Sonorous Transformation: Liebfrauenkirche's journey to a contemporary concert venue

Long has the silhouette of the former Liebfrauenkirche shaped the cityscape of Wernigerode. Its roots date back to the year 1230, and its present appearance owes itself to a reconstruction starting in 1756 and subsequent expansions.

A CHURCH TRANSFORMED INTO A MODERN CONCERT HALL

Since 2019, the church has been under the ownership of a foundation under the dedicated leadership of Rainer Schulze. Citizens and local businesses are enthusiastic about the concept, donating sums within their means, and already on December 17, 2021, the former church acoustically became the 'Konzerthaus Liebfrauen Wernigerode,' a location of outstanding cultural significance and the new domicile of the Philharmonisches Kammerorchester Wernigerode. A location of exceptional cultural significance and a concert hall unique in its acoustics and architecture in Germany.

Nowadays, the concert hall hosts not only PKOW concerts. Events range from classical orchestra, choir, and chamber music performances to jazz and world music evenings, as well as singer-songwriter concerts and cabaret evenings. In a very short time, the institution of Liebfrauen has established itself with all parties involved, gaining recognition far beyond the borders of the Harz district.

Due to the diversity of artistic requirements, ensuring excellent speech intelligibility in every seat of the former church became a priority.

Ronny Kirlum, the responsible technician of PKOW, was entrusted with selecting a suitable sound system. Of course, alongside the system's high acoustic demands, its appearance was an important selection criterion. After several demonstrations by various manufacturers, ELLA also had its demo deployment in Winter '22. Ronny Kirlum had discovered the system through his research and recommendations, and it was clear to him that it should be included in the selection.

After the demo, the decision was quickly made by all involved parties: technicians, the foundation, architect, and musical director were all in agreement: ELLA would find its place in the Liebfrauen concert hall. The combination of its graceful appearance, the HiFi sound of the system, and its cardioid dispersion pattern proved convincing.

In August 2023, the operational installation was carried out by the TW AUDiO Customer Support Center ME Eventtechnik from Velpke: 2 arrays, each consisting of 9 ELLA6 top units for the parquet floor and the first balcony. For the second balcony, 2 ELLA6 delay arrays, each with three elements, were employed. As subwoofers, 4 B15 units were used, while C5 units were deployed for the front rows and wheelchair spaces. High-end amplifiers, the DYNACORD IPX10:8 and TGX10:4, were integrated, with the TGX10 also placed in a mobile rack with B15 and M10 for outdoor events.

In mid-August, the system was adapted to the hall by a team from TW AUDiO. Various acoustic scenarios were captured and mapped using the DYNACORD SONICUE control software into various user presets, which technicians can access with an individually programmed remote interface for SONICUE. This enables volume and tonal adaptations to be easily switched by "pressing a button," such as switching between normal and cardioid dispersion of the B15 subwoofers.

Tobias Goldmann, Rostislav Kundik, and Marco Deinl handed over the system after successful acceptance testing to the representatives of PKOW and the cultural foundation: Ronny Kirlum (PKOW technology), Rainer Schulze (Kulturstiftung Wernigerode / Konzerthaus), musical director Christian Fitzner, as well as Roland and Ulrike Thöricht (support association).

On the first Saturday after the handover, the ELLA debut took the form of a film music concert featuring PKOW and other artists. In addition to Ronny Kirlum as the house technician, Raphael Becker-Foss (Yellow Jackets, Mezzoforte, Stockhausen, etc.) was responsible for the sound of the event. After the event, he expressed his enthusiasm: 'What a privilege to mix the Inauguration concert of the new TW AUDiO system at Konzerthaus Liebfrauen Wernigerode. And what an amazing system it is! The head of tech Ronny Kirlum (who is an awesome human being, by the way) and TW AUDiO did an outstanding job putting this together. Paired with a lovely ALLEN & HEATH dLive System, this was pure mixing joy indeed.' (Source Facebook)

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