Ada Lousie Huxtable’s review of Victoria Newhouse’s book, “Site and Sound” is good reading for anyone who enjoys live music, especially of the formal-ish/performed in a concert hall variety of live music. Huxtable, like many others, makes some trenchant observations of how our idea of performance spaces came to be and, frankly, how lame they are at times.
What really happened during the Byzantine artistic and political process of creating Lincoln Center? How did a group of “patrician white males,” as she so coolly characterizes them, and a consortium of architects working at a time when modernism had developed its own “establishment power elite” create the model that set the conservative consensus for a generation of performing-arts centers that followed? (Think Washington’s Kennedy Center, a bland box of posh banality in a location of daunting public inaccessibility.)
Needless to say, that last bit about the Kennedy Center resonates. And then some!