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“World-Class Concert Hall”
Review of Merrill Auditorium

Merrill Auditorium
Ranked #35 of 146 things to do in Portland
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Merrill Auditorium is a 1,900-seat auditorium located in Portland, Maine, United States. Originally known as Portland City Hall Auditorium, it is located in the eastern section of Portland City Hall. Organizations such as Portland Ovations, Portland Symphony Orchestra, and Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ use the auditorium as a primary performance space. PortTIX is the official box office of the Merrill Auditorium. The auditorium was built in 1911 and underwent a major rebuild and renovation in 1997. It features a large pipe organ, the Hermann Kotzschmar Memorial Organ, donated by Cyrus Curtis and built by the Austin Organ Company (Opus 323).
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Stairs / elevator, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
555 reviews
104 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
“World-Class Concert Hall”
Reviewed May 9, 2012

Honestly, I can't ever recall any visit to Merrill Auditorium which I didn't love, even if the show was just "so so." This concert hall is absolutely beautiful to behold. It was renovated in 1997 to the decoration and condition which it remains in today. The 1900-seat space is enormous, bedazzled, and it hosts a huge variety of large-scale as well as more intimate performances, hosting well-known and esoteric artists alike, from around the world. I have had the opportunity to sing on its stage, and I can say that one can 'hear a pin drop' from there.... or from the house floor. The sound acoustics are extraordinary.

I've been to about 100 performances there, including recently seeing Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. It is so satisfying, in my hometown, seeing great theater and music, in a Class A performance hall, which is both beautiful and comfortable. Of course it is also ADA compliant, and has ramps and an elevator working between floors. Refreshments and souvenirs are generally sold during performances. The PortTix box office has decent hours and is located in the lobby.

Merrill Auditorium is home to the Portland Symphony Orchestra, as well as to the Kotzschmar Memorial Organ: built in 1911, and at the time, it was the second largest organ in the world.

Visited April 2012
Thank James F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Bora Bora
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Superb acoustics”
Reviewed May 7, 2012

This symphony hall is as good as Carnegie Hall in New York City. From the balcony, you can hear everything perfectly. We love to attend concerts there. A real treat in Portland.

Visited April 2012
Thank Tentontuna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bonita Springs, Florida
Level Contributor
244 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“An almost intimate setting for world class performers”
Reviewed May 1, 2012

We have seen, Pink Martini, Rufus Wainwright, Diana Krall and other entertainers here.

The setting is wonderful. Most seats are optimal, sound system is fine.

And ate audiences are fun to be part of.

Visited September 2011
Thank Tomapa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
41 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Great Venue”
Reviewed April 28, 2012

What would a Portland winter be without a first rate 1800 seat venue? A lot less fun. Makes you feel like you're actually in the big city for an evening. A great place to see a show. Is the parking perfect? No. Try to avoid the surface lot if you are impatient getting in or out. Is the artist space ideal, not really. But, this joint gets 5 stars. Because it's the best game in Town and Portland is a much better place for the acts that have performed and will perform at Merrill.

Visited April 2012
Thank GrubGuzzler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
134 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem”
Reviewed April 27, 2012

Who knew that such a great concert hall existed in Maine?
Acoustically excellent with comfortable seating ( Grand Tier is better than orchestra in my opinion).
Best tip: the University of Southern Maine Music Department puts on special events there. Best deal for the money. Just saw/heard Carmina Burana. Unbelievably beautiful These kids are all training to be pros and it shows that they can succeed.

Visited April 2012
Thank fishonBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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