Sean Lennon opens Liverpool performance centre in honour of his mother
Sean Lennon has opened a new performance centre in Liverpool named in honour of his mother, Yoko Ono.
The son of ex-Beatle John Lennon visited the city of his father’s birth to officially unveil the Yoko Ono Lennon Centre, home to the University of Liverpool’s new 400-seat concert hall, The Tung Auditorium.
After he drew back the curtain to reveal the plaque, New York-based musician Sean, 46, quipped: “Do I get to keep this?” Appearing on behalf of his mother, he said: “I’m very happy to be here. It’s a beautiful building and my mom sends her love to everyone here.”
The university’s vice chancellor, Professor Dame Janet Beer, told an audience of invited guests: “This is the most recent addition to our university campus estate and it has been named to honour someone who is, I am sure you will agree, a cultural icon and part of this city’s proud musical heritage.
“But you may not have known that Yoko Ono Lennon is also a honorary University of Liverpool graduate, a campaign ambassador and long-standing philanthropic supporter of this university.
“Over the past 31 years, more than 650 students have benefited from the John Lennon Memorial Scholarship which was established in 1991 by Yoko Ono Lennon in memory of her husband. The scholarship supports students from Merseyside who are in need of financial support and have raised awareness of global and environmental issues as part of their studies.
“Being able to name this wonderful building in honour of Yoko Ono Lennon cements her status as one of our university’s greatest benefactors and the venue celebrates her unique artistic vision and cultural significance.
“Both Sean and Yoko are an important of our Liverpool university family and the contribution made by the family to the centre will benefit students and indeed the people of Liverpool for many years to come.”
Earlier this week, artist and peace activist Ono said she was “thrilled” at the honour.
She said: “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.”
The centre will also provide the latest teaching facilities including a 600-seat lecture theatre.