A major transformation begins in Pollack Hall

Published: 15 April 2024

Pollack Hall, situated within the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, is scheduled to close temporarily on May 1, 2024, to undergo extensive refurbishment of its facilities. The forthcoming major renovations aim to enhance the experience for both performers and audiences. As a prominent fixture in Montreal's cultural landscape, this hall pays tribute to the Canadian philanthropist of Ukrainian descent, Maurice Pollack. Inaugurated in 1975, the hall has not undergone significant renovations since 2000.

The Schulich School of Music attracts more than 30,000 classical, jazz, and contemporary music enthusiasts each year. Pollack Hall, with its capacity of 600 seats, showcases performances by the School’s large ensembles, opera, and choirs, along with chamber music concerts, recitals, and various special events. Each year the hall hosts over 300 rehearsals, events, and concerts featuring students, staff and guests, with more than half the concerts being complimentary for the community to enjoy.

The reopening is scheduled for January 2026.

What does the new Pollack Hall have in store for us?

While preserving certain original elements that contribute to the hall's exceptional acoustics, the architectural finishes will undergo a refresh, seats will be replaced, and the lighting will be redesigned.

Several modifications are planned to make the venue more accessible to artists and spectators with mobility challenges, including the addition of a lift and extra seating for people with reduced mobility.

A comprehensive overhaul of the backstage area is planned to improve performer comfort and accommodate large-scale productions. Peripheral spaces such as the foyer and the adjacent East Lounge will also be modernized. Finally, to ensure the well-being and safety of everyone, electrical, heating, and ventilation systems will be upgraded.

Collection of architectural rendering of renovated Pollack Hall lobby and East Lounge

The project was designed by the architecture firm FABG, specializing in the design of cultural venues and heritage enhancement. The Geyser Group has been tasked with carrying out the construction work.

Life at the Schulich School of Music goes on during the closure!

During the renovations, students and staff of the School can enter the Strathcona Music Building through the Elizabeth Wirth Music Building entrance at 527 Sherbrooke Street West. The box office located at 555 Sherbrooke Street West will remain open and accessible to the public during the academic year.

Throughout the renovation project, concerts and events will continue on campus. Large ensemble concerts typically held at Pollack Hall will be relocated to various venues within the Schulich School of Music like Redpath Hall and the Music Multimedia Room (MMR), as well as venues across the city, including the Maison symphonique, various Maisons de la culture, or other educational establishments. The coming year will present an opportunity for music lovers to discover the incredible talents of our students by attending one of the many concerts offered in several neighborhoods of Montreal, either for free or at discounted rates.

Transforming Pollack Hall for generations to come

This chapter marks a significant milestone for Pollack Concert Hall, as the improvements will enhance its inviting atmosphere and ensure that it remains a point of pride for our institution well into the future. Upon completion of the project, students and faculty, as well as the large community of music lovers in Montreal will benefit from a concert hall worthy of the vibrant musical culture of the city and that will further advance the Schulich School of Music’s academic mission.

Concert-goers can find the list of concerts and events on the School’s website and, to stay updated, subscribe to the newsletter:


Architectural rendering of renovated Pollack Hall from audience perspective

The Schulich School of Music of McGill University embodies the highest international standards of excellence in professional training and research. Schulich is known for its programs in orchestra, opera, jazz, early music and contemporary music and their leadership in sound recording and music technology provides unique possibilities for collaboration with the larger musical community. Schulich is home to over 800 students, who are drawn here by 200+ professors, ensembles and performance opportunities, and programs in research and technology.

The mission of the Schulich School of Music is to offer the highest calibre of teaching and learning, grounded in exceptional performance and research, in an inclusive and inspiring environment. This mission is directed at enabling students to achieve their full potential as innovators, cultural leaders, and global citizens, well-prepared to face the 21st century, to maintain strong connections to local and global communities, and to advance well-being through the creative use of music.

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