Esther Eastman Music Center

The centerpiece of the new Music Center at the Hotchkiss School is the Katherine M. Elfers Hall, a glass-walled music pavilion. The 715-seat pavilion has a flat floor orchestra modeled on Boston Symphony Hall. Parterre seating and a balcony-in-the-round give the pavilion an intimacy prized by audiences and musicians alike.


Hotchkiss School

Location Lakeville, CT
Size 37,000 Sq. Ft.
Features LEED
Program event space, classrooms, studios, offices
Year Completed 2005
Photo Credit Peter Aaron/Esto, Albert Vercerka/Esto
“This is a world class concert hall. We perform 100 concerts a year in halls all over the world, and I would rank this as one of the very best in the world. It is spectacular. The sound is excellent. The architect should stand up and take a bow - these halls are very hard to get right.” Rolf Smedvig, lead trumpet of the Empire Brass
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The all-glass music pavilion captures the panorama of nearby hills and lakes. The walls are made of 1¼" insulated acoustic glass panels faceted to diffract sound and produce a full, clear tone. The pavilion gives the music arts a wholly new venue not only on the Hotchkiss School campus but also for the entire region. It hosts an annual series of performances and summer open air concerts by guest artists which are free to the public.

Individual and ensemble practice rooms, a music technology studio, classrooms, a radio station, and faculty offices complete the Center's program.

Hotchkiss Music Department Chair Fabio Witkowski said of the project:

"The Katherine M. Elfers Hall is one of the most unique halls I have seen in my entire life for two simple and related reasons: its ability to combine all the best features one would wish in a concert hall, and the way it successfully ties all these elements to its unique and privileged location."

The building employs sustainable materials and resources and has received a LEED Certified Rating from the U. S. Green Building Council.

Centerbrook also designed the LEED Certified and six-time award-winning Biomass Heating Facility at Hotchkiss.



  • Citation for Specialized Facility, American School & University
  • K-12 Awards, Citation for Innovative Interior Design, Boston Society of Architects
  • Design Award, Smooth Wall Winner, Metal Architecture Magazine
  • Merit Award, AIA Connecticut
  • Crystal Achievement Award for Most Innovative Curtain-Wall Component, Glass Magazine
  • Honorable Mention Award for Large New Construction, Build CT