Concert: Hagia Sophia: The Sounds of Byzantium

September 22, 2019 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Kridel Grand Ballroom

Is it possible to travel back in time to experience the sounds of 13th-century Constantinople in real time? Here is your opportunity to find out: a live concert experience in the virtual-reality acoustic of Byzantium’s iconic cathedral of Hagia Sophia. For nearly a decade, Portland-based vocal ensemble Cappella Romana has collaborated with scholars and technologists at Stanford University to create this program. With an over-11-second reverberation time, Hagia Sophia was for 1,000 years the largest enclosed space in the world. In the Museum’s Kridel Grand Ballroom, enjoy the Northwest premiere of this fascinating project that marries technology, architecture, and art and music history to create a can’t-miss immersive sound experience. It also marks Cappella Romana’s release of its new surround-sound recording called “Hagia Sophia: Icons of Sound.”

A pre-performance conversation with Brian Ferriso (Director, Portland Art Museum), Alexander Lingas (Music Director and Founder of Cappella Romana; Musicologist, City-University of London), Bissera Pentcheva (Professor of Art History, Stanford University), and Elliot Canfield-Dafilou (Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Stanford University).

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The Portland Art Museum is pleased to offer accommodations to ensure that our programs are accessible and inclusive. All spaces for this program are accessible by wheelchair. Assistive listening devices are also available for lectures. All restrooms have accessible stalls but no power doors. There are single-stall all-gender bathrooms available. Please ask staff for directions.

We will do our best to accommodate your needs when you arrive, however, we need 2-3 weeks advance notice for some specific requests. Please email requests to, or call 503-226-2811.