Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts

Music and Communication Building

Opened in 2015, the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts is situated on the lakefront, adjacent to Regenstein Hall of Music. Designed by Chicago-based architectural firm Goettsch Partners, the Ryan Center houses teaching studios, faculty and administrative offices, 10 classrooms, 99 practice rooms, and three state-of-the-art performance spaces (see more information below). The design features a limestone base supporting an exterior that is primarily glass — taking maximum advantage of the site’s lakefront location and views of the Chicago skyline. The building integrates completely with the existing Regenstein Hall of Music, with two connections between the buildings on each of Regenstein’s three levels.

Ryan Center Performance Spaces

performance spaces

Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall

The 400-seat hall, with main floor and balcony seating, features a 50-foot glass wall offering views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. Undulating walls of Forest Stewardship Council–certified wood, covered with a thin layer of African moabi wood, provide optimal acoustics, and the hall is equipped with state-of-the-art sound and video equipment for recording.

David and Carol McClintock Choral and Recital Room

A flexible space for choral rehearsals, small ensemble performances, and student recitals, the room seats 120. The walls are paneled in the same moabi wood as Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall.

Shirley Welsh Ryan Opera Theater

Seating 163, the theater is a versatile space for intimate opera performances and recitals, with double-height ceilings and expansive windows showcasing views of Lake Michigan. Steel beams, catwalks, and stairs are from Waukegan Steel. The retractable seating was designed and constructed in the U.K.

Hours of Operation

Note: These hours are during academic year; summer and holidays may differ. Access outside these hours is by WildCARD only

Administrative Offices
Mon - Fri, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Practice Rooms (2nd and 3rd floor) 
7 a.m. - 12 midnight

Building Access Hours
Mon-Sun 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall

Pick-Staiger is a 989-seat hall located in the Arts Circle on the Evanston campus of Northwestern University. The main lobby entrance for concerts is on the west side of the building (revolving and regular doors). Wheelchair accessible seats (16) are located on the ends of rows G and H. 

Since its inception in 1975, the hall has functioned as both a classroom and performance facility for Bienen School of Music performing ensembles, faculty recitals, festivals, and professional guest artists. A typical season of programming includes orchestral, wind ensemble, choral, opera, chamber, jazz, folk, world, contemporary, brass, and percussion concerts as well as solo recitals, lectures, master classes, and other related events.

  • Stage canopy: The 30 adjustable "sound cloud" reflectors control the strength and projection of sound throughout the hall and help performers hear one another on stage.
  • Wall panels: The 12 independently movable wall sections behind the stage can form a wide variety of shells that reinforce the sound of soloists or sections and eliminate distortion in large ensembles.
  • Sound curtains: The curtains over the upper-level walls can close to absorb excess sound or open to reveal a more acoustically live stucco surface that sustains and reinforces reflected sound.

Each of these elements can be arranged according to the type and size of the forces performing. Together with the hall's stunning interior and exterior design, this acoustic flexibility makes Pick-Staiger the unique musical instrument that its designers and benefactors dreamed it would be.

Hours of Operation 

Business Office
Mon - Fri, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Ticket Office
Mon - Fri, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. (summer hours)
PLEASE NOTE: Until Monday, September 21, there will be no in-person ticket sales. The service charge for phone and online ticket orders is being waived until that time.

Regenstein Hall and Master Class RoomRegenstein Hall of Music

Regenstein Hall of Music is home to the Department of Music Performance and University Bands faculty. The building connects directly to the new Ryan Center for the Musical Arts, with two connections between the buildings on each of Regenstein’s three levels. Regenstein Hall contains 38 practice rooms and a 200-seat Master Class Room, which hosts hundreds of performances and other events each year.

Hours of Operation

University Bands Office (Ground Floor)
Mon - Fri, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Practice Rooms (1st Floor)
7 a.m. - Midnight  
Additional Practice Room Information

Music Library

Music Library

The Northwestern University Music Library is among the nation's largest music libraries and is distinguished internationally for its extensive holdings of printed music and archival materials documenting music composed since 1945. The library offers roughly 300,000 volumes of books, printed music, sound recordings, and journals; maintains subscriptions to over 400 periodicals and a full array of online resources; includes thousands of music manuscripts and pieces of correspondence; and houses the archives of John Cage and other notable musicians. Additionally, the Music Library's computer lab (pictured) provides a multi-purpose workplace for beginning- to mid-level music-technology projects. The library serves the Bienen School of Music, the entire Northwestern University community, and researchers from around the world.