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Beam signing celebrates new center at Frost School of Music

The Knight Center for Music Innovation, currently under construction along Lake Osceola, will transform music education through musical performance and experimentation.

A ceremonial signing of a steel beam on the evening of March 3 marked a major milestone in the construction of a new 25,000 state-of-the-art performance and technology center at the University of Miami Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music and moved the school ever closer to its vision of transforming music education in the 21st century.

With confetti swirling in the evening sky and a special performance by the Stamps Woodwind Quintet, members of the Board of Trustees, Frost School of Music benefactors, and University leaders gathered for the landmark occasion which also included the unveiling of the center’s new name—the Knight Center for Music Innovation—in recognition of the generous naming gift from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“The Knight Center for Music Innovation is an exquisite expression of the Knight Foundation’s enduring impact on the University of Miami and our South Florida community,” President Julio Frenk said. “Thanks to their generosity, this spectacular new complex will match the extraordinary talent of our students, faculty, and alumni and reflect the innovation that has been a hallmark of the Frost School of Music since its founding nearly 100 years ago.”

“As innovators, musicians across the globe use technology to create works that push the boundaries of creativity,” said Victoria Rogers, vice president of Knight’s arts program. “We are honored to support The Knight Center for Music Innovation, which will serve as a hub for experimentation around music making, expanding the imaginations of musicians as well as their audiences.”

Designed by H3, an Arquitectonica Company, the Knight Center for Music Innovation is a marvel of architecture and technology fusion. With a stunning facade overlooking Lake Osceola, the cutting-edge infrastructure will encompass an array of next-generation features and facilities that will enable Frost students, faculty members, and visiting artists to embrace new modalities of musical performance and experimentation. A glass lobby will bring the lake views indoors, creating a striking backdrop and silhouette.

Housing a world-class, acoustically superior 200-seat recital hall and a large black-box innovation space, the center is equipped with the most advanced recording, lighting, and broadcast technology, elevating Frost’s performance, rehearsal, and teaching spaces. Outdoor performance spaces are designed to further strengthen connections between the Coral Gables Campus and the Greater Miami community.

The beautifully landscaped Newman Plaza will serve as a vibrant gathering point with live music and other presentations streamed on a 20-foot-by-40-foot LED “window cast” system on a near nightly basis. A giant external wall facing the intramural fields will enable the University to “wall cast” headline performances and international artists for broad viewership.

“The Knight Center for Music Innovation will remake the Frost School for generations to come. it will enhance our ability to leverage new and emerging technologies to deliver groundbreaking experiences to some of the world’s most gifted and rising talent and prepare them to positively impact the communities where they work, perform, and serve,” said Shelly Berg, dean of the Frost School or Music. “It will secure our stature among the best music schools in the country. And, most importantly, it will bring people together through the power of music.”

Upon completion scheduled for spring 2023, the $34 million Knight Center for Music Innovation will be one of the shining achievements of Ever Brighter: The University of Miami’s Campaign for Our Next Century which is currently underway.

Joining the Knight Foundation as lead donors to the new center are: the Miller Family, Robert and Judi Newman Family Foundation (outdoor plaza), Thomas D. Hormel Trust (black-box innovation stage), Paul J. DiMare Foundation (first floor lobby), James M. Collins Foundation and Christian Family Fellowship Foundation (auditorium), C and A Johnson Family FoundationH. David Garrity Trust, Rita A. Wallach Estate, Tommy and Mayumi Adams (first floor box office), Wilbur Coolidge Keeney Estate, and Sally Albrecht (second floor dressing room).

For more information or to make gift in support of the Knight Center for Music Innovation, please contact Dania Gorriz at or (305) 284-8252.

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