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Classical 101

Iceland's New Concert Hall An Avant-Garde Beauty In A Bear Market

What does the U.S. do when economic catastrophe hits? Build roads. What does Europe do? Build concert halls. At least that's the case with Iceland, whose brand-spanking-new Harpa Conference Center and Concert Hall is poised to light up arctic Reykjavik like the Aurora Borealis, even in the dead of winter. The center, which won the 2011 World Architecture Award last spring, contains an 1,800-seat concert hall that now serves as the home of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera. But its global claim to fame (or infamy, depending on whose reviews you read) is its artist-designed facade built of light-catching, polychromatic heaxgons. Rowan Moore, of Britain's Guardian, Now it's your turn to weigh in. Should such expenditures as concert halls be tabled during times of austerity? Or do you think government-subsidized building projects in the arts are a good bet for economic and cultural advancement? Write in with your thoughts. http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/aug/28/harpa-concert-hall-eliasson-reykjavik