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Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor

4.8
Other · Hidden Gem
Hill Auditorium is the largest performance venue on the University of Michigan campus, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The auditorium was named in honor of Arthur Hill (1847-1909), who served as a regent of the university from 1901 to 1909. He bequeathed $200,000 to the university for the construction of a venue for lectures, musical performances, and other large productions. Opened in 1913, the auditorium was designed by Albert Kahn and Associates. It was recently renovated by the same firm beginning in 2002 and was re-opened in 2004.

With seating for up to 3,538 (originally 4,100 prior to the 2004 renovation) audience members, Hill is one of the most popular venues for large productions on campus. The building routinely hosts performances given by the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and the School of Music's various ensembles, including the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, University of Michigan Philharmonia Orchestra, University of Michigan Concert Band, University of Michigan Symphony Band, and University of Michigan Choirs, as well as the mostly non-major ensembles such as the University of Michigan Arts Chorale, the Campus Symphony Orchestra, Campus Bands, the Michigan Marching Band, and the Men's Glee Club and Women's Glee Club. The auditorium is also host to the Detroit Catholic Central High School and Father Gabriel Richard Ann Arbor graduation each May.

Hill Auditorium's acoustics have been widely praised. The University of Michigan website that describes the recent $33.5 million Hill Auditorium refurbishing and restoration states:

"When it opened in 1913, Hill Auditorium was hailed as a 'monument to perfect acoustics.' The excellent acoustics, a result of collaboration by architect Albert Kahn with noted acoustical engineer Hugh Tallant, are known world-wide and have made the auditorium a favorite venue for legions of famous musicians and other artists, as well as numerous noted speakers."

"Careful attention will be given throughout the renovation to maintaining the acoustic quality of Hill, said Henry Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations. In addition, further work will be done to reduce street and lobby noise by building a “sound lock” between the lobby and the auditorium."
Michigan's University Musical Society presents performances of many world-renowned artists at Hill Auditorium.

The hall's unique oval-shaped stage has seen performances by Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, the Denishawn Dance Company, the Vienna Philharmonic,the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Leningrad Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Jan Kubelik, Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler, Carl Flesch, Eugene Ysaye, Efrem Zimbalist, Myra Hess, Ravi Shankar, Anne Sofie von Otter, Audra McDonald, the Kremerata Baltica, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Emilia Parks Butryn, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Enrico Caruso, Joan Sutherland, Robert Frost, Jessye Norman, Van Cliburn, Yo-Yo Ma, Vladimir Horowitz, Helen Hayes, Cecilia Bartoli, Eugene Ormandy, Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Benny Goodman, Harry Chapin, Dave Brubeck, Jack DeJohnette, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Alexander Frey, Louis Lortie, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, George Winston, Elton John, the Grateful Dead, Brandi Carlile, Rufus Wainwright, I'm With Her, and Lupe Fiasco among others.
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Hill Auditorium reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
143 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Can't beat it for a concert or a speaker. The pipes are great and whether it is the M glee club or the band singing the Victors, a performance of THE MESSIAH, THE TEMPS AND 4 TOPS or a politician...  more »
  • The 2019-2020 Concert Season was Exceptional. The wonderful array of selections, from year to year, override the slight inconvenience of tight seating.  more »
Google
  • Very nice, pretty good sounding 100+ years old auditorium that was designed before the days of electric amplification. It's a beautiful building and a great place to hear a concert, especially ones with predominantly acoustic instruments, although it does modern electric, electronic and digital instruments justice too.
  • I've been to hill auditorium on two occasions. First, for a spectacular viewing of 2001: a Space Odessey with a live orchestra performing the score. Beautiful location, confusing movie, but still great experience. Glad that they offer events like this and others. Second, I went to Hill Auditorium for a high school graduation. Again, perfect location. The building added elegance and formality to the celebratory ceremony. Every time I walk in the architecture (especially ceiling design) leaves me in awe. Wonderful building in the heart of a wonderful city.

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