Internationally renowned architect, Zaha Hadid, is to create a specially commissioned room on the top floor of Manchester Art Gallery for the performance of solo instrumental works by JS Bach.
The work was commissioned by Alex Poots, artistic director of the Manchester International Festival, for the event's second incarnation in July 2009, as a response to the frustration of hearing supposedly intimate works in large concert halls.
Hadid will work with an acoustician to create a "room within a room" capable of seating 200 for recitals by pianist Piotr Anderszewski, cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and violinist Alina Ibragimova.
Hadid said: "As an articulation of the rhythmic and harmonic range Bach was able to achieve within the mathematical framework of his music, Zaha Hadid Architects' design will explore this multiplicity by developing a coherent integration of formal and structural logic."
Poots added: "Zaha Hadid Architects consistently come up with the most exciting, innovative ideas for large scale projects – the design for the London Aquatic Centre is already an icon of British architecture. It will be intriguing to see what they produce on this intimate level. The aim is to create a near-perfect visual and sonic environment for the audience to experience some of the world's best loved chamber music."
Corporate sponsors of the first festival, held last year, included numerous property names such as Bruntwood, Allied London, Drivers Jonas and Property Alliance Group. The list of 2009 sponsors is set to be announced later this year.
The programme for the 2009 MIF is due to be published at noon today, on the festival's website, http://www.mif.co.uk/. The festival runs from 2 July to 19 July, 2009.