Work is set to begin in Miami Beach on the New World Symphony’s $200 million addition as ground has been broken on a sprawling new campus for the Miami Beach based New World Symphony, also known as America’s Orchestral Academy. The new complex, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, will join the growing array of new arts facilities in South Florida. The Frank Gehry designed campus will be located at 1672 Drexel Avenue in the heart of Miami Beach’s City Center district.
Miami Beach is presently undergoing a rebirth centering on the City Center Redevelopment Project, of which the new symphony facility will be the centerpiece. To be completed in 2010, the NWS complex will include a performing and recording segment with a capacity to seat as many as 700, a rooftop digital music library, conductor’s studio with 360 degree projection capability, 26 individual rehearsal rooms, artist suites, changing rooms and administrative offices, among other things. Expanded Internet2 technology will allow greater international partnership and interaction with musicians, composers and learning institutions around the world. Of the $200 million cost, $150 million will pay for construction. The rest will go to the orchestra’s endowment. Additionally, just adjacent to the New World campus, Gehry also will design a two acre park and public parking garage. Miami Beach has set aside an addition $20 million for the park and $15 million for the garage, which will have a second floor walkway into the New World facility.
The 107,000 square foot ”campus” carries the distinction of being the first Frank Gehry commissioned project in the state of Florida which officials say could well change profoundly the way classical music is presented and performed. One of the most prominent architectural features of the campus will showcase a glass curtain wall, allowing passers by a glimpse of the inside architecture, and a projection wall onto which large scale images may be viewed from the new park. “There will be evenings where we will create musical performances throughout the building,” artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas said, so that audience members can have a progressive concert experience through different rooms, different repertoires and various musical experiences. ”One of my great dreams is that there would be a voice once again, saying, `Live from Miami Beach, And away we go!’ ” Miami Herald
Once the new facility is complete, NWS will relocate from its current smaller digs at the Lincoln Theatre. Since its inaugural concert on February 4, 1988, the New World Symphony has been heard in such prestigious venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, Paris’ Bastille Opera, London’s Barbican Centre and Argentina’s Teatro Colon. New World Symphony tours have included performances in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Monaco, France, Great Britain, Japan, Israel, and throughout the United States. Under the direction of Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, the Symphony has worked with such recognized conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Sir George Solti, Marek Janowski, Christoph Eschenbach and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski. You’re invited to leave any thoughts, ideas and opinions by commenting below.