After months of drilling, banging, sawing, and painting, the School’s new June Noble Larkin Lobby was officially unveiled at a dedication ceremony on the evening of October 20. The event was in recognition of the tremendous generosity of longtime trustee June Noble Larkin, for whom the lobby is named, and inaugurated three additional new spaces: the Morse Student Lounge, the Sidney R. Knafel Admissions Suite, and the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office.
President Joseph W. Polisi began the evening with a warm welcome to the 120 guests who had gathered to celebrate the occasion. Taking a moment to recognize the tremendous vision and effort behind the building renovation, President Polisi thanked the architects at Diller Scofidio + Renfro and FXFowle, project managers at Seamus Henchy and Associates, the graphic design firm 2x4, and his colleagues at Juilliard.
Also acknowledged were trustees Lester S. Morse Jr. and Sidney R. Knafel, and Janet Kramer’s generous bequest. Although Mr. Morse was unable to attend, Mr. Knafel and Lois Florman, executor of Mrs. Kramer’s estate, were both present. President Polisi then highlighted a few of the many ways in which June Noble Larkin has shown the School her generosity, raising a toast to the kind and loyal friend of Juilliard.
Before guests split up for an exclusive preview of three new spaces (still under construction) in the building—a jazz rehearsal studio, a black-box theater, and a dance studio—Ms. Larkin stood to speak to the crowd. She shared with them her great love for Juilliard, and how fortunate she feels to be part of such an exciting community.
The tours were made in a round-robin style so that each group visited all three spaces within the same hour. One group started in the jazz rehearsal studio on the third floor, where jazz students Jonathan Batiste (piano), Philip Kuehn (bass), Ryan Hayden (drums), and Jeremy Viner (saxophone) performed a few American jazz standards under the direction of Jazz Studies’ artistic director, Carl Allen.
Provost and Dean Ara Guzelimian greeted a second group of guests in an entirely new performance space, the Rosemary and Meredith Willson Theater. One of the most exciting changes to the building, this black-box theater will be used by all three divisions at Juilliard and outfitted with the latest in performance technology. James Houghton, Richard Rodgers Director of the Drama Division, then introduced third-year drama students Shalita Grant and Andrew Foster (Group 39), who presented the balcony scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, using the built-in catwalk to stage the scene.
The third group began its tour in the Glorya Kaufman Dance Studio. The architectural centerpiece of Juilliard’s eastern facade, the dance studio not only enhances the building’s aesthetics but, more importantly, provides an additional 2,300 square feet of essential rehearsal space for the Dance Division. As the sprung dance floor has yet to be installed, a demonstration was not possible. Nonetheless, the division’s artistic director, Lawrence Rhodes, spoke with great passion about his students, the future trajectory of the division, and the stunning new space.
After all three groups had seen the three spaces, the guests reconvened in the June Noble Larkin Lobby for a cocktail reception.