Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich with pianist Yuja Wang — Zurich, Switzerland

Project Description

Festspeile Zürich is a summer festival founded in 1996 and bringing together Zûrich’s premier cultural institutions—the Opera House, Schauspielhaus, Tonhalle Orchestra, Kunsthaus Zürich and more—to curate performances around the city. The program includes opera, drama, concerts ranging from classical to jazz, dance, exhibitions, readings and discussions. Events take place both in the city’s leading performing arts centers and in different open-air locations. A highlight of the 2018 Festspiele Zürich was the 150th anniversary concert of the city’s famous Tonhalle Orchestra on a specially built stage in the Münsterhof (town square), performed as a thank you to its faithful concertgoers. A wide stage with guests of honor seated less than 3 meters from the performance, surrounded by a larger audience spread around the plaza, led the Orchestra to choose L-ISA technology for its ability to offer natural, transparent sound across the whole audience.

Sound Design Solution

A classic design would use a left-right configuration of two hangs of 12 Kara with two SB18 subwoofers along with three ground-stacked SB18 per side. The L-ISA design comprised five hangs of nine L Acoustics Kara each, distributed across the stage width. Four X8 coaxials were deployed along the stage lip as frontfill along with one ARCS Focus per side as outfill. A central sub system was flown behind the Kara center hang, comprising six SB18 in an end-fire configuration. The entire system was powered by 10 LA8 amplified controllers.


L-ISA Design L-ISA Design
L/R Design L/R Design
Technical Information
TypeOpen Air flat field, Square
Venue25m wide x 55m deep
FOH30m from D.S.E. SR
Min trim height 8.5m (above floor)
Rear video wall 6.4m (above floor)
Sound Design Target
Program typeClassical
SPL max average>= 102 dBA
SPL distribution6 – 9 dB
Frequency contour4 – 6 dB (@ 100hz)
Frequency contour4 – 6 dB (@ 40hz)


L-ISA Design L-ISA Design
L/R Design L/R Design
L/R Coverage

Strong Imaging

Weak Imaging
L-ISA Coverage

Strong Imaging

Weak Imaging

I was fascinated by how spatial the sound feels, even though we played outdoors. It’s fantastic how detailed it is; you can distinguish the individual instruments from the deepest bass to the piccolo flute in the overall sound. The sound always appears complete, big, lifelike, and consistent.

Andreas Berger, Solo Percussion for Tonhalle Orchestra