| The Magazine
of the University of Minnesota Duluth
UMD opens new Weber Music Hall
UMDs new Weber Music Hall, which opened in October of 2002,
provides musicians with the best of both worlds the intimacy
of a 350-person audience and the sound of a symphonic hall. As Jack
Bowman, Dean of the School of Fine Arts says, The Weber Music
Hall is shaped like a gem. But while the copper exterior may
shine, the high dome ceiling does even more for the music than it
does for the campus skyline. The sound on stage travels up into the
spacious dome, creating the rich volume of a large concert hall.
The Weber Music Hall, which was designed by world-renowned architect
Cesar Pelli, completes the arts triangle in the UMD Ordean
Court along with the Tweed Museum of Art and the Marshall Performing
Arts Center. Pellis celebrated work includes Malaysias
Petronas Twin Towers, the World Financial Center in New York, and
the design of the new Minneapolis Public Library. But that doesnt
stop him from getting excited about the UMD hall. From the moment
he saw the Webers golden dome from the air as he flew into Duluth,
Pelli was pleased with the finished product. He isnt reserved
about his opinions either, he calls the Weber Music Hall the
finest small concert hall in America.
The hall opened with a series of events featuring clarinet concert
artist and soloist, Richard Stoltzman, and his family, who joined
UMD music faculty and students. A special commissioned work by UMD
Professor Justin Rubin titled Dedication and Fanfare was
Before it opened, UMD Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin said, We
believe this extraordinary Weber Music Hall will become a campus and
a community destination providing enrichment and enjoyment, and further
defining UMD as an exciting regional arts center. Judging from
the sold-out concerts, she is going to be right.
The hall is named in honor of Mary Ann and Ron Weber for major gifts
toward the design and completion of the building. The couple, now
Twin Cities residents, met while both were students at UMD. inside
the hall, the Brenda and Samuel Singer Rehearsal Room was named in
their honor by their children.
Everything about the building is remarkable. A dramatic skylight
stretches across the copper dome illuminating the night sky from within.
The lobby grand staircase provides a commanding view of Lake Superior,
and boasts a graceful, custom light fixture, concept-designed by Cesar
The most pronounced aspect of the new hall is its wonderful acoustics.
Weber Music Hall acoustician, Russell Cooper of Jaffe Holden Acoustics,
said that different types of music sound best with different acoustics.
The magic of the new Weber Music Hall is that, by moving baffles and
curtains, the hall can be retuned for any type of music from rock,
to jazz, to orchestral. Assistant Professor and Band Director Dan
Eaton is excited about the possibilities this holds for the future.
He said, You can do whatever you want in here.
With over 50 additional concerts and recitals by UMD music ensembles, faculty, and guest artists scheduled this year, Eaton is clearly not the only person looking forward to the possibilities Weber holds.