"The Arsht Center has been the catalyst for the most complete transformation of an urban neighborhood since Lincoln Center caused a revival of New York's Upper West Side," said Alberto Ibargüen, president of Knight Foundation. "We are proud to have our name on the Knight Concert Hall, an acoustical marvel that draws the world's greatest musicians, and where Miami's great and diverse population sees itself reflected in their music, interests and heritage. It is where the arts most beautifully builds the strongest community bonds." - Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO, Knight Foundation
Named in honor of the philanthropic support to the Arsht Center by the Knight Foundation, the Knight Concert Hall, with entrances directly from N.E. 14th Street and from Biscayne Boulevard through the Thomson Plaza for the Arts, seats 2,200. Seating is distributed among an Orchestra level and three Tiers, including 200 choral riser seats located upstage that can be used by performers and patrons alike.
The greatest artists from around the world, hailing from a wide spectrum of musical styles as well as comedy and family shows, appear on the stage of the Knight Concert Hall throughout each year. The hall is home to several Arsht Center Signature Series: Knight Masterworks Ziff/Classical Music Series, Knight Masterworks/Pops Series, Jazz Roots, Live at Knight, Free Gospel Sundays, and Free Family Fests. The Knight Concert Hall also serves as a Miami stage for the New World Symphony (an Arsht Center Resident Company) and The Cleveland Orchestra.
Design and Acoustics
The hall is constructed as a room within a room within a building. This design assures the hall is completely isolated from ambient sounds and vibrations. Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects in partnership with Artec Consultants Inc., a global leader in the design and planning of innovative performing arts facilities, and Tony-winning lighting designer Jules Fisher and his partner, the theater designer Joshua Dachs of Fisher Dachs Associates, the hall is renowned for world-class acoustics for classical music concerts, including symphony orchestras, recitals and chamber music. It is also a showcase for a wide array of other performance types such as lightly amplified pop, jazz and world music, spoken word events, and even dance performances.
To accommodate the wide range of intended uses, the room is equipped with adjustable acoustic systems, including a three-piece individually adjustable acoustical canopy in the shape of a spiral suspended above the stage, acoustics curtains and banners, as well as an adjoining acoustics control chamber and chamber doors, which can be opened or closed to change the hall's "acoustical environment.”
Without a proscenium to separate audiences from the stage, the hall gives patrons unparalleled proximity to performers, be they a full symphony orchestra or a pop superstar. The “shoe-box” configuration further enhances the acoustics as well as the intimate feel of the hall.
José Bedia, a Cuban-American artist based in Miami, was commissioned by Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places to create site-specific works for the hall. His etched-glass lobby balcony railings depict tropical sights and sounds, musical instruments, exotic birds and sea creatures. His design for the terrazzo floors of the lobby features vast images of outstretched hands at once applauding and reaching out across Biscayne Boulevard to the Ziff Ballet Opera House.
Behind the choral riser seats at the rear of the stage hangs Robert Rahway Zakanitch’s “Green Lace Scrim.” Zakanitch, also a Miami-Dade County Art in Public Spaces artist, designed a semitransparent scrim that enhances the visual elegance of the space and complements the wide variety of musical events that take place in the Knight Concert Hall.
Throughout the Knight Concert Hall’s public halls and spaces more than 20 pieces from Lincoln Center’s famed List Art Collection are hung for viewing by performance patrons and tour visitors alike.
Selected Knight Concert Hall Programming Highlights
Classical: The Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, The Israel Philharmonic, New World Symphony, New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Seraphic Fire, The Miami Symphony Orchestra, Emanuel Ax, Yuri Bashmet, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Measha Brueggergosman, José Carreras, Simone Dinnerstein, Juan Diego Florez, Helene Grimaud, Hilary Hahn, Evgeny Kissin, Jennifer Koh, Lang Lang, Yo Yo Ma, Midori, Garrick Ohlson, Itzhak Perlman, Gil Shaham, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Dawn Upshaw, André Watts, Pinchas Zuckerman.
Jazz: Albita, Patti Austin, George Benson, Dave Brubeck, Ann Hampton Callaway, Chick Correa, The Count Basie Orchestra, Paquito D’Rivera, Michael Feinstein, Dave Grusin, Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Al Jarreau, Keith Jarrett, Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall, The Manhattan Transfer, Bobby McFerrin, Sergio Mendes, Dianne Reeves, Sonny Rollins, Arturo Sandoval, Jon Secada, Esperanza Spalding, Tiempo Libre, Nestor Torres.
Pop: Clay Aikin, Tony Bennett, Michael Bolton, The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Buika, Shirley Ceasar, Willie Chirino, Diego el Cigala, Barbara Cook, Gal Costa, Djavan, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Raul Esparza, José Feliciano, The Four Tops & The Temptations, Gilberto Gil, Marvin Hamlisch, Angelique Kidjo, B.B. King, Kodo, Talib Kweli, Paco de Lucia, Patti LuPone, Idina Menzel, Daniela Mercury, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Idan Raichel, Alejandro Sanz, Anoushka Shankar, Mavis Staple and the Blind Boys of Alabama, Take Six, Cece Winans, Yanni.
Comedy: George Carlin, Chicago City Limits, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Griffin, Martin Short, Lily Tomlin, Joan Rivers, Second City, Jerry Seinfeld.
Family & Educational: Whoopi Goldberg’s Alice, Dan Zanes and Friends, Go, Diego, Go Live!, Mad Science, Miami Music Project, Peter and the Wolf, Rock Odyssey, They Might Be Giants
Dance and Musicals: Babalú, Balé Folclorico de Bahia, Celia: The Life and Times of Celia Cruz, Flamenco Festival Miami, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Miami Libre, Peru Negro, Savion Glover.
To learn more about the Knight Foundation click here.