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Solutions: Sverdlovsk Philharmonic Concert Hall, Yekaterinburg

White Russians T

he concert hall of the Sverdlovsk

Philharmonic is located in the city of Yekaterinburg some 1,800km east of Moscow, just over the Ural Mountains. The hall was founded in 1936 when the city was named Sverdlovsk; although it has reverted to Yekaterinburg in the post-Soviet era, 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. The concert hall’s 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 21st century upgrade of the hall and called upon his house sound


Audio . d&b White series 10AL-D and 10AL loudspeakers . d&b D12 and D6 amplifiers . DiGiCo SD11 console

engineer Shamil Gaynetdinov to design a new audio system. “I know d&b speakers very well and was confident one of their systems would be the ideal choice,” Gaynetdinov says. “Although my experience of the classic d&b sound was from the rock environment, it was apparent that the systems are remarkably musical and do not get in the way of hearing the actual instruments.”

New design

Alexander Soloukhin is head of the complex solutions department at ARIS, a Russian pro-audio

consultancy that specialises in concert halls, and is the distributor for d&b

audiotechnik in Russia. “The Sverdlovsk Philharmonic Hall hosts concerts by the Philharmonic Orchestra, a symphonic choir and the Youth Symphonic

Orchestra,” he explains. “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

Demands were high for the audio upgrade of the home of one of Russia’s leading orchestras, writes Tom Bradbury

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 a 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”. Also included are d&b D12

and D6 amplifiers (for the line arrays and monitors/front fills respectively) and a DiGiCo SD11 console.

“Quite often Philharmonic Hall hosts jazz and ethnic concerts, and of course music festivals,” explains

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 I mentioned, we used 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 completed 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 has executed the perfect job.” IE

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Maximum delivery with minimum visual interference were the requirements for the hall IE May 2012 45

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