Sapporo Concert Hall

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Sapporo Concert Hall "Kitara"
Kitara
Kitara Sapporo02n4272.jpg
Outside view of the Sapporo Concert Hall
Location Nakajima Park, Chūō-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaidō, Japan
Type Concert Hall
Capacity 2,008 (large main hall)
Construction
Built 1997
Opened 1997
Website
www.kitara-sapporo.or.jp

Sapporo Concert Hall (札幌コンサートホール Sapporo Konsāto Hōru?), also known as its nickname Kitara (キタラ?), is a municipal musical venue located in Nakajima Park, Chūō-ku, Sapporo, Japan. Established in 1997, the building is owned by Sapporo City, known for having a huge organ built by Alfred Kern & Fils Manufacture D'Orgues in the main music hall. When Simon Rattle visited with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 1998, he described the hall as "the best modern concert hall in the world".[1]

Overview[edit]

The building was built on July 4, 1997. Prior to its construction, the nickname for the concert hall "Kitara" had been chosen in March 1995. The nickname is derived from "Kithara", an ancient Greek musical instrument in the zither family, and also the term "Kita", which means "north" in Japanese.[2] The building area covers 8,383,291 m² in total, the number of floors is 3 above ground and 2 underground, and the Hokkaido Engineering Consultants Co.,Ltd is the main builder for the concert hall.[2]

The concert hall is home to the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, and its regular concert is held in the hall each year.[3] The hall is one of the venues of the Pacific Music Festival (PMF), an event started with the idea of Leonard Bernstein in 1990.[4]

Facilities[edit]

Organ in the main hall

The building of the Sapporo Concert Hall houses a large main hall, small chamber music hall, and rehearsal rooms. A restaurant, nursery room, and museum shop are also located in the building.

The arena-style large main hall has a capacity of 28,800 m³, and installs 2,008 seats for audiences.[5] Above the main hall, a huge pipe organ is installed. The organ was manufactured by an organ builder, Alfred Kern & Fils Manufacture D'Orgues based in Strasbourg, France,[6] and annually an exclusive organ player is invited from overseas. Having 4,976 pipes, the pipe organ is modelled after needle leaved trees in Hokkaidō prefecture.[6]

The shoebox style small chamber music hall has seating capacity of 453.[7] The restaurant with terrace is located on the ground floor, and a bar, cafe, are open during the concert. The main concert hall and the small chamber music hall also have seats designed for handicapped audiences.

References[edit]

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Coordinates: 43°2′39.22″N 141°21′9.77″E / 43.0442278°N 141.3527139°E / 43.0442278; 141.3527139