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Major New MCR Concert Hall: Chetham's Gets The Money

420 capacity auditorium ready in three years

Published on March 27th 2014.

Major New MCR Concert Hall: Chetham's Gets The Money

THIS is a welcome press release:

Chetham’s School of Music has received a major pledge of funding to create a brand new Concert Hall in the heart of Manchester.

The 420 capacity, £7.5m Concert Hall, due for completion in Spring 2017, will be located within Chetham’s new building, next to Victoria Station in the city centre.

We want to share it with the people of Manchester, musicians from across the country and visitors from around the world.

This latest project continues the expansion of the School and will create a rehearsal and performance venue for Chetham’s students, visiting artists and ensembles across all genres, and a national resource – especially for young people - for music-making, recording and broadcasting.

The present concrete shell awaiting occupation

The present concrete shell awaiting occupation

For Chetham’s students it will offer them long-awaited and unrivalled resources and will enable the Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra to perform in front of an audience in their own home. 

The shells of the Concert Hall, Box Office and Bar, have stayed empty since Chetham’s moved into their new building in September 2012.

Work to transform these spaces will soon be underway thanks to significant initial support from The Garfield Weston Foundation and the enormous generosity of The Stoller Charitable Trust, allowing the School to realise its vision to create a symphonic-sized performance space with high-quality acoustics for the first time in its 45-year history 

The new Concert Hall is a major step forward in a £50m programme of capital developments at Chetham’s, which began with a state-of-the-art new school building. There's a CGI image at the top of this page. 

Following the Concert Hall, the next phase will be a Heritage Visitor Attraction sharing rich history and beautiful architecture with many more visitors. As Chetham’s continues its major transformation, there are still ways to offer support for the entire project, including naming seats in the Concert Hall and naming rooms in the new school building and Heritage Visitor Attraction. 

The Stoller Charitable Trust commented: “ The Stoller Charitable Trust is proud to assist in completing this important venue to enable the very best music-making and performance facilities to become available.” 

Stephen Threlfall, Director of Music said: “We are committed to developing and expanding our role in music education and performance, increasing the contribution we make to the musical life of the nation. This is our home, but it’s not just for us. We want to share it with the people of Manchester, musicians from across the country and visitors from around the world.”

With around 300 students, aged 8-18, Chetham’s is the largest specialist Music School in the UK and the only Music School based in the North of England. The Concert Hall will be situated alongside The Carole Nash Hall, a completed 100-seat recital space used for regular public performances.

The new School building houses 103 music teaching, practice and rehearsal rooms, a Music Technology Centre, and Outreach Centre and a full range of academic classrooms.

Chetham’s School of Music is at Long Millgate, City centre, M3 1SB.



Back in 2012 when we wrote this article about the new school building as it was being fitted out, it looked like it might be a long while before the concert hall sparkled with music.

Now with the money in place the big hollow space in the splendid new school, designed by Roger Stephenson, has a proper future.

After spending a lot of time in the media over the last year with regard to 'historic crimes' the Concert Hall points to a brighter future.

The press release also gives a hint about the fate of the 1420s buildings next door and still occupied by the school.

These have been called 'the finest medieval secular buildings in the North of England' and include the magnificent Baronial Hall and Chetham's Library - though the Library will remain as an independent institution within the complex.

The above press release says: 'The next phase will be a Heritage Visitor Attraction sharing rich history and beautiful architecture with many more visitors'.

It appears the old buildings are set to become Manchester city centre's historic house. Shop. Cafe. The works. Entry charge no doubt.

Who will run it though? The National Trust?

What is certain is that many more people will get to see these secretive and lovely buildings. This is good news as access, particularly at weekends, will add to Manchester's tourist offer. For many people who see the city as a Victorian and modern metropolis, it will give Manchester a whole new dimension. 


Chetham's - The Old BuildingsChetham's - The Old Buildings

Chetham's with the CIS Tower and Victoria Station in the backgroundChetham's with the CIS Tower and Victoria Station in the background

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10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

SmittyMarch 27th 2014.

This is great news. The new building is unbelievably good, the site is now a perfect fusion of old and new - and the concert space will be the icing on the cake.

ShybaldbuddhistMarch 27th 2014.

Brilliant news.

AnonymousMarch 27th 2014.

That 'concrete shell' is where The XX performed during the MIF13 last year.

AnonymousMarch 27th 2014.

We now have four smaller concert halls within easy walking distance in the City Centre when it is not raining, at UoM, RNCM (it has two spaces), the Albert Hall and St Peters in Ancoats. There is also St Anne's Church. Is there an audience given that there are more though out the City and School are giving Trafford education is leading Education Authorities is giving up music?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Ghostly TomMarch 27th 2014.

I think there is...

AnonymousMarch 27th 2014.

Shame the area around the new school building and Victoria is such a MESS..LITTER all over in true Manchester fashion..DISGRACE...

JoanMarch 27th 2014.

This is fabulous news.

Mark FullerMarch 28th 2014.

Really looking forward to freely wandering around this fascinating area and soaking up the medieval ambiance. It will I'm sure, become a very popular part of the city centre. Pluralism and diversity is making Manchester an ever more attractive city,and an economic and cultural renaissance appears to be well under way.

AnonymousApril 20th 2014.

7.5 million - what they building?

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