This modest looking building on the square Largo Gustav Mahler in Milan was originally used as a cinema starting in 1939, but it later stood empty for many years before it was rebuilt as a concert hall, the Auditorium di Milano, which was inaugurated in October 1999.
Since then, the Auditorium di Milano has been the home of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, or “LaVerdi” for short. They describe themselves as “one of Italy’s most important symphonic orchestras”, and they say that the Auditorium, with its “excellent aesthetic, technological and acoustic characteristics,” is “among the best concert halls in Italy.”
Since there wasn’t any symphony concert scheduled in the Auditorium while I was there, I attended a modern jazz concert instead — not exactly my usual entertainment, but it was nice as a change of pace, and I did get to see the venue.
A lot of the music on this particular evening was very laid back, meaning that it just dribbled around quietly without going anywhere in particular. I’m sure this sort of thing would be fine as background music in a cocktail lounge, but for a concert hall it seemed a bit bland. As an opera fan I’m accustomed to headier stuff, in any case.
Fortunately at various times during the evening the musicians did develop some energy, led by the drummer, who was really very good. Even the piano player was aroused from his lethargy and started banging around on the keys, sometimes using his full arm in an attempt to sound all the keys at once.
My photos in this post are from 2008. I revised the text in 2018.
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