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Setting the tone Music lovers shun orchestra’s new digs

The home of the world-class Tonhalle orchestra in Zurichexternal link is being renovated, so the musicians have been forced into exile, making some classical music lovers see red. (SRF/swissinfo.chexternal link)

In May 2016, voters in the city of Zurich agreed to the renovation of the Tonhalle and Congress House, building works that will cost taxpayers CHF165 million ($167 million). Both buildings have suffered from a lack of investment over the past decades, with critics saying improvements were needed to the air conditioning, heating and lighting systems. They also said the seats were too hard and that there were not enough dressing rooms for soloists.

The exiled orchestra can be seen in action for the next three years at the Maag Hallexternal link, part of an industrial complex in Zurich West comprising various storeys with offices and factory buildings. Building the temporary concert hall including the offices and the backstage area cost CHF 10million. There are 300 fewer seats than in the Tonhalle, and one in five orchestra subscriptions has been cancelled.

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