Ton Koopman and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra at Flint Center

We attended a concert of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra guest conducted by Ton Koopman at the Flint Center at De Anza college in Cupertino a few weeks ago. This was the first time we have been in this hall. The program included Bach, Haydn, CPE Bach, and Schubert.

The hall was much larger than expected. Seating 2,500 people, it is 25% larger than Davies Hall in San Francisco. During the pre-concert lecture, a distinct low frequency echo could be heard from the back of the hall. This wasn’t noticeable during the performance.

Each piece was performed with a different configuration of the orchestra, but in all cases, we heard a small chamber orchestra. Our seats were good, but the sound seemed muted. It was clear and balanced, but something elusive always seemed to be missing. I couldn’t get a handle on what this problem was. The SPL never got above 85dbC. The area behind and above the stage was filled in with white-painted plywood panels, and the proscenium arch seemed designed to project the orchestra’s sound back down to the orchestra instead of out towards the audience.

In spite of the sound, we enjoyed the performances and the music.

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