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Philly.com

Philly.com

Making debut on a high note

Henry J. Holcomb

Cira Centre, the gleaming glass office building next to 30th Street Station, will become a giant musical instrument during a grand opening ceremony for invited guests Thursday evening.

String Theory, a Los Angeles trio, will attach 12 100-foot-long brass wires to the 29-story building, in the atrium lobby, and to a huge harplike instrument.

"Every space has its own sonic character," said Luke Rothschild, whose wife, Holly, will play what he installs. Looking at the $177.6 million building's plans, with all the metal and glass, he predicted that the Cira Centre would be a very lively instrument.

String Theory, together for 3 1/2 years, has turned concert halls and a 52-story building into musical instruments, Rothschild said.

Its only other Philadelphia engagement, with a smaller version of the harp, was at the Art Museum this year.

The large harp, which costs $10,000 to ship to the East Coast, was available because it will afterward be put on a ship to Grand Cayman, in the Caribbean, where it will be part of the opening of a Ritz-Carlton hotel next month.