Suntory Hall opened in the autumn of 1986 as the first hall in Tokyo dedicated for live concerts, based on the concept: “pursuing the most beautiful sound in the world.” This was a dream come true for Keizo Saji, who was president of Suntory Ltd. at the time.
The cultural and social contribution activities carried out over the generations by the Suntory Group originate in the philosophy of Shinjiro Torii, Suntory’s founder, “Sharing the Profit with Society”: business profits should not only be used for reinvestment into the business and providing services to clients and business partners, but also for making a contribution to society. Suntory Hall has been the venue for a diverse range of activities in the spirit of this philosophy.
Suntory Hall had two innovative features at the time of its opening. First, it was—as a hall dedicated for live concerts—meticulous about producing great sound. It was the first concert hall in Japan to be built using the vineyard design, in which the seating surrounds the stage rising up in serried rows. This allows the musicians and audience to share a unified and immersing musical experience. Second, the hall offers services that enable customers to enjoy the moments before curtain time and during breaks—with the aim of enrooting a culture of relishing concerts in Japan. By introducing receptionists who guide customers, as well as a cloakroom and bars, the hall has created new pleasure as a place for social interaction among adults.
In addition, the hall has since its opening organized a number of programs as a center for offering musical information. Marking its 25th anniversary in 2011, the hall has hosted a wide variety of educational programs with a global perspective for the next generation, including joint programs with Carnegie Hall, and exchange projects with musical colleges outside Japan. In 2012, the hall established the Vienna Philharmonic and Suntory Music Aid Fund to help people recover from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and has already started support and concert activities.
Suntory Hall holds about 550 concerts a year and is visited by 600,000 customers annually. We will continue to offer creative and attractive programs in an effort to bring music closer to people’s lives.
- December 17, 1985
Main entrance of Suntory Hall under construction
- January 22, 1986
Foyer of Suntory Hall under construction
- January 22, 1986
Main Hall of Suntory Hall under construction
- May 29, 1986
Main Hall during the installation of the concert organ
- October 12, 1986
Keizo Saji, Suntory Hall’s founding president, hitting the A key of the concert organ for orchestra tuning to declare the hall open
- Main Hall of Suntory Hall
(before refurbishment in 2007)