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Famed auditorium reopened like new

Jan. 16, 2004 at 6:45 PM

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The University of Michigan's Hill Auditorium, famous for its superb acoustics, will reopen with a concert Saturday night after its $38.4 million restoration.

A concert by violinist Midori, countertenor David Daniels, and Tony Award-winning soprano Audra McDonald is scheduled to mark the reopening of the 90-year-old hall.

Hill Auditorium, built by renowned Detroit architect Albert Kahn, underwent an 18-month facelift, getting a new lobby, a more comfortable configuration of aisles and seating, an air condition system -- which it never before had -- and a restored organ. The original color scheme of blue, gray, orange, and gold replaced a drab cream color applied 50 years ago.

"It's a restored hall, but technologically it is a 21st century performing arts center," said Michael Quinn, the architect in charge of the restoration.

Hill Auditorium has the reputation of being the Carnegie Hall of the Midwest and a wide range of artists have performed there ranging from Arthur Rubinstein to the Berlin Philharmonic and Emmylou Harris to Garrison Keillor.

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