Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center

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Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center
Dallas Meyerson Center 02.jpg
Address Dallas Arts District
Coordinates 32°47′23″N96°47′55″W / 32.789768°N 96.798637°W / 32.789768; -96.798637
Owner City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs
OperatorCity of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs
Type Concert Hall
Capacity 2,062
Architect I.M. Pei

The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center is a concert hall located in the Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas (USA). Ranked one of the world's greatest orchestra halls, [1] it was designed by architect I.M. Pei and acoustician Russell Johnson's Artec Consultants, Inc. The structural engineers for this project was Leslie E. Robertson Associates, and opened in September 1989.

Downtown Dallas Place in Texas, United States

Downtown Dallas is the Central Business District (CBD) of Dallas, Texas USA, located in the geographic center of the city. The area termed "Downtown" has traditionally been defined as bounded by the downtown freeway loop: bounded on the east by I-345 (although known and signed as the northern terminus of I-45 and the southern terminus of US 75, on the west by I-35E, on the south by I-30, and on the north by Spur 366. The square miles, population and density figures in the adjacent table represent the data for this traditional definition.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.


The Center is named for Morton Meyerson, former president of Electronic Data Systems and former chairman and CEO of Perot Systems, who led the 10-year effort by the Dallas Symphony Association to create a home for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The new concert center was named in his honor in 1986 at the request of H. Ross Perot, who made a $10 million contribution to the building fund for the naming rights. It is the permanent home of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Chorus, as well as the primary performing venue of the Dallas Wind Symphony as well as several other Dallas-based musical organizations. The Meyerson Symphony Center is owned and managed by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.

Morton Herbert Meyerson is an American computer industry executive who held positions in the Ross Perot-founded Electronic Data Systems Corporation and subsequently at Perot Systems.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra orchestra

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is an American orchestra based in Dallas, Texas. Its principal performing venue is the Meyerson Symphony Center in the Arts District of downtown Dallas.

Dallas Symphony Chorus

The Dallas Symphony Chorus (DSC), founded in 1977 at the request of then Maestro Eduardo Mata, is the official vocal ensemble of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. This volunteer organization, consists of members who devote their time, efforts and talents to regularly scheduled rehearsals and performances with the Dallas Symphony, as well as other appearances in the community and around the world.

There are four private suites, for small concerts, meetings and events designed by Booziotis & Company Architects of Dallas - Texas.


The exterior of the large pavilion and lobby is circular and constructed of glass and metal supports to contrast with the solid geometric lines of the actual hall. Architect I. M. Pei, and structural engineer Leslie E. Robertson Associates has described the structure of the hall's interior as "very conservative". "It is conservative for reasons I no longer accept," he said in 2000. "I feel that the hall doesn't fully represent what I would have liked to do. It was my first one." [2] Because the music performed in the hall was likely to be from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Pei was unwilling to impose modern styles of architecture on the interior. [3]

I. M. Pei Chinese-American architect

Ieoh Ming Pei, FAIA, RIBA was a Chinese-American architect. Born in Guangzhou but raised in Hong Kong and Shanghai, Pei drew inspiration at an early age from the garden villas at Suzhou, the traditional retreat of the scholar-gentry to which his family belonged. In 1935, he moved to the United States and enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania's architecture school, but he quickly transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was unhappy with the focus at both schools on Beaux-Arts architecture, and spent his free time researching emerging architects, especially Le Corbusier. After graduating, he joined the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and became a friend of the Bauhaus architects Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. In 1948, Pei was recruited by New York City real estate magnate William Zeckendorf, for whom he worked for seven years before establishing his own independent design firm, I. M. Pei & Associates, in 1955, which became I. M. Pei & Partners in 1966 and later in 1989 became Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Pei retired from full-time practice in 1990. In his retirement, he worked as an architectural consultant primarily from his sons' architectural firm Pei Partnership Architects.

Modern architecture broad type of architecture

Modern architecture, or modernist architecture was based upon new and innovative technologies of construction, particularly the use of glass, steel and reinforced concrete; the idea that form should follow function; an embrace of minimalism; and a rejection of ornament. It emerged in the first half of the 20th century and became dominant after World War II until the 1980s, when it was gradually replaced as the principal style for institutional and corporate buildings by postmodern architecture.

The trustees and acoustic team had decided on the shoebox style before Pei was hired, and he sought to sculpt the exteriors with more innovative designs. "I felt the need to be free," he said. "Therefore, to wrap another form around the shoebox, I started to use curvilinear forms.... It does have some spatial excitement in that space for that reason." [3]


The Meyerson Symphony Center also is home to the 4,535 pipe C.B. Fisk Opus 100 organ [4] , known as the Lay Family Concert Organ. [5] Although it had been Charles Fisk's dream to build a monumental concert organ (the firm unsuccessfully bid on the contract for San Francisco's Davies Hall), and despite years of planning and design, he never lived to see it built, dying in 1983. The resulting instrument, built in 1991 and nearly unanimously hailed as a musical triumph, whilst it built on some of his ideas, was quite different from his original designs. The première performance was given in September 1992 by organists Michael Murray [6] and David Higgs. [7]

Michael Murray is an American-born organist and writer.

David Higgs is an American organist. He has given a large number of recitals and is the head of the organ department at the Eastman School of Music.


The Eugene McDermott Concert Hall was designed by Artec Consultants (also responsible for the Pikes Peak Center's El Pomar Great Hall). Artec’s Nicholas Edwards built upon ideas of Russell Johnson, the firm’s founder, combining them with his own research and those of the German group in Göttingen. Systematically working through each area of the hall on each level, he generated sketches that indicated the best placement for walls in order to optimize the all-important lateral reflections. As his ideas crystallized, he began calling the evolving room shape the ‘reverse fan.’ This was the eventual shape of both the Dallas concert hall and its younger sibling, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, England. Both these halls have strong ‘shoebox’ shaping, with the ‘reverse fan’ at the back of the room. [8] 74 thick concrete chamber doors around the top of the hall weighing 2.5 tons each can be opened and closed to increase or reduce reverberance, 56 acoustical curtains help diminish sound vibrations and a system of canopies weighing more than 42 tons is suspended above the stage and can be raised, lowered, or tilted to reflect the sound throughout the audience chamber. [9] The shoebox design was intended to achieve acoustical performance comparable to that of the Vienna Musikverein and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. [10] [11] Russell Johnson, who died in August 2007, requested in his will that he be buried in the Meyerson, but logistical complications prevented the request from being granted. [12]

Concertgebouw Concert hall in Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Royal Concertgebouw is a concert hall in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Dutch term "concertgebouw" translates into English as "concert building". Because of its highly regarded acoustics, the Concertgebouw is considered one of the finest concert halls in the world, along with places such as Boston's Symphony Hall and the Musikverein in Vienna.


The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center has:

See also


  1. Dallas Morning News, September 20. 2009.
  2. von Boehm, p. 29.
  3. 1 2 von Boehm, p. 30.
  4. C.B. Fisk Op. 100
  5. Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center [ dead link ]
  6. 2nd September;
  7. 28th September; DELOS 3148
  8. Shulman, Laurie. "Out of Place: A HyperHistory of the Elusive Acoustics of Concert Hall Venues". NewMusicBox. New Music USA. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  9. Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. Retrieved November 30, 2009
  10. Donal Henahan, (September 12, 1989). "The Acoustics of Dallas's New Concert Hall". New York Times , 12 September 1989. Retrieved August 12, 2006.
  11. Tapio Lahti and Henrik Möller,. "Concert Hall Acoustics and the Computer". ARK -Finnish Architectural Review, April 1996. Archived from the original on March 22, 2007. Retrieved August 12, 2006.External link in |publisher= (help)
  12. "Russell Johnson Sought Meyerson Burial," D Magazine: Frontburner, November 30, 2009

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