Fitzwilliam College is very fortunate both in the spaces it has available for public concerts and in the facilities it is able to offer students for private practice and rehearsals in small groups. At present (for example) the College has eight pianos, two organs, three harpsichords and a harmonium.
Main public concerts take place in the College's Auditorium, which was opened in 2004. The building was designed by Allies & Morrison, an architectural practice who have won widespread acclaim and eight RIBA awards for their recent work. Materials from sustainable and local sources were used wherever possible in the Auditorium's construction, and natural light is maximised by the large windows - though there is also the possibility of full blackout when required for theatrical performances. The building blends sympathetically within the beautiful environment of the College's gardens, with one storey constructed below ground and a new sunken garden outside the foyer, adding to the gardens' all-year colour. The Auditorium's acoustics have been praised as some of the best in Cambridge: as a result of consultation with engineers at Arup Associates, the Auditorium uses adjustable sound baffles so that an acoustic environment ideally suited to different forms of music and speech can be achieved. The Auditorium contains a Steinway grand piano which may be used by advanced pianists in the College, and a fine two-manual Goble harpsichord.
Fitzwilliam's Chapel, built in 1991, has won many design awards and boasts one of the best acoustics for choral singing in the University. It offers an ideal venue for more intimate concerts and for the Music Society's Sunday evening series of informal Chapel Recitals. The organ is one of the finest instruments of its kind in Cambridge, and a Bechstein grand piano for use by more advanced performers. Access to the chapel for practice is restricted at certain times of day - please check the chapel noticeboard for details of these times.
The Chapel Organ was built in 1991 by Peter Collins, with casework designed by Dorian Wiszniewski. It is a versatile instrument with two manuals and pedal, and the usual couplers and tremulant.
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Within the Auditorium building there are three practice rooms on the second floor (two containing upright pianos and one a harpsichord and a harmonium), a larger room suitable for small groups to rehearse on the first floor (containing an upright piano), and a Band Room on the basement level containing a drum kit. The practice rooms are for use by all students and keys should be signed out from the Porters' Lodge. The drum kit and band room are available for those who have registered to use these facilities with the Director of Music.
For enquiries about the music facilities at Fitzwilliam, or if you would like to be added to the list of those entitled to use the Steinway piano, organ, harpsichord, harmonium, drum kit or band room, please email the Director of Music, Francis Knights, at email@example.com.