The Tonhalle Zürich is a concert hall in Zurich, home to the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, one of Switzerland’s leading orchestras. The 1455-seat hall, located at Claridenstrasse 7 in Zurich, was inaugurated in 1895 by Johannes Brahms.The hall is considered to be “acoustically superb”. Since 1939, it is part of the building complex Kongresshaus Zürich.
The Tonhalle was built between 1893 and 1895, and designed by the Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer, who had built the Zurich Opera House and many theaters and concert halls in Europe. The architects had become especially experienced in acoustics, and also achieved excellent acoustics in the Tonhalle. In his comparison of concert halls and opera houses, Leo Leroy Beranek found the Grosser Saal (Great Hall) “an excellent hall”, agreeing with three out of four conductors whom he had interviewed, adding “Music critics have generally given high praise to the acoustics”. Johannes Brahms conducted his Triumphlied op. 55 for the opening on 19 October 1895.
In 1939, the building was changed to a Kongresszentrum for the event Schweizerische Landesausstellung by the architectural firm Haefeli Moser Steiger. The two concert halls remained mostly unchanged, protected as a historic monument since 1981.
Plans to replace the Kongresshaus with a new convention center were submitted in 2006 but rejected in 2008. The Tonhalle will undergo renovation during the 2013/14 season.