoustic is well balanced for orchestral performance, but had a few anomalies that would impact on amplified sound. With my Manager Victor Tazhibov we were called in by Gaynetdinov to propose a system design. We gave some recommendations on acoustic modifications to reduce reverberation time that would improve things for the listeners without impacting on what the musicians hear on stage.” Tazhibov designed an installed system based on d&b loudspeaker products from the new integration White range, specifically the 10AL-D and 10AL; “A superb and unobtrusive line system that addresses the audience with the minimum of visual interference and maximum delivery in terms of fidelity. The tonal balance is especially beautiful for such a small system, a big consideration for the intended uses.”

“Quite often Philharmonic Hall hosts jazz and ethnic concerts, and of course music festivals,” explained Director Kolotursky, “Several times we have tried some local rental companies, but the result was not good. So we decided to install the high quality sound systems we now have. Besides the jazz and more contemporary concerts that I have mentioned, you might be interested to learn that we use the new sound reinforcement system during the Philharmonic Orchestra concerts too; sometimes we need to reinforce a principal performer a little bit or the grand piano when it is not standing on the stage. Since ARIS made the installation in November 2011 not a single audience member has noticed that certain instruments have been given a little lift. What more endorsement could you need? ARIS have executed the perfect job.”

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