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Renovating For The Arts At The Juilliard School

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(Main) The Juilliard building was designed so that activities within the halls, studios, and other education spaces are revealed to passersby on Broadway. (Inset) A control room that’s attached to the new orchestral rehearsal room includes Middle Atlantic enclosures.

NEW YORK, NY—One of the most prestigious music educational institutions in the U.S., the Juilliard School in New York’s Lincoln Center recently underwent a renovation that now includes 45,000 square feet of new facilities and 50,000 square feet of renovated spaces.

Housed in an ultra-modern, glassenclosed three-story volume extension that hovers over a public plaza along Broadway, the building, as described by architects Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, is intended to “turn the school inside-out” so that the “activities within the halls, studios, and other education spaces are now revealed to the rest of the city.”

Altel Systems of Brewster, NY was the installer for Alice Tully Hall and Juilliard. Company president and CEO Andy Musci said: “We provided a substantial amount of the initial work in the other facilities in the Juilliard building, such as the Black Box Theater, so the infrastructure got handled during the first phase of the work. Then there was a secondary bid project, which came directly from the Juilliard School to outfit the main studio, rehearsal halls, music technology suites, and the Black Box Theater with gear.”

Typically, a primary consideration during the installation was for infrastructure, which is dominated by state-of-the-art technology equipment throughout, including enclosures from Middle Atlantic Products. Asked about Altel’s reasons for choosing the company’s products, Musci commented, “For one thing, Middle Atlantic always does a fine job engineering its products so that they’re built sturdy and well put together. Its cable management systems make for a very efficient in and out delivery of field cabling, and also for the internal wiring in the racks. So there’s a lot of efficiency there.

“The keystone that has led to Middle Atlantic’s success is the quality of its manufacture, its ability to deliver product quickly and intact, and it also has some very innovative items like drawers and racks that swivel that help us do our job a lot better,” Musci concluded.

In addition to its role as a critical part of the infrastructure, Middle Atlantic is also an important part of Juilliard’s Recording Department. Longtime director Bob Taibbi, a 38-year veteran of the school, stresses that the department’s role is not to teach recording, but “to record the public performances that we do here at the school for archival purposes, which include orchestral performances, lectures, master classes, and anything they want for the archives.”

Describing the Recording Department’s new quarters in the building, Taibbi elaborated: “With the renovation, the school was going to build a new orchestra rehearsal room, so attached to that—because I always need more space—they gave us this whole AV suite which includes my office, two audio edit rooms, a video edit room, a control room that’s attached to the new orchestral rehearsal room, and a video control room.

Taibbi’s setup in the main control room includes gear such as a Soundcraft Phantom console, ADAM Audio monitoring systems, Millennium preamps, Aphex and Lexicon outboard gear, and Neumann, Schoeps, B&K, and AKG microphones alongside Middle Atlantic enclosures and technical furniture in the audio and video edit suites.

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