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Jyväskylän Paviljonki ja messuaukio Lutakossa. Image Outi Kaakkuri
Jyväskylä Sinfonia, Jyväskylä’s symphony orchestra, is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser from year to year. Now the institution is embarking on an ambitious quest for new audiences to join the old, a new dwelling, and even a new sound. The world-famous acoustician Eckhard Kahle has been invited to be part of the design team for the orchestra’s new concert hall. Kahle visited Jyväskylä on September 15 and 16, and got to know the orchestra’s work and the available space at Jyväskylä Paviljonki.

Jyväskylä Sinfonia is preparing to move to the Jyväskylä Paviljonki fair and event centre in 2023. Lacking a music hall of its own, the orchestra has to date mainly performed at the City Theatre, which is being closed for renovations in 2024. 

Paviljonki will offer the orchestra a rehearsal space and a concert hall in the same building. In Paviljonki, the orchestra will work to further build up its already high level of performance and to make space for more audience members to enjoy its concerts, currently almost consistently full to capacity. 

The move to Paviljonki will be a test of both the orchestra and the audience. The plan is for it to be the final half-way house before Jyväskylä’s own, dedicated music hall can be completed. A vibrant concert hall remains a strategic objective for the cultural sponsors of Central Finland’s most important growth nucleus, one they hope to realize by the end of the decade. 

An expert tested in Stavanger and with references to impress

But how does a world-famous acoustician fit into the picture? The representatives of Jyväskylä Sinfonia and the city visited Stavanger, Jyväskylä’s Norwegian twin town, in 2017. While there, the acoustics of Stavanger’s concert hall impressed both musicians and music fans. That structural soundscape turned out to be the work of Eckhard Kahle, a world-famous acoustician who has fine-tuned numerous new-built, renovated, and repurposed acoustic music halls around the world.

With the theatre’s renovation looming, Jyväskylä Sinfonia found itself with a clean slate to sketch out a concert hall, and Jyväskylä decided to pick up the phone and see if the city might fit into the esteemed expert’s timetable.

To fit a sound to any given space

Professor Dr. Eckhard Kahle is one of the world’s most in-demand acoustics designers. His previous references include the Philharmonie de Paris, the Grande Theatre in Geneva, and the aforementioned Stavanger concert hall. 

To the joy of Jyväskylä’s music lovers, Kahle was interested in the Jyväskylä Paviljonki project to convert an auditorium, currently mainly designed for speeches, to an orchestral concert hall and an increasingly acoustically versatile space for many different uses. In Jyväskylä, Kahle will be working with the domestic Akukon Oy Ltd. On Akukon’s side, the acoustics expert Henrik Möller will play a key role in the project.  

7.5 million euro have been set aside by the city in the budget proposal currently up for approval to convert the Jyväskylä Paviljonki’s auditorium for purposes including the orchestra’s needs.

More information

Jyväskylä Sinfonia, Curator Emma Anttila, tel. +358 400 872 168

Jyväskylän Tilapalvelu, Real Estate Director Hannu Kantonen, tel. +358 50 304 5951

Eckhard Kahle: