Holywell Music Room
The Holywell Music Room is the city of Oxford's chamber music hall, situated on Holywell Street in the city centre, and is part of Wadham College. It is said to be the oldest purpose-built music room in Europe, and hence Britain's first concert hall.
The Holywell Music Room, which is part of Wadham College, Oxford, was one of the earliest purpose built concert venues in the world and the first in Europe. Prior to the advent of concert halls, recitals would happen at private aristocratic venues, royal courts, or in churches. It was built in 1748, probably under the direction of William Hayes and it was designed by Dr Thomas Camplin, the vice-principal of St Edmund Hall. The venue was important for popularizing the music of Haydn in 18th century England. He was the most frequently performed composer during 1788–1791; at short notice he was unable to attend a planned visit to the venue while in Oxford in 1791.
By 1836, the building was being used for purposes beyond concerts, including auctions and exhibitions. During the 1870s, the Oxford Philharmonic Society would give weekly concerns. In 1910, the building was leased by the Oxford University Musical Union. In 1959, the building was restored. The building was Grade II* listed in 1954.
The building cost £1,263 and 10s, equivalent to approximately £2.5 million in 2018,[note 1] and included chandeliers that had previously been hung in Westminster Hall for Coronation of George IV and donated to Wadham College. The building was funded by public subscription. The auditorium seats 200, includes an organ, which likely dates from the 1800s and originated in Holland.
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- University of Oxford Faculty of Music
- Pindrop Performances
- Oxford Coffee Concerts
- Jack Gibbons concerts in Oxford
- Information from Daily Information
- Appeal for the extension and renovation of the Holywell Music Room