The Royal Albert Hall (RAH) is to host a new chamber music venue with a rotating stage.
Presented by Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in collaboration with the Royal College of Music, the temporary ANAM Quartetthaus venue is an innovative, 52-capacity, portable performance space.
Commissioned by ANAM and designed by Melbourne-based BB3, part of Bluebottle, the “concert hall in a box” accommodates an audience seated in two circles around an imperceptibly rotating central stage. No audience member is more than two metres from the performers.
At the Royal Albert Hall (cap. 5,272) it will accommodate a daily mix of Australian and British quartets and repertoire between 18-28 September. British artists will include the Marmen String Quartet, Fiora String Quartet and Oriole String Quartet, joined by Australian groups including the Affinity String Quartet, Artamidae String Quartet, and Australian String Quartet.
David Harrington, founder of the Kronos Quartet, described the ANAM Quartetthaus as representing “the biggest leap in immediacy and potency for the string quartet as an art form since microphones and speakers arrived…like having a portable 54-seat Esterhazy Palace.”
Royal Albert Hall artistic director Lucy Noble said, “We’re delighted to be taking part in the UK/Australia season and to host such an innovative performance concept for the first time outside Australia – as well as opening up new performance spaces around our site. The design of the ANAM Quartetthaus creates a completely new way of experiencing live music and we can’t wait to get inside.”