Officially opened in 2006, the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Building houses state-of-the-art facilities for training professional musicians. These include a 600-seat concert hall, 80 sound-proof and temperature controlled studios and practice spaces, a music library, smart classrooms, and one of the largest recording studios in Asia.
The building, designed by RSP Architects Planners and Engineers, utilises the brightness of the tropical environment through the use of glass panels which allow natural light into as many spaces as possible. The main façade is fronted by full-length glass panels which offer views into the foyer of the concert hall and library. The glass walls are supported by paired bow trusses, evocative of the strings on a violin or cello. Another interesting aspect of the design is that the outer walls are concave in nature enabling non-parallel walls (acoustically ideal) to be a constant feature of the internal architecture.
The 600-seat concert hall is purpose-built for classical music performances, and is an ideal venue for chamber music as well as for symphony orchestra concerts. The narrower width of the seating area in the stalls creates an intimate feel, which opens up to embrace the curve of the stage. Sound reflectors above the stage allow the acoustic height of the room to be adjusted for different performances.
The rectangular "shoe-box" shape of the hall is also found in world-class concert halls such as Symphony Hall in Boston, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and the Musikverein in Vienna.
The surface finishes were chosen for both architectural and acoustical value. One of the most interesting details is the balcony front, which is made of maple wood. Its curved surfaces help to homogenize the hall’s acoustics, while the grooves of varying depths diffuse sound waves to every corner of the room. The wavy finishes of the wall panels create a similar diffusion effect.
The hall was designed by German consultant Eckhard Kahle of Kahle Acoustics, in collaboration with UK-based Theatre Projects Consultants.
The Orchestral Hall is an alternative performance venue suitable for chamber music and solo recitals. Its acoustically treated walls and absence of structural columns also make it an ideal space for large ensemble rehearsals.
Capacity: 120 - 150 persons
Dimensions: 19m by 15m
Piano: Steinway D
Others: Orchestral risers (optional)
Steven Baxter Recital Studio
The Steven Baxter Recital Studio is an intimate performance space suitable for chamber music, solo recitals and lectures. It is fully equipped to support video conferencing.
Capacity: 80 persons
Dimensions: 13m by 10m
Piano: Steinway B
Harpsichord: Carey Beebe
Others: Projector, PC, DVD player, visualiser, surround sound system, network points, notebook VGA points and video conferencing
The Recording Studio features a 48 input SSL C200 digital console,TC6000,LEXICON 960L,SADiE H64 and ProTools HD v7.3. It is linked to Conservatory's Concert Hall as well as to the Recital Studio, Orchestral Hall and Recording Arts Lab. The latest studio diffusion technology from RPG diffuser Inc. makes this floating construction, variable acoustical environment extremely ideal for either classical (up to 60 musicians) or modern music production. The Recording Studio has one Steinway D Grand Piano.
6 ensemble rooms, each acoustically treated are available for small ensemble rehearsals as well as discussions.
Capacity: 15 or 35
Dimensions: 8m by 5m or 8m by 10m
8 seminar rooms designed for lectures and discussions. Each is fully equipped with sound systems and projectors for presentations.
Capacity: 25 - 35
Dimensions: Approximately 9m by 7m
Piano: Yamaha C3
Others: Projector, iMac, DVD player, visualiser, surround sound system, network points, and notebook VGA points
All practice rooms are sound-proof, air-conditioned and specially built for the needs of Conservatory students and faculty.
Practice rooms are available for hire if required for a larger event, eg as warm-up rooms during competitions. These are not available for hire on an ad-hoc basis.
Music Tech Lab
The Music Technology Lab is equipped with iMac computers and M-Audio keyboard controllers plus software that enable students to learn notation/sequencing applications as well as building websites and incorporating technology in their learning.
The Keyboard Lab is equipped with Yamaha Clavinova keyboards with Macintosh iBooks that integrate technology into teaching.
The Conservatory Music Library is spread over two floors and its collection continues to grow. Its current collection comprises 6300 books, 15000 scores, 7600 CD/DVDs and 170 journals.
Music books, scores, CDs and DVDs are kept in the Music Library. Student matriculation cards serve as library cards for checking out materials.
LINC is the online catalog for the entire collection of the NUS libraries. It allows users to search for materials by title, author, composer, subject or musical instrument. Check LINC to find the call number and the exact location of the books/scores in the library. LINC terminals are located on both floors of the Music Library.
Music books and study/full scores are kept on the open shelves on the 2nd floor of the Music Library. These materials are shelved by call numbers. Students may check out books and scores at the Loan Counter on the 1st floor or at the self-service machine near the library entrance/exit.
Chamber music scores in parts, CDs, and DVDs are kept behind the Loan Counter. To check out these materials, students need to record the Stack Number from LINC before requesting for them at the Loan Counter. Individual parts of chamber music scores may be checked out separately. Listening and viewing stations for CDs/DVDs are available on the same floor. Reserved readings and listening materials (RBR or red spot materials) are also kept behind the Loan Counter.