Classical 105.9 FM WQXR and Arup Partner to Present Carnegie Hall’s “Spring for Music” Series Live in 3D Sound

Innovative audio technology allows webstream listeners to experience the performances as if they were present inside Carnegie Hall

(May 2, 2011 – New York, NY) -- For its live audio streams of Carnegie Hall’s “Spring for Music” concerts running Friday, May 6 through Thursday, May 14, WQXR – New York City’s sole all-classical station – is working in collaboration with the consulting, design and engineering firm Arup to bring innovative 3D sound live to the WQXR.org audience.

Working closely with the WQXR broadcast engineers, the Arup acoustics team – which has worked with artists including Nick Cave and Lou Reed – will add a special 3D microphone to the usual array of microphones WQXR uses for its live broadcasts and audio webcasts. Using a range of proprietary software, Arup will combine the sounds from all of the microphones in real time, creating an auditory environment that recreates the acoustics inside Carnegie Hall.

The result will be a mix that gives the listener an audio experience of hearing the concert as though he or she were sitting in the middle of the orchestra section.

The 3D experience of the “Spring for Music” concerts will be available exclusively to the audience listening to the live 3D stream at www.wqxr.org using headphones.  WQXR.org will also provide a live web chat during each of the seven concerts, allowing listeners to comment on what they’re hearing in the performances in real time. Additionally, the site will feature intermission stories on the programs, interviews with the musicians, and other background program details. Complete concert information – dates, orchestras, and repertoire – is available at wqxr.org/springformusic.

“WQXR is excited to work with our partners at Arup to deliver an experience to our listeners that is distinctive, innovative and at the forefront of audio technology,” said Graham Parker, Vice President, WQXR.  “All over the globe, listeners will be able to imagine themselves sitting in Carnegie Hall, simply by listening to the special 3D stream at WQXR.org.”

“We are pleased to support WQXR in their quest to deepen the listener experience with the use of 3D sound in live streaming over the web,” said Raj Patel, Principal and head of the Arts and Culture practice at Arup.   “Using our 3D microphone to stream audio in 3D is a natural offshoot from our work enhancing the acoustics of the built environment.”

In their work as acoustic consultants for both the new build and refurbishments of performing arts buildings, Arup has pioneered research and development of technologies for measuring and analyzing sound in existing buildings and computer models to predict how sound will behave in refurbished or new build projects.  Their unique Arup SoundLab® facilities use a process called auralization that allows them to listen to buildings before they are built.  These collaborative environments are currently located in their New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong, and Melbourne offices.  They work closely with musicians, architects, and musical directors to shape the sound of the concert halls of the future.  Fundamental to the process is the ability to capture sounds in existing spaces in full 3D for later analysis and for replay, using a process called ambisonics.  They use this to recreate a true representation of the sound of the concert hall as if you were there, allowing a listener to hear a single piece of music and move from hall to hall around the world to experience the distinctive sounds of each room, and guide the design of spaces to achieve optimal acoustics.

These technologies have seen Arup collaborate with a musicians and multimedia artists around the world to capture or create unique 3D sound experiences.  Some recent projects include working with Nick Cave on his audiobook, “The Death of Bunny Munro,” with Lou Reed to create an immersive recording of his Metal Machine Trio, Iain Forsythe and Jane Pollard, Marina Rosenfeld, Bill Fontana, and a range of other artists.

Carnegie Hall’s “Spring for Music,” which runs from May 6-14, is an adventurous showcase featuring seven distinctive and innovative ensembles: the Albany, Dallas, Montreal, Oregon, and Toledo Symphony Orchestras, and the Orpheus and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras. WQXR will broadcast and stream each concert at 8pm ET on 105.9 FM and www.wqxr.org. The programs’ hosts – WQXR’s Elliott Forrest and American Public Media’s (APM) Fred Child – will be joined by music hosts, critics and other commentators from the orchestras’ hometowns. During the broadcasts, a live interactive web chat, hosted at WQXR.org and carried by NPR Music, will allow audiences to engage with the program participants and each other.  Full details about WQXR’s live series can be found at wqxr.org/springformusic.


Classical 105.9 FM WQXR is New York City’s only all-classical music station, immersing listeners in the city’s rich musical life. WQXR presents new and landmark classical recordings as well as live concerts from the Metropolitan Opera, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the New York Philharmonic, among other city venues. WQXR broadcasts essential shows such as the Metropolitan Opera Radio Saturday Matinee Broadcasts, the New York Philharmonic This Week on Thursday evenings, the McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase on Wednesday evenings, and Symphony Hall each weeknight. For listeners in search of the new, WQXR also operates Q2, a 24-hour-a-day online music stream dedicated to contemporary classical composers, cross-genre adventures, and performances from New York City’s edgier venues. WQXR.org provides essential playlist info for online listening, as well as original content, host blogs, NYC cultural news, and videos.

Arup is the creative force at the heart of many of the world’s most prominent projects in the built environment and across industry. From 90 offices in 35 countries Arup’s 10,000 planners, designers, engineers and consultants deliver innovative projects across the world. Arup opened its first office in the U.S. 25 years ago, and now employs 1,000 in the Americas. The firm was founded in 1946 with an enduring set of values and has a unique trust ownership that fosters a distinctive culture, intellectual independence and collaborative approach. The people at Arup are driven to find a better way to deliver better solutions for their clients.