Our History

City Recital Hall was officially opened on 30 October 1999. It was the first purpose-built music venue to be established in Sydney since the Sydney Opera House in 1973.

Designed by Peddle Thorp & Walker Architects, the Hall’s shoebox shape mirrors the classic configuration of 19th-century European concert halls. Affectionately known as ‘Angel Place’, our stunning venue is located between Pitt and George streets within the network of revitalised laneways just off Martin Place.

Acoustic design consultants ARUP ensured the auditorium is exactly attuned for acoustic music. The 1238-seat auditorium is precision tuned at a reverberation rate of 1.75 seconds when occupied, and is supported on rubber bearings to dampen external vibration and street noise.

The establishment of City Recital Hall followed extensive lobbying by Sydney’s arts community, especially its fine music and chamber music ensembles, for a customised central city recital space.

The concert presenters who were involved in the establishment of the Hall have been primary users of the venue since its inception. These organisations, our Key Presenters, are the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian String Quartet, Musica Viva and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Pinchgut Opera and Sydney Festival joined as Key Presenters in later years.

The history of the establishment of City Recital Hall has been documented in Dr Lisa Murray’s book Musical Chairs: The Quest for a City Recital Hall.


Image: Keith Saunders courtesy of Musica Viva