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Venues - Elliott Hall of Music

A grande dame of concert halls

Elliott Hall of Music is regal and understated. It’s a venue that energizes the glamour of a theatrical production or the simplicity of a renowned author's book talk. Elliott Hall is filled with the spirit of the many legends who have graced its stage—from Bob Hope to the Dalai Lama, Robin WIlliams to Maya Angelou.

  • Seats 6005 on three levels
  • Stage: 136’ wide x 37’ deep
  • One of the largest proscenium theatres in the U.S.
  • Two dressing rooms with private baths; other multiple dressing rooms
  • Opened in 1940
  • Purdue University landmark at Third and University Streets

In 1934, Edward C. Elliott, president of Purdue University from 1922 to 1945, envisioned a state-of-the-art music hall for Purdue. He wanted a facility large enough to accommodate the growing university’s commencement exercises and a building that symbolized his aspirations for the university’s future.

For Elliott to express such a grand vision during the depths of the Great Depression speaks of the kind of man he was, and his ability to make his dream a reality gives light to the results he could achieve.

Sister” to Radio City Music Hall
J. Andre Fouilhoux, designer of New York’s Radio City Music Hall, served as one of the architects for Elliott Hall of Music. The two buildings show striking design similarities. Both feature an art deco =motif, wide staircases ascending to the auditorium, cantilevered balconies and a wide main floor.

The consulting acoustical engineer for Elliott Hall was F.R. Wason from the University of Illinois. John Johnson, an artist from Frankfort, Indiana, created the sculptures that grace the exterior of the building. The three carved stone figures represent music, drama and forensics—the artistic endeavors for which the building was fashioned.  

Elliott Hall Dedicated
The building then known as Purdue Hall of Music was dedicated on May 3 and 4, 1940. More than 11,000 people attended the services which included a recital by opera stars Helen Jepson and Nino Martini.

The following November, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra premiered a specially commissioned work, “Purdue Fantasia,” to honor the new hall. On September 30, 1990, the piece was reprised by the orchestra in a celebration performance honoring the 50th anniversary of the hall.

In 1958, Purdue immortalized the man who had the vision to create its majestic concert hall by renaming the edifice the Edward C. Elliott Hall of Music.

Elliott events
Purdue Convocations presents Broadway musicals, operas, ballets, rock, country and pop groups, as well as comedians, lecturers and symphonies on the Elliott Hall stage. Elliott Hall is also home to the nationally recognized Purdue Musical Organizations’ Christmas Show. The University’s commencement exercises, honors programs and conference events also take place here.

Elliott Hall - Filled with music!
Elliott Hall serves as more than a concert hall.  Included in the Elliott “family” are Purdue Musical Organizations, University Bands and WBAA, Purdue’s own public radio station.

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