Ceremony marks latest milestone in BBC music studios development
- Credit: Mark Allan
A performance was held to mark the latest landmark in the build of the BBC's new music studios in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The facility will open in 2025 as part of the planned new cultural quarter East Bank.
A topping out ceremony took place on Tuesday (May 24) to celebrate the completion of the building's concrete structure.
East London-born singer and songwriter Hak Baker performed alongside principal trombone at the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Helen Vollam, in a fusion of rap, pop and classical genres.
Dignitaries in attendance included Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz, chief executive of London Legacy Development Corporation, Lyn Garner, and BBC Radio 3 controller Alan Davey.
Mr Davey said the studios were "the next chapter" in the BBC's history, adding: "Making amazing, world-class music for all our audiences is our mission across all genres and to mark this occasion with the first live performance at the studios during our centenary year feels very special indeed.
"Hak Baker and Helen Vollam’s musical collaboration is emblematic of the diversity integral to our musical offer.
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"The new studios will be a brilliant opportunity for artists, the public and the local community to collaborate together and build a new musical legacy at the heart of East Bank.”
When complete, the facility will contain three music studios, two radio studios and a library which the BBC says will house one of the biggest collections of sheet music in the world.
It will be home to the BBC Singers choir, BBC Symphony Orchestra and host music sessions such as Radio 1 Live Lounge and BBC Proms rehearsals.
A BBC spokesperson said the public will be invited to attend many of these.
They added that a "fundamental" part of the move from Maida Vale to East Bank was "to embed the studios in the local community through a programme of local music education and outreach events designed to support east London talent get into the music industry".
Ms Fiaz said: “I’m looking forward to deepening our collaboration with the BBC so that the young people of Newham and other east London boroughs can access the multitudes of opportunities that lie ahead and contribute to the BBCs ongoing significance as a major driver of UK talent."
Other sites that will be part of East Bank are the V&A East museum and a Sadler's Wells theatre.