Since it was first constructed, the Royal Festival Hall has had acoustic problems which are insuperable. There is no way, short of a major remodelling, in which changes would allow the five London orchestras to give of their best. They cannot hear each other; they cannot produce singing tone which allows the music to "float"; the sound can never be dense, and therefore always lacks thrill.
Certain frequencies are absorbed by the air when they travel more than fifteen metres; we cannot build on our own sound unless we are surrounded by hard surfaces. The hall is too wide for top-quality sound.
There is no case to spend many millions on a building, when London will still be without a hall which allows its fine orchestras to perform as well as they can in Vienna, Boston or Amsterdam.
Denis Vaughan Acoustical Consultancy
London WC2Reuse content