The William M. Lowman Concert Hall, an architectural and acoustical jewel gracing the Idyllwild Arts campus, was formally dedicated on Saturday, Sept. 24, with a gala alumni classical concert and reception.
Although an alumni jazz concert was the first held in Lowman, on March 5 of this year, the formal inauguration had always been scheduled for the September date. Past Music Director Ransom Wilson and the Summer Program Festival Orchestra’s conductor Larry Livingston returned to conduct.
The program featured Mozart and Ravel with 2000 violinist alum Simeon Simeonov playing Ravel’s “Tzigane” and 2006 pianist alum Michael Noble playing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major. Wilson conducted both Ravel pieces. Livingston conducted Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C major, the “Jupiter,” and his overture to Don Giovanni.
The hall itself also was a featured star with its extraordinarily rich sound spectra for acoustic instruments. The 8,000-square-foot hall was designed by award-winning architect Whitney Sander of Venice, California, with acoustic engineering by ARUP North America, world-renowned for its design of the Sydney Opera House.
The interior finish of the hall features hundreds of kiln-dried Douglas fir beams designed to approximate the densely wooded forests within which the campus nestles.
The jagged topography of the rusted corten exterior steel panels evokes the mountain landscape of Idyllwild while the silhouette of the building evokes the iconic shape of Tahquitz Rock, which it faces to the east.
The project is the result of a $6.35-million capital campaign that concluded in December 2013.
With the formal dedication of the William M. Lowman Concert Hall, the dreams of seminal founders of the Idyllwild Arts Foundation are fulfilled. Said Dwight “Buzz” Holmes, IAF governor, “Festival Choir Conductor Robert Evans Holmes and Founder Max T. Krone spoke often of their hope one day to have a concert hall with excellent acoustics — one that would match the talent of outstanding musicians at Idyllwild Arts.”
Now that dream has become a reality.