18 September 2008
Handover has taken place on the Capita Architecture
designed BBC Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff.
The venue – which is on the same site as the Wales Millennium
Centre (also designed by Capita Architecture) - will provide the
BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales with a permanent
350-seat rehearsal and performance space. It is named after
one of Wales’ leading composers - Alun Hoddinott.
The venue will hold full scale studio concerts encompassing a
full orchestra, 130 strong chorus, plus an audience – something
which has not been possible at the orchestra’s current venue at BBC
Broadcasting House in Cardiff (a building which was actually
designed in the sixties by the Percy Thomas Partnership, now part
of Capita Architecture).
Administrative spaces of the completed building will now be
fitted out internally by the BBC before the grand opening in
January next year.
The new hall and facilities will actually complete the original
Wales Millennium Centre concept with the venue’s design and
acoustics having been tailored to the BBC National Orchestra and
Chorus of Wales’ exact requirements.
The name has also been announced for the studio at the new venue
- The Grace Williams Studio. This will provide auxiliary rehearsal
space for the Orchestra and will be the home base for BBC National
Orchestra of Wales’s education and community outreach work with the
capability of hosting workshops, masterclasses, small-scale
rehearsals and performances.
Grace Williams [1906-1977], a pupil of Vaughan Williams, was
one of the three major Welsh composers of the twentieth century.
The orchestra recently premiered a reconstruction of Grace
Williams’ First symphony, and will play her Second Symphony in an
opening season of concerts at BBC Hoddinott Hall.