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UC San Diego Celebrates Opening of
the Conrad Prebys Music Center May 8-9

Public concerts and tour mark the opening of UC San Diego’s new $53 million Music Center, featuring one of the best small concert halls in the world

May 1, 2009

By Judy Piercey

Photo of Conrad Prebys Music Center
The Conrad Prebys Music Center features one of the finest small concert halls in the world.

“Great spaces inspire great music,” stated Rand Steiger, a composer and chair of the Department of Music at the University of California, San Diego. “The Conrad Prebys Music Center will be one of the best university music facilities in the country, and a place that will challenge and enable our already outstanding students and faculty to do everything they do better.”

Conrad Prebys Music Center (Photo / Victor W. Chen)
The Music Center, located in the heart of campus, is a destination facility that will serve as a bridge to the San Diego community.
Conrad Prebys Music Center (Photo / Victor W. Chen)
Rand Steiger, chair of the UC San Diego Department of Music, is the visionary behind the new Conrad Prebys Music Center.

UC San Diego’s new $53 million Conrad Prebys Music Center, the new concert and office venue for the  university’s Department of Music, features state-of-the-art teaching, rehearsal, practice and recording studios, and world-class performance spaces including a 400-seat concert hall designed by Seattle-based LMN Architects in collaboration with world-renowned acoustician Cyril M. Harris. The destination facility is located in the heart of the campus, and will serve as a bridge to the San Diego community.

“The Conrad Prebys Music Center sets the stage for the future of our Department of Music,” said Marye Anne Fox, UC San Diego Chancellor. “Featuring one of the finest concert halls in the world, the Music Center will become the premier center for education and innovation in new music. We thank our generous donors and department leadership for their vision and for making this center a reality.” 

Opening concerts, May 8 and 9, will feature performances and compositions by distinguished faculty members—including works by Steiger, Philippe Manoury, Pulitzer Prize winner Roger Reynolds and Guggenheim Fellowship recipients Anthony Davis and Lei Liang, along with performances by Aleck Karis, Susan Narucki, Steven Schick and others. Works were chosen to highlight the special qualities of the extraordinary Conrad Prebys Concert Hall.

Scheduled events include:

  • Opening Night Gala Concert
    Friday, May 8, 7:00 p.m.
  • Public Open House
    Saturday, May 9, Noon-4:00 p.m.
  • Encore Performance of Opening Night Concert
    Saturday, May 9, 8:00 p.m.

Ticket information and other details are available at http://music.ucsd.edu.
The Music Center at UC San Diego was made possible, thanks in part, to the vision of Steiger at the university’s Department of Music, and the generosity of local philanthropist Conrad Prebys.

  •  “Music is a true passion of mine and has been a great part of my life,” said Prebys, a one-time aspiring musician. The San Diego builder demonstrated his love of music in May 2007 by making a $6 million donation to the university, which enabled UC San Diego to continue building the facility, now named the Conrad Prebys Music Center in his honor. A year later, he made a $3 million gift to support the renowned UC San Diego Department of Music with the establishment of the Conrad Prebys Music Endowment.
  •  “This venue is where music’s most exciting innovations are happening—and I’m proud to be a part of it,” added Prebys. Other donors providing private gifts to complete the facility include Joel and Ann Reed, Elaine and Murray Galinson and San Diego National Bank, among others including a generous anonymous donor.

Situated on the UC San Diego campus at Russell Lane, the new Music Center will become a vital part of the campus Arts District, following a “neighborhood plan” that unifies buildings through connections to public spaces and walkways, and architecture featuring appropriate proportions and design details.

The concert hall’s stunning interior is an asymmetrical system of triangular wood and plaster surfaces that fold around the room to richly diffuse sound throughout the space. Built of cast-in-place concrete and aluminum/glass curtain walls, the Music Center also includes an innovative small theater with electronic virtual acoustics, a 150-seat lecture/recital hall, and rehearsal rooms for chamber, choral, orchestral and percussion music.

“The design of the concert hall takes the premise of acoustical design and pushes it to an extraordinary visual experience,” explained Mark Reddington, FAIA, design partner at LMN Architects. “Throughout the process, we wanted the design of the UC San Diego Conrad Prebys Music Center to reflect and support the Department of Music’s ambitious, innovative culture and interactive learning environment.”

For more information about the Conrad Prebys Music Center, including the opening event schedule, background, video and more, please visit http://music.ucsd.edu.        

About the UC San Diego Department of Music
Founded over 40 years ago, the UC San Diego Department of Music today spans a spectrum of music from classical to contemporary, including jazz, Hindustani, computer and experimental music. The faculty has included many distinguished composers, performers and scholars who have been recognized with such prestigious awards as the Pulitzer Prize, the MacArthur “Genius” award, Guggenheim Fellowship, the Grawemeyer and Grammy. The department was designed to provide a unique environment in which composers, performers and scholars collaborate and engage with the most vital ideas and newest technologies in order to push the boundaries of contemporary music. Undergraduate and graduate students from the UC San Diego Department of Music have gone on to successful careers in fields ranging from performance, composition, research and education. Please visit http://music.ucsd.edu for more information. 

Giving to UC San Diego
Founded in 1960, the University of California, San Diego is ranked the 7th best public university in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, and has been named the “hottest” institution to study science by Newsweek. But with higher education’s share of state revenue declining each year, UC San Diego must increasingly rely on financial support from private sources to pursue groundbreaking research and cutting-edge technologies. With the support of generous alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends, our campus can continue to provide local impact, national influence and global reach as one of the world’s leading education and research institutions. For more information, call 858-534-1610 or visit www.giving.ucsd.edu.

Media Contacts:
Judy Piercey, 858-534-6128 or jpiercey@ucsd.edu
Dirk Sutro, 858-534-4830 or dsutro@ucsd.edu

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