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Critique The Great Hall, Krannert Center

Discussion in 'Landscapes, Architecture, and Cityscapes' started by gnagel, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of having a couple of hours of private access to the Great Hall of the Krannert Center of Performing Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This is one of the top acoustical theaters in the world. For years, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra commuted the 150 miles to Urbana to make its recordings.

    The lobby itself is impressive. More than 35,000 square feet of floor space is covered in teak wood. The entire allocation of teak wood coming into the United States from Thailand was allocated to this venue for a year.

    Here are some favorites from my visit:

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    All photographs were captured with the Nikon D850 and the Nikon 14-24 2.8 (except the first one with the Nikon 24-70 2.8).

    Thanks for looking...

  2. A great set Glenn!

    It must have been challenging to design, and then get the acoustics right.
  3. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Impressive images, Glenn! Did you find it challenging to select the various compositions?
  4. Thanks Richard...

    My understanding is that it was very challenging to design this space back in the 1960's. Over the years, the science behind acoustics has advanced--and other newer halls have narrowed the gap in this area. That's probably one of the reasons that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra now records closer to home in Orchestra Hall.

  5. Thanks Karen...I found it exciting to find a variety of compositions. I was expecting it to be more challenging. I remembered this space as being perfectly rectangular and relatively narrow...and forgot completely that I would be able to get up behind the stage and to the sides. I knew that some of my favorite compositions such as shooting from under a sweeping balcony wouldn't work there. But, I was pleased that I was able to get more depth than I expected in many of the compositions.

    We didn't have time to make the adjustment, but that whole back wooden panel behind the stage in the balcony lifts up to reveal more rows of seats!

    Also, I felt the piano was essential to the compositions. I think it adds a sense of scale to the pictures. We had to move the piano around for certain pictures. When I first arrived, they apologized for leaving the piano out--and I quickly told them I preferred to have it there.

    The employees there describe this interior as a "timeless contemporary" design.

    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  6. What a gorgeous place! I can imagine that the acoustics are absolutely wonderful. Wow..... You've captured it nicely!
  7. rcooper

    rcooper Subscribing Member

    Jan 12, 2008
    Make me want to go there and hear music.You always do good.
  8. Thank you, Connie
    Thanks...much appreciated.

  9. Excellent, Glenn, and I agree that the piano on the stage was an important compositional element.

    I think I would have tried a perspective with the piano closer as a foreground element...sort of a performer's eye view. Might not have worked but could have been interesting.
  10. asaya

    asaya Subscribing Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    Tony Saya
    Very nice series Glen I would love to attend a concert there just for the acoustics
  11. It is good to see how many different compositions can be created in a limited location.Thanks for sharing Glenn.
  12. Thanks again, Jim...

    I think that's an excellent suggestion. I tried one from behind the piano...a symmetrical image with the piano centered in front of all the seats. It wasn't bad, but not my favorite. However, I think your suggestion of placing the piano much closer as a foreground element might have made for a very interesting composition. Maybe next time...

  13. Thanks Tony...I've only listened to rehearsals in there. I would love to return to attend a concert.
    Thanks Binnur...I'm glad that I had access to the balcony and to the sides of the hall in order to create a variety of compositions.

  14. Excellent shots :) 
    I'm a big fan of theatres/theaters.
    The hardest thing about photographing them is gaining access in the first place ;) 
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