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Moscow Concert Hall "Zaryadye" (Grand Hall)

SCHEDULE for Moscow Concert Hall "Zaryadye" (Grand Hall) 2022

The Moscow concert hall “Zaryadye”, set in “Zaryadye” park right at the Kremlin’s walls, is the most expected and high-sounding of all recent culture project.

The story of its creation began in January 2012. It was then that Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested creating a modern park zone with developed infrastructure and modern concert hall instead of the graceless and obsolete hotel “Rossiya”.

The concert hall is not only carefully designed to match the artificial relief of “Zaryadye” park, but it is also one of the key elements in the park’s view. The facade and the roof are among the architectural features of the Hall. The main entry is oriented towards the archways of Kitaygorodskiy Proyezd, but pedestrians and cars could enter the building either from the side of Kitay-Gorod or from the Park. The Hall has 4 floors, 2 underground floors, 2 halls (the Big and the Small), the concert organ, 12 artistic rooms (rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, and the artists’ rooms with enhanced comfort), and wide-ranging collection of musical instruments.

The construction and technical equipment of the Hall were supervised by the Moscow city government and by the mayor Sergey Sobyanin personally.

The capacity of the Grand Hall of Zaryadye is 1600 seats. Music in different styles – classical, Barocco, jazz, contemporary compositions – is going to be performed on its stage by the best musicians of our era. 

The Small Hall, with its 400 seats, will be used for different educational events, chamber concerts, theatre plays, and experimental projects for the contemporary audience. All the halls of Zaryadye will host theatre plays, concerts, and educational programs for children of all ages. 


The Halls’ acoustics

The Japanese specialist Yasuhisa Toyota, the head of Nagata Acoustics, was engaged to create the acoustics of Zaryadye Hall. Yasuhisa Toyota has designed more than 50 theatres and concert hall all over the world, among them the Walt Disney Concert Hall Los Angeles, the Performing Arts Center in New York, and Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. The first acoustic tests of the Grand Hall were conducted March 2017. In order to test Hall’s future reverberation, the exact 1:10 copy of the Hall was built, and there were dummies with built-in microphones sitting in chairs, instead of visitors with absolute pitch. The whole tests period had taken approximately six months, and after that, the workers proceeded with furnishing following the acoustic specialists’ advice. The walls and ceiling of both Grand and Small Halls are covered with special acoustic panels made with solid mahogany wood. The stage floor covering is made of cedar wood of a special breed that provides high-quality acoustics and necessary reverberation. The auditorium’s floor is covered with the wooden floorboard. 


Technologies applied

The technological parameters surpass similar possibilities of every concert hall in Russia. The state of the art equipment provides for very different types of events. The seats in the parterre of Big Hall could be either elevated to 2,5 meters height or completely folded and turn the auditorium into flat place. The cutting-edge hi-tech equipment is integrated into the building’s engineer systems for better online broadcasting and video maintenance of concerts.


A hall for the 21st century

Like Zaryadye itself, this shining, modern concert hall was designed to show that Moscow not only has moved into the 21st century but that it is on par with Western Europe. The general director of the hall, Olga Zhukova, told The Moscow Times that “it’s an international hall, like the Elbphilharmonie, like the Paris Philharmonie.” Those two halls, in Hamburg, Germany and the French capital, both opened in the last three years with lots of media coverage from the international press. The Elbphilharmonie, which dominates the city’s waterfront, aims to be as much of an icon for Hamburg as the Guggenheim is for Bilbao, or the Opera House is for Sydney.

The Zaryadye Concert Hall, designed by the Moscow-based “Reserve” design firm and Moscow’s chief architect Sergei Kuznetsov, does not have such a commanding presence as its European counterparts with its entrance facing the northeast corner of the park, somewhat hidden behind the giant greenhouse-hill. With the other dazzling attractions in the park, including a triangular “bridge” hovering over the Moscow river and a giant open amphitheatre, the hall could easily be passed by unnoticed. 

Inside, the hall is sleek and modern, if also somewhat subdued, featuring swooping lines, recessed lighting and cushy seats that recline slightly when you sit down. Taking a cue from the Paris and Hamburg halls, rather than having a stage in front, Zaryadye has its seats surrounding the stage, which allows viewers to be closer to the performers. It feels beguilingly intimate for a venue with a capacity for an audience of 1,560.


Sound is supreme

The main selling point of the hall, and what sets it apart from Moscow’s other many classical music venues, is the acoustics. The venue hired the Japanese acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota (who also worked on the Elbphilharmonie) to make the hall sound spectacular. The Russian bass singer Nikolai Didenko, who sang in the hall during acoustics tests, praised the hall’s sound. “It’s very comfortable to sing here," he said. "I can hear myself very well.” Mikhail Pletnev brought the Russian National Orchestra to help with the tests as well. They performed works with musicians arrayed in various arrangements on the stage, parts of which were raised or lowered to affect the sound. He mused on the “number of opportunities here and experiments with sound,” that were possible, adding that “we will try a number of different things, and get the best sound.”

Of course, great acoustics would be worthless without great musicians. So far the schedule for the fall looks to fit the bill with big-name artists such as the pianist Daniil Trifonov, the violinist Joshua Bell with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and MusicAeterna, conducted by the ever sold-out Teodor Currentzis. 


Address: Moscow, Varvarka Street, 6, Building. 4

SCHEDULE for Moscow Concert Hall "Zaryadye" (Grand Hall) 2022

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