Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Palladium Classics Series debuts

I was outside the new state-of-the-art Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel (Ind.), including the main Palladium concert hall, last fall when the impressive, limestone building was still a good time away from imminent opening and, hence, "under construction" -- and not accessible to the general public. I took a good number of pictures back then -- again, only of the exterior -- and posted some in Photo Potpourri soon afterward.

On Sunday, I was fortunate to be on hand for the first performance of the Classics Series, one of the center's four series (Pop, Country and Jazz being the three others) in its inaugural season. Sunday's show featured the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Miró Quartet featuring renowned cellist Lynn Harrell. Harrell joined the Miró quartet as the fifth instrument for Schubert's Cello Quintet in C major.

Opening the bill were pianists Wu Han and Inon Barnatan, colleagues at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, who doubled up on one piano to perform Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," a rich, satisfying -- and memorable -- launch for the facility's concert series. In between, Han returned to the stage to join fellow Lincoln Center Chamber colleagues Arnaud Sussman (violin), Mark Holloway (viola) and Andreas Brantelid (cello) to perform Brahm's Piano Quartet in G minor. You can add me to the list of people who will agree that the acoustics are every bit as excellent as has been touted. A good example: When Harrell and the Miro's Daniel Ching (on violin), had to repeatedly pluck their instruments during the Schubert composition, you could hear every pluck loudly and distinctly, and I was sitting in a third-level right-side mezzanine box, which was three levels up and about halfway back from the stage.  

The center doesn't allow photographs to be taken during performances, so arriving fashionably not-early-enough, I grabbed as many shots of the interior that I could in the short time I had before the lights dimmed and the show started. So as to travel light, I brought along my Canon PowerShot G12, which served me pretty well. The photos in this post are from that shoot. The image at the top of this post was snapped about a minute or so before the show started. I hope to get back to the center at a future date and do justice with a thorough photographic study. 

Below are pictures I was able to grab Sunday. In the exterior shot immediately below, you can see a bit of the red carpet that was laid out for the previous night's fundraiser, a high-dollar, big celeb (Neil Sedaka, Dionne Warwick, Chris Botti, Michael Feinstein) opening gala and dinner.




  1. kinda gawdy --- I am sure the acoustics are nice but it seems they could have developed something much more cutting edge with more seating for the price tag.

  2. Hey I realy enjoyed reading your blog I found it on Yahoo I book marked it to show to my wife. I would love to see a good hard rock concert there I bet the acoustics are fantastic

  3. Restoration1, I would not be surprised if they did include rock concerts at some point, but it might be difficult to book very popular rock acts there. As Anonymous noted, the seating is limited, so tickets would disappear quickly for a major attraction. But for a small or mid-level draw, it could work. I do know the Palladium/CPA staff has expressed a very strong desire to diversify the genres in the future. I'm a huge blues fan, and that's one genre they've indicated they'd like to include. For the Palladium's debut season, they've scheduled series in four genres: jazz, classical, country and pop.

    And yes, the acoustics are quite good, as I noted with the very audible string instrument plucks in my text above. I found that incredible -- and impressive. If you ever go -- and get mezzanine or top-level seats -- bring binoculars. I wish I had.