Shanghai Concert Hall reopens to the public

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The Shanghai Concert Hall reopens following a large-scale renovation and maintenance project that spanned a year and a half. Another major refurbishment of the 1930s structure took place in 2003 when it was moved 66.46 meters to the southeast to make way for the Yan'an Elevated Road. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

The ultimate goal of the restoration was again to retain its original charm. The project has evidently been a successļ¼¨Wang and many visitors say that they could barely identify any differences.

The latest project saw the concert hall having its arched ceiling repainted, its marble columns restored, and its acoustic facilities updated and optimized.

Fresco artist Lyu Jijun was again invited by the concert hall, this time to restore the 16 Collins columns he painted in 2003.

"These columns carry the great weight of the architecture, and were built with concrete instead of real marble," Lyu says, noting that he painted the surface of the 16 columns in such a way that they would achieve a unified look with the marble floor.

The latest renovation works were also extended to a small multifunctional performance hall in the underground level, which was only added in 2003, making it more soundproof.

"Over the past 15 years, this small hall and the main performing hall above could not achieve total sound insulation, causing some problems when both were in use," explains Xu Feng of Tongji University, who was responsible for the refurbishment of the underground hall.

"For this renovation project, we borrowed the floral patterns in the main hall to design the interior of the small hall and built double doors to achieve better sound insulation."

The lavatories, too, were expanded as part of the renovation project. According to the concert hall, the larger restrooms should address the problem of long lines for women.

The refurbished Shanghai Concert Hall will launch its new performance season on Sept 19 with a concert by the Shanghai Opera House symphony orchestra that is conducted by renowned composer Tan Dun.

The new season, which will last until December, comprises 54 concerts as well as forums, art exhibitions and livestreams.

According to Fang Jing, general manager of the concert hall, the venue will open its doors to visitors even when there are no concerts. Guided tours, afternoon tea parties and other events will take place, allowing more members of the public to experience the glamour of the historical building and the charm of classical music.

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