The Jacqueline du Pré Music Building was the first purpose-built concert venue in Oxford since the Holywell Music Room, which dates from the time of Handel. A joint fundraising campaign by St Hilda’s College, of which Jacqueline du Pré was an Honorary Fellow, and the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund raised over £1 million with the support of a wide range of institutions, trusts, and very many private individuals. The Music Building was opened in September 1995 with a gala concert given by the Medici Quartet and the English Chamber Orchestra, in the presence of HRH the Duchess of Kent.
Designed by architects van Heyningen and Haward, with acoustics by Arup Acoustics, the Music Building boasts the 200-seat Edward Boyle Auditorium - now equipped with Steinway D concert grand piano - five practice rooms and an electro-acoustic studio, with excellent disabled access for performers and audiences alike. The enduring spirit of Jacqueline du Pré is reflected in a striking glass engraving by Laurence Whistler and a full colour reproduction of her familiar cello-playing portrait. Thanks to a legacy from the Rev. Brian Duke in 2002, the Brian Duke Foyer was added, also designed by van Heyningen & Haward. This elegant glass structure complements beautifully the original music building and is a great asset, serving both audiences and musicians.