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Guide to Suntory Hall

'We shall try to improve both hard and soft areas of our concert hall so that we can keep our great contribution for the development of classical music culture in Japan. We aim to become the place where people come to gather, enjoy and enrich their lives. We endeavour to plan and produce the highest quality concerts as our own and something only possible at Suntory Hall, in order to influence not only the Japanese musical scene, but the world scene as well.'

Excerpt of video message by President Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi on the occasion of Suntory Hall's 30th Anniversary in 2016

Biography

Suntory Hall, founded in the autumn of 1986, was Tokyo’s first venue for live classical concerts. The Hall was founded with the aim of producing the finest concert experience in the world, and is regarded a dream come true for Keizo Saji, the former President of Suntory Ltd.

The Suntory Group has delivered various cultural and social activities over the generations, which adhere to Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii’s philosophy. He believes that profits should not only be reinvested in the business and used to provide services to clients, but should also be shared with the community.

Suntory Hall is noted for its superior acoustics, and was the first concert hall in Japan to be built using the vineyard design, in which the seating surrounds the stage in a series of terraced rows. This allows the musicians and audience members to share a common, immersive musical experience. The hall also offers services that enable customers to enjoy the moments before the curtain rises and during breaks. The existence of cloakrooms and bars, as well as ushers to guide visitors to their seats, make this a comfortable environment and a hub for social interaction.

Furthermore, the hall has been involved in a number of social activities. Marking its 25th anniversary in 2011, the hall has hosted a wide variety of educational programs with a global perspective, including joint programs with Carnegie Hall, and exchange projects with music colleges outside Japan. In 2012, the hall established the Vienna Philharmonic and Suntory Music Aid Fund to help people recover from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and continues to provide financial and musical support.

Suntory Hall holds about 550 concerts a year and is visited by 600,000 customers annually. We will continue to offer creative and attractive programs in an effort to bring music closer to people’s lives.

Emanuel Ax © Lisa Marie Mazzucco
Emanuel Ax
© Lisa Marie Mazzucco
Daniel Barenboim © Peter Adamik
Daniel Barenboim
© Peter Adamik
« I think it is actually one of the best halls to play and to listen. Sometimes you have a hall which is very nice in the audience and not so good on the stage, and sometimes the opposite. But this one is great everywhere. Maybe friendly it feels nice for the musicians I think. And maybe for the audience also.  »
Emanuel Ax about Suntory Hall's acoustics
« Suntory Hall is special because it has a feeling of wellbeing, which not every hall has, and it sounds very good. I think the acoustics here are so special because they combine the clarity and the transparency that one expects from a new hall, with the roundness and fullness of tones that you get in the famous old halls.  »
Daniel Barenboim about Suntory Hall's acoustics
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Mr Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi had wisdom and depth in his sound, while the young were eager and energetic.

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