Louise Stickland

Estonia National Concert Hall Chooses Robe

Robe DL7S Profile LED moving lights and PARFect 100 LED PARs have been specified and installed at the prestigious Estonian National Concert Hall (Eesti Kontsert), located in the heart of picturesque capital city Tallinn and home to the Estonian National Orchestra (ENO).

The impressive Neoclassical building designed by architects A. Lindgren and W. Lönn in 1913 and reconstructed in 1947 is shared with the Estonian National Opera and the Ballet Theatre Estonia and a proud symbol of Estonia’s political and cultural landscape The Concert Hall is run by the Eesti Foundation, together with five other high profile concert hall venues – in the Estonia cities of Tartu, Parnu and Jõhvi - and St Petersburg, Russia.

The new lights were delivered by Tallinn based sales and installation company E&S, and were part of a much needed technical upgrade that replace the previous lighting scheme which was fully ‘conventional’.

“We don’t just do concerts” explained Eesti Foundation director Jüri Leiten, “Although they are very important”, but in addition to the 40 or so symphony concerts staged in an average year, the Concert Hall accommodates 180 rehearsals (including the ENO), at least 150 other types and styles of concert plus 80 – 100 conferences and corporate events. So it’s a busy space, buzzing with activity and an average of 450 events annually.

In recent years increased competition has emerged in Tallinn from other venues all vying to stage events and entertainment, so as the market tightens, so does the need to offer “the best and most flexible technical solutions” for all our clients says Jüri.

This includes the new lighting system which joins a new Meyer audio system installed in the last two years.

It’s a government run venue, so a tender was issued for a new lighting scheme and Jüri and his team examined the options carefully before deciding to go with E&T’s proposal, pitched by Olev Luhaäär with whom they already enjoy an excellent working relationship.

The eventual choice of moving light followed very big discussions with the orchestra.

 Classical musicians, because of the nature and detail of their work, are known for being extremely hard to please when it comes to any stage lighting, and also for their acutely sensitive hearing.

Ambient noise levels precluded every other proposed moving light fixture involved in the selection process … apart from the DL7S … which runs so quiet it’s almost imperceptible.

Add to that the high CRI, the authentic and accurate colour- temperature whites which can be tuned to provide perfect flesh tones, the wide range of rich and high quality colours from across the spectrum – pastels to saturates – the theatrical grade smooth dimming and the overall quality of the light output … and the DL7S ticked all the boxes.

This refined luminaire has been designed to meet all these exacting requirements.

Once the DL7Ss had passed the ‘noise’ test with the orchestra … everyone held their breath for the final seal of approval … which came from one of the most sensitive pairs of ears in the performing arts – world renowned Estonian maestro, Neeme Järvi who conducted the orchestra with the new lights on, onfirming beyond any doubt that the best decision had been made.

The DL7Ss were supplied in white housings to match the walls of the Concert Hall, which has a fully flexible layout, retractable seating and can accommodate up to 1000 people for a concert or recital.

Another important technical requirement was that all the new installed fixtures can produce clean white light with colour temperatures that can be changed smoothly.

With the DL7Ss the venue also appointed a moving light operator and specialist for the first time, Mattias Kittask, who is very happy with the new purchases that were supplied along with an appropriate control console from E&S.

The PARfects – also supplied in white – are dotted around in a series of positions either side of the side columns along the room and on two over-stage trusses.

In addition to the low noise and white light considerations, the energy efficient solution was another reason for choosing the Robe tender.

The hall itself is 101 years old and heritage protected, so a lighting scheme that kicks out less heat was a far easier, more lateral and budget-friendly prospect than implimenting a complicated AC system to keep the environment comfortable in the summer.

The other bonus of LED is also in the power saving, lower ongoing maintenance … and generally being more carbon conscious, an ethos that’s readily evident all across the country.