What handballers and the Philharmonic Orchestra in Kiel have in common

11.11.2021

At first glance, one would think “not much”. In Kiel, however, that’s not quite true, because the Wunderino Arena has recently been serving as a substitute venue for the Philharmonic Orchestra. So where THW Kiel usually provides a highly emotional atmosphere and peaceful handball atmosphere, the Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra now also plays its concerts. A different audience, a different atmosphere and different expectations – especially with regard to the acoustics. We took on this task and helped the Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra to achieve unique concert hall acoustics in their alternative venue, the Wunderino Arena, by planning a mobile concert room and using our VIVACE electronic room acoustics system.

The former “Ostseehalle” or also “Sparkassen-Arena” is today one of the largest halls in Germany and is thus the venue for a wide variety of events. With a total area of 5,000 m² and around 1.5 million visitors annually, the multi-purpose hall offers a very wide range of events for everyone. The Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra, which usually plays in the concert hall of Kiel Castle, will have to make way for the renovation work, which will begin in September 2021 and last until spring 2024.

This means that for 10-12 weekends a year, apart from a few invisible installations, all the equipment required for the concerts in the Wunderino Arena has to be installed and removed again. This concerns the orchestra shell as well as the seating in the stalls and the microphones and loudspeakers of the electronic room acoustics. The great challenge in planning was therefore to achieve optimum acoustic conditions with a minimum of material and construction time. In cooperation with the Theater Kiel, the Kiel-based rental company Contzept Veranstaltungstechnik GmbH & Co KG optimized the handling of the entire set-up in such a way that the miraculous transformation of the sports arena into a high-quality classical concert hall could be accomplished within 24 hours with a manageable number of personnel.

The move to the centrally located arena not only offers the opportunity to keep the core audience and subscribers in line during the renovation phase. The first concert rehearsal in August already showed that the new venue is also attractive to visitors who would otherwise not have thought of attending a classical concert. With the planned varied concert programme and the lively and rousing performance of the music, the Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra is well on the way to attracting new listeners and retaining their loyalty in the long term.

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