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Victoria Hall (Geneva, Switzerland)

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Victoria Hall

Victoria Hall

The Victoria Hall is a concert hall in Geneva, Switzerland. It was built in 1891–1894 by the architect John Camoletti and financed by the British consul, Daniel Fitzgerald Packenham Barton, who dedicated it to Queen Victoria and gifted it to the City of Geneva. The hall is mainly used for classical music concerts, but it also hosts performers in song, jazz and world music.

The Victoria Hall was home to a wind band, the Harmonie nautique, before the founding of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande by Ernest Ansermet in 1918, and remained so until 1976 when Harmonie nautique ceased operating. During this period it was also used as a studio for recordings.

Arson caused a disastrous fire on 16 September 1984. Much original artwork was lost, including decorative paintings by Ernest Biéler, as was the massive original pipe organ. The building was then slowly restored, with a new and equally large organ being installed in 1993, and today it is registered on the cantonal list of heritage buildings. But the paintings were replaced by a contemporary work by Dominique Appia.

The main entrance faces east. The auditorium has a parterre and two layers of balconies. The organ dominates the back of the stage.

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