Ian Potter Southbank Centre opens to students and staff
More than 1000 students and staff have moved into the new state-of-the-art Ian Potter Southbank Centre, home to the new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
The Conservatorium is located in the heart of the Melbourne Arts Precinct and is the centrepiece of the University’s major Southbank campus transformation.
Professor Barry Conyngham, Dean of Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, said the Conservatorium was one of Australia’s first music education institutions and continues to be one the most internationally prestigious, providing exceptional facilities for students.
“With a student cohort that has increased by two-thirds since 2010, the new Conservatorium will allow us to teach, rehearse, perform and record like never before,” Professor Conyngham said.
“Currently, the Faculty has over 40 000 campus visitors a year and hosts more than 220 events, which will now be expanded with a public program of events at the Conservatorium that will enrich Melbourne’s thriving cultural scene.”
One of the major funders whose significant donation helped make the new Conservatorium possible was Martyn Myer, President of the Myer Foundation.
“I’m so proud of this beautiful building,” Mr Myer said. “It is a wonderful example of how philanthropy can support the creation of valuable infrastructure, and in this case, provide world-class learning experiences for students and staff.”
Professor Duncan Maskell, University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor, said the Conservatorium adds to the University’s rich history within the Melbourne Arts Precinct.
“We are creating one of the world’s best fine arts and music campuses in one of the best arts precincts anywhere in the world,” Professor Maskell said.
“The new Conservatorium will allow the University to build on our already strong partnerships in the arts precinct and connect our world-class teaching and research to many more partners in the future.”
In addition to accommodating around 80-100 students at Melba Hall at the Parkville campus, the Conservatorium can now integrate over 1000 enrolled music students and 6600 students from other faculties across two campuses, including utilising the new Ian Potter Southbank Centre at the Southbank campus.
The conservatorium also boasts one of the world’s largest oculus windows – six-metres in diameter – and includes a 400-seat cantilevered auditorium, a 200-seat ground floor studio and rehearsal spaces for teaching, performing, recording and research.
Named in recognition of the Ian Potter Foundation, which has made donations totalling $14 million towards the revitalisation of the Southbank campus, the Conservatorium has also been funded by the University, the Victorian State Government and other generous philanthropic support, particularly from the Myer Foundation and family.