The domino effect of the current economic crisis is affecting the Classical music world, but not only for its effect on endowment income. Many organizations, especially smaller ones without their own performance halls, are looking for less expensive venues for their season’s programs, though without sacrificing fine acoustics.
So music organizations recently have been asking how work is progressing on the eagerly-sought Constellation Center.
One of the more compelling visions that has emerged in the last few years, Constellation Center was announced to be a mini Lincoln Center in Kendall Square, Cambridge, that would provide three critically needed auditoriums to the Greater Boston performing arts community. The site would be close to the Kendall Square T stop on the Red Line but would also be adjacent to ample indoor parking lots. The rental prices would be reasonable. There would be one of the world’s finest Wurlitzer Theater organs, as well as a Baroque tracker similar to one Bach would have played, both proposed gifts to the Center, as well as a small third organ. And the acoustics would be state-of-the art, the best available in the world, with the sound programable for the style of music to be played.
The brainchild of Glenn KnicKrehm, a Boston-based engineer and management consultant, the idea first surfaced in 2001, when Constellation Center was incorporated. The project received a great deal of publicity when he led an all-day presentation to attendees at the biennial Boston Early Music Festival in 2003. Presentations were given by the architects, then Stubbins Asssociates, and the team of acousticians, detailing their research while visiting sites throughout Europe. The Center, KnicKrehm announced, was to be up and running in five years.
Six years later, ground has yet to be broken.