Royal Irish Academy of Music opens new Westland Row music campus following €25 million redesign
Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM), Ireland’s longest serving provider of classical music education and number one ranked performing arts school in Ireland is delighted to officially announce the opening of its new state of the art Westland Row campus in Dublin City Centre following a €25 million investment.
Designed by Todd Architects, the new 6,500 sq. meters Westland Row campus will include an impressive 300-seat concert hall; a purpose-built opera studio and rehearsal space; 75 teaching rooms featuring adjustable and adaptable acoustics; new state-of-the-art library to underpin an ambitious research agenda; a sonic arts hub for electronic music composition; a 60-seat lecture hall, a dedicated music therapy facility for people of all ages and needs, and a new and more accessible entrance that will allow wheelchair users to fully access RIAM’s facilities.
RIAM was awarded a €10 million Government grant to support its re-development under the Project Ireland 2040 Plan and secured a further €11 million from donors for the project, which was the largest philanthropic donation for an arts capital project in Ireland. The remaining funds needed for the development came from RIAMs own funds. The investment and redeveloped campus will enable the RIAM to increase its student enrolment in fit for purpose facilities ready to nurture generations of music students to come.
The building process began in 2020 following the awarding of the contract to Purcell Construction in 2019 from a tendering process. The new campus will set the stage for RIAM students and visiting artists to shine as they will give over 100 public performances annually, about 20% of which are free, to over 10,000 members of the public.
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD said: “I am delighted to be here at the Royal Irish Academy of Music to officially open their redeveloped campus with Minister Catherine Martin. This redevelopment was a really significant undertaking, at a cost of €25 million, my Department funded €7 million of that cost and Minister Martin’s Department funded a further €3 million. “The development project transforms the RIAM campus and opens it to the public in a far more accessible way. Accessibility and digital infrastructure of the campus will broaden the reach and profile of its students, to include those who have disabilities and those outside of Dublin. “It’s especially heartening the Music Discovery and Therapy Facilities will be able to provide tailor made programmes for a range of people, including those on the autism spectrum.”
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD said:“The new RIAM campus offers a remarkable array of facilities for our young musicians and artists. From an impressive new 300-seater recital hall to a modernised library and research facility, RIAM’s students will be equipped with the best possible resources in which to further their development.”
“As Minister for Culture and the Arts, I am delighted that my Department was able to support this important redevelopment project. With RIAM’s and the forthcoming redevelopment of the National Concert Hall, Ireland is well on its way to becoming a world-class centre of musical excellence.”
Deborah Kelleher, Director of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, spoke at the opening and said: “The Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) seeks to champion and support high-quality music education in Ireland and inspire the next generation of musicians. Central to our ambitions of reaching further, being more accessible and nurturing great artists, is our newly transformed campus on Westland Row. This campus will allow us to expand the intake of the Academy each year and further grow the musical talent in Ireland.
The level of support we received, as an institution without a track record of such major projects, showed incredible belief and courage on the part of our donors. I pay tribute to the Irish Government and the transformational people and institutions who came on board early on when we had nothing more than a dream, albeit a compelling one. To everyone else involved in making this happen and for supporting us through this project, I want to thank you for making this vision of our new state of the art campus a reality.”
The RIAM is a national conservatoire for music which teaches 2,000 pre-college and 200 full-time degree students annually from its premises on Westland Row. In addition, RIAM has a national music assessment body that examines about 35,000 music students annually, making RIAM the quality mark for music in Ireland. In recent years, RIAM has introduced teacher-training programmes aimed at enhancing the quality of music teaching nationally. RIAM is ranked in the top 50 performing arts schools in the world and has international performance partners that include leading schools such as the Paris Conservatoire, Mozarteum Salzburg and the Juilliard School of Music in New York. RIAM was included in the Irish Government’s diplomatic agreement with the French Government in 2021, when RIAM signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Paris Conservatoire, from which exciting performance projects have developed.
Alumni of RIAM include soprano Celine Byrne; writer Joseph O’Connor; actors Sinead and Niamh Cusack; mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught, and pianist Finghin Collins. Candidates in RIAM’s national exams have included BAFTA winner, Andrew Scott, Westlife’s Kian Egan and actor, Evanna Lynch.
Photo: NO REPRO FEE 2/2/2023 Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM), Ireland’s longest-serving provider of classical music education and number one ranked performing arts school in Ireland, officially opened its new state-of-the-art Westland Row campus in Dublin City Centre today following a €25 million investment. Pictured at the official opening are Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, and Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, with celebrated Irish soprano Celine Byrne and, from left, Con Kelleher, Junior RIAM, Marion Hyland, retired Professor of Guitar, Aoife Garry, BMus student, and Adam Buttimer, BMus student. The new Royal Irish Academy of Music redesigned campus will be supporting and investing in the next generation of musicians and talent in Ireland. PHOTO: Mark Stedman
Issued on behalf of the Royal Irish Academy of Music by Heneghan
Louise McNamee – email@example.com/ + 353 87 244 9708