John Ritchie 1921-2014

It is with sadness that we mark the passing of Professor Emeritus John Ritchie on Monday September 29, the day of his 93rd birthday. Christchurch music has been much the richer for his presence since he shifted here from Dunedin in 1946 to begin a very successful career on staff at the University of Canterbury. Composer, conductor, critic, music educationalist and administrator, he will be greatly missed professionally and personally. Our thoughts are with his family, in particular his children Judy, Jenny, Liz, Simon and Anthony.

The Music Centre is rebuilding…

Prospective tenants should contact Bronwyn  at to negotiate space requirements. Details required are the nature of your organisation, the type of activities undertaken and estimated space required. We also rent spaces of varying sizes on a casual basis.

The charitable objects of the Trust are

  • to foster, promote, facilitate and encourage the interest of music, art, culture, education and other charitable services, for the benefit of the public and in particular through the provision of accommodation and facilities for the promotion  of music, art, culture, education and other related charitable activities.
  • to work in co-operation with any other organisation or persons in the promotion of music, art, culture, education and other charitable services for the benefit of the public.

Media Statement 12th June

The trustees of the Music Centre of Christchurch are delighted to have been offered a site on which to build says the centre’s director Bronwyn Bijl. “We are most grateful to the government for its generous provision of land and recognition of our needs. It is a significant milestone for music and the arts in Christchurch.” The facility is funded from insurance proceeds, a generous grant of 2.5 million from the earthquake appeal, and other donors. The facility will be built, owned and governed by the Music Centre Trust.

Planned for the site is a music centre building designed by Alun Wilkie of Wilkie and Bruce architects, which will provide facilities for performing, recording, rehearsing, teaching, examining, and administering music and related arts. This includes a 350-seat concert hall, the first to be purpose built for music in Christchurch since the Christchurch Town Hall opened in 1972.

“As a facility provider to the arts community we look forward to providing a platform for the promotion of both musical opportunity and excellence,” says Bronwyn Bijl.

The Music Centre of Christchurch will sit to the north of the Isaac Theatre Royal with its entrance on Armagh Street. Building is planned to start toward the end of this year and open early in 2016.

Contact:Bronwyn BijlDirector
p 3775000