The Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) has today (2 February) opened its newly redeveloped and extended campus at Westland Row in Dublin.
The redevelopment extends the RIAM by over two thousand square meters with a new six-storey building behind the original Georgian premises, which has also been refurbished.
The facilities of the institution, which in 2023 celebrates its 175th year, now include 76 teaching and research supervision rooms; a 300-seater recital hall; a tiered lecture hall; a large library and research facility; a music therapy suite; common rooms, a breakout space and new office space. There is also an opera rehearsal studio and a sonic arts hub for composing.
New lecture hall (Photo: RIAM)
The construction has been funded by the Department for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (€7m), the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (€3m), private donors (€11m), and the remainder has come from a loan.
New sonic arts hub (Photo: RIAM)
Commenting on the redevelopment, Deborah Kelleher, Director of the RIAMsaid the project will enable it to expand its student cohort at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
The Royal Irish Academy of Music 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.
She also praised the support that the project had received:
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 campus dream possible.
New library at RIAM (Photo: Philip Shields/RIAM)
At the opening this morning, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, said that the 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.
The new recital hall and opera studio will provide students with the opportunity to perform in a space of the absolute highest international standards. The sonic arts hub will develop the next generation of electro-acoustic composers. And the new library will be an essential resource for students, practitioners and students alike.
The RIAM campus opening follows the announcement in December of a major new redevelopment at the National Concert Hall. Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, said at the opening this morning that, ‘With RIAM‘s and the forthcoming redevelopment of the National Concert Hall, Ireland is well on its way to becoming a world-class center of musical excellence.’
For more, visit www.gov.ie.
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RIAM Chair Denis Jennings, Minister Catherine Martin, RIAM Director Deborah Kelleher, singer Celine Byrne, and Minister Simon Harris at the opening of the new RIAM campus.
Minister Catherine Martin, composer Bill Whelan and students of the RIAM at the opening of the new campus.