Sean Lennon to unveil university performance centre named in honour of Yoko Ono

The Yoko Ono Lennon Centre will be home to the University of Liverpool's new 400-seat concert hall, The Tung Auditorium.

The son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono is to officially unveil a new cultural landmark in Liverpool named in honour of his mother.

On Friday, Sean Lennon will open the Yoko Ono Lennon Centre which will be home to the University of Liverpool’s new 400-seat concert hall, The Tung Auditorium.

The event will be celebrated in the evening with a gala concert featuring composer Professor Shirley Thompson’s premiere of One World, a re-imagining and homage to the ex-Beatle’s iconic song Imagine.

A “thrilled” Yoko Ono, an honorary graduate of the university, said: “Thank you to the university and to the people of Liverpool for this wonderful honour.

Yoko Ono 'thrilled' at university centre honour
Yoko Ono says she is ‘thrilled’ to be honoured by the university and the people of Liverpool (Jason Roberts/PA)

“Liverpool has become part of me from years of going there, and with this new centre part of me will always be there – for that I’m very thankful.

“I think John is smiling about it too. I’m also very thankful that our son, Sean, is there in Liverpool for the celebrations around the opening.”

Musician Sean added: “They used to say behind every great man was a great woman. But my parents famously stood beside each other as equals.

“It is a beautiful statement that the University of Liverpool would recognise my mother in this way.

“In a city synonymous with my father’s achievements it is especially meaningful to acknowledge Yoko Ono for the remarkable human being that she is.

“I’m just really chuffed to be here.”

Sean Lennon to open the Yoko Ono Lennon Centre
Sean Lennon will open the the performance centre named in honour of his mother, Yoko Ono (John Stillwell/PA)

The state-of-the-art centre will also provide the latest teaching facilities including a 600-seat lecture theatre.

Richard Hartwell, The Tung Auditorium artistic director, said: “Due to its cutting-edge design, The Tung Auditorium is possibly the finest concert hall in the world.

“The excellent acoustics will bring out the very best creativity in anyone who uses it, from students, tutors, youth groups, and amateur ensembles, to internationally acclaimed visiting artists.”

Professor Catherine Tackley, head of the university’s department of music, said: “We are very proud of what the Yoko Ono Lennon Centre offers not only the university, but also the city and region.

“As well as offering a busy programme of public performance, our students will benefit from involvement in all aspects of The Tung Auditorium’s operation, from front-of-house to sound technician roles, delivering so much valuable experience as they look towards their careers.”

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