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Computer music marks start of new University building

Posted on 27 January 2003

A specially-commissioned computer and trumpet fanfare will ring out in celebration as the first turf is cut for the new Music Research Centre at the University of York on 30 January.

The Centre will provide the University’s Department of Music with a special international-standard facility, built to the highest acoustic specification, to enable the Department to extend its vibrant performance programme, its outreach work, and its world-class research.

The first turf will be cut by Mrs Carol Rymer and Mr Tim Rymer. At the Centre’s heart will be a 150-seat concert hall, the Arthur Rymer Auditorium, with unique acoustics specially designed for ‘surround sound’ reproduction, and housing the Department’s new Fazioli grand piano.

Professor Roger Marsh, Head of the Department of Music, said: “Like the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, this will be a fantastic asset for the people of York and the region -.the whole complex will become a focus for performance and the arts. The designs are wonderful - the architects are Van Heyningen and Haward, who are well known for the National Centre for Early Music in York.

“The new designs, and the acoustic specification necessary for music technology research, will transform music research at York.”

The building, which will extend the foyer of the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, linking it to the new auditorium, will also house a professional studio, workshops, laboratories and research spaces for staff and postgraduates.

The Centre has been funded by a partnership between the University and many local, private benefactors, coordinated by the Heslington Foundation. Generous donations were also received from successful music professionals who were former students of the Department. The building will open in December 2003.

Notes to editors:

  • The Music Department at the University is well-known for its work in performance and composition. Many of its staff and former students are composers and the majority of its graduates pursue professional music careers.
  • The Department has a research rating of 5, and an official teaching quality assessment of ‘Excellent’.
  • The fanfare music has been composed by Dr Tony Myatt, Director of Technology Research at the University.


  • 12.30pm, Thursday 30 January 2003 outside the Department of Music, next to the foyer of the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall.
  • A computer-assisted fanfare with trumpet marks the first turf cut for the Department’s new £2.5m Music Research Centre.
  • Turf to be cut by Mrs Carol Rymer and Mr Tim Rymer, of the J S and E C Rymer Charitable Trust.
  • The Trust will name the Music Research Centre’s new Auditorium after Arthur Rymer, a founding father of the University.

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153