In order to deliver even an almost inaudible but beautiful pianissimo to every corner of the hall, the vineyard style, in which the seating surrounds the stage rising up in serried rows, was employed for the seating arrangement.
We have made every effort to create an ideal concert hall by carefully selecting the materials used for the floor, walls, ceiling and seats as well as their shapes, and by conducting exhaustive acoustic experiments using a variety of models.
Our goal was to realize four acoustic properties: 1) a rich, relaxing sound; 2) a stable sound supported by a profound bass; 3) a clear but sensitive sound; and 4) a three-dimensional sound. The reverberation time of the hall when fully seated is 2.1 seconds in midrange frequencies.
As this organ has such a large number of stops, it can cater to as wide a range of repertoires as a concert hall organ.
*Stops: Mechanisms that allow usage of different tones
The organ can be played using the main console integrated into the organ, as well as by using the remote console on the stage.
The photograph on the left shows the main console, which has four manuals and a pedal keyboard. The round knobs located at the right and left of the manuals are the stops. Some organ music is played with an orchestra or musicians on the stage. In such cases, a monitor is used to display the conductor because the organist sits with her/his back to the stage.
The photograph on the right shows the remote console. Playing this instrument sends electric signals to the organ, located at the back in the photograph, to generate sound.
Cutting-edge technologies are used in the stage mechanisms as well as the sound and lighting control systems. An ideal stage can be set up quickly for all kinds of orchestra configurations. The optimum acoustic effect can be achieved by adjusting the height of the sound reflectors located above the stage. The logically-constructed, fan-shaped stage floor is divided into 39 sections, each of which can be raised up to a meter above stage level in one-centimeter increments.
- Complementing the vineyard style, a rich burgundy material with a grape pattern is used for the seating upholstery. The seats are wide and there is enough space between rows so that you can stretch out your legs, sit back, and enjoy the music. Universally designed seats are available for customers in wheelchairs.
The late Herbert von Karajan, a world-famous conductor who eagerly advocated the vineyard style when Suntory Hall was being constructed, and who also attended the acoustic tests, was greatly impressed by the sound of the concert performed after the hall was completed. He praised the hall’s acoustics by comparing them with a jewelry box, and sent the following message to Keizo Saji, the first director of Suntory Hall.
[Message from Karajan]
In May 1988, I conducted a concert in this beautiful Suntory Hall with great delight. In many aspects, this hall reminded me of my beloved Berlin Philharmonic Hall. It is my sincere hope to return to this splendid hall one day. I send my deepest appreciation to my friend Keizo Saji. With the creation of this building, he has made a great contribution to music that will enrich the lives of people in Japan and around the world.
Herbert von Karajan
Our facilities are designed with a comfortable space and thoughtful arrangement so that artists can perform in peak condition. There are 10 dressing rooms for the Main Hall, six of which are private rooms. Different styles of rooms are offered in accordance with the needs of the artists: a resonant room with a wooden floor, a quiet room with a carpeted floor, a room with a piano, and a room with a shower. Four dressing rooms (two of which are private rooms) are attached to Blue Rose (Small Hall). Here, the artists can enjoy the perfect balance of tension and relaxation—as with the dressing rooms for the Main Hall.
An artists lounge with a counter is located backstage of the Main Hall. Artists can make themselves at home in the lounge during breaks before and after the performance.
The lounge is decorated with the autographs of many of the artists who performed at Suntory Hall.
A multitude of international orchestra and ensemble members have attached stickers to the lockers located beside the lounge in commemoration of visiting Suntory Hall.
One rehearsal room is located in the backstage area for practice and pre-performance checks for concerts at Suntory Hall. It is best used as rehearsal venue for soloists, chamber ensembles and orchestras.