There’s a new world-class concert hall just outside of New York City.
Although it’s been host to some of the globe’s premier performers, tickets are never available to the general public, because this hall is hidden away in a private Cresskill, NJ residence. Created to host up to 45 people in an intimate setting, the room is inspired by some of the city’s most famous classical music venues.
The home’s highly discerning owners chose Criterion Acoustics to execute the acoustical design for their private concert hall. “We interviewed the best firms, and we were very impressed with Criterion Acoustics,” says owner Richard Han. “They understood we wanted to create a private performance space with the same uncompromising sound as the best NYC has to offer.”
A Classical Conversion
Soon after purchasing the house in December, 2017, the Han family made a commitment to converting the top floor from a game room into something much more musical. Mr. Han’s wife has a master’s degree in vocal performance, the oldest child is already studying music at NYC’s prestigious Jullliard School, and the younger two are trained musicians as well.
With its high, vaulted ceiling, the top floor of the Han House gave Criterion Acoustics an ideal space for fulfilling this creative family’s vision.
“When we analyzed the room’s acoustical properties, we saw that we would be able to meet and hopefully exceed our clients’ expectations,” says Dave Kotch, President of Criterion Acoustics. “Their goals were extremely ambitious: Create a small space with the same sonic characteristics of internationally recognized NYC concert venues like Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.”
Kotch and his team drew on their deep experience in optimizing acoustic spaces, creating a comprehensive program that managed the internal room acoustics, as well as effectively enforcing strict sound isolation from outside. Criterion Acoustics also specified sound absorbing velvet curtains, as well as light wood appointments that delivered the desired sonics and a visual aesthetic evocative of Weill Recital Hall.
Impressing the Best
Criterion Acoustics hit the mark with the Han House, creating a private concert hall that has made the grade with elite performers and selective audiences. As an HQ for everything from charity benefit concerts to impromptu performances, the hall at the Han House has been a successful proving ground for top concert masters living nearby, who want to accurately hear pieces before they move them across the river for the real show.
“People can preview music here cleanly, and know how it will sound later in a concert setting,” Han says. “We have a Bosendorfer piano here that fits the space perfectly — some very accomplished pianists have played on it and they say it’s an amazing instrument. Our hall may be small, but it allows the piano’s full character to come through.”
For Richard Han, choosing Criterion Acoustics was the correct step to creating a private concert hall with zero compromises. “Criterion Acoustics was fantastic,” he states. “They were very responsive throughout the process. We’ve had many expert musicians come through here who say the acoustics are incredible, and that it sounds better than a much bigger hall. Criterion Acoustics did it right.”