Edinburgh’s first new concert hall in a century gets green light

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The main auditorium of the new concert hall with a capacity of 1000.

Councilors voted seven to three in favor of the £ 75million venue, which will be created between St Andrew Square and the new St James Quarter.

It is hoped that the complex, first announced in 2016, will be operational by 2026.

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The largest new cultural enterprise in Edinburgh since Usher Hall in 1914, the Dunard Center is funded by American artistic philanthropist Carol Grigor, the British and Scottish governments and the City Council.

The Dunard Center will still have a main room with a capacity of 1000 seats despite the reduction in size.

It will be suitable for classical, pop, rock, jazz, world music and electronica concerts, as well as spoken word events.

The venue will create a new home for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and host concerts of the Edinburgh International Festival each summer.

The go-ahead was greeted by a host of leading players in Edinburgh’s music scene, including The Proclaimers, Anna Meredith and Idlewild.

EIF Director Fergus Linehan said: “The council’s decision is great news for the city and for music in Scotland.

“Edinburgh is a city famous for its cultural life and home to world famous art festivals which generate over £ 300million for the Scottish economy, but it lags many other cities in providing cultural infrastructure that

currently discourages some artists from choosing to perform in the city.

“By creating a modern venue with exceptional facilities and acoustics, we are bridging the recognized gap in the region’s cultural infrastructure and helping to maintain Edinburgh’s position as a premier cultural city facing the world. national and international competition.

“At the same time, we are creating a cultural center throughout the year to offer a diverse range of performances and an extensive education and community outreach program. “

SCO CEO Gavin Reid said: “The approval is great news for the city and makes the ambition of a world-class music and performance center a reality.

“The Dunard Center will become the new home of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and be transformational.

“A breathtaking auditorium offering the best of modern acoustics and equipped with state-of-the-art digital broadcasting facilities will allow us to dream big, expand our repertoire, collaborate with ever more composers and artists, and present our work in an innovative, courageous and flexible way, all with a new sense of adventure and ambition, always seeking to reach more and more people.

Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble said: “Since I have known the city many great places have come and gone, but the Dunard Center seems to be here to stay – an ambitious and creative space that will encourage and highlight. value local talent, alongside national and international performers.

“New music is always going somewhere in Edinburgh and the Dunard Center will see that it gets there. The Proclaimers (Craig and Charlie Reid) said, “The Dunard Center will be a prestigious and fantastic cultural asset to the city. “

Anna Meredith, one of Scotland’s foremost songwriters and musicians, said: “As someone who works across all creative genres, this type of space is particularly exciting for me as it provides the flexibility to allow artists to work on several mediums and to fully realize their work. potential.”

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