You are here

New Coventry University Building Celebrates Electronic Music Icon Delia Derbyshire

“Sculptress of sound” Delia Derbyshire is being honoured in her home city with the official opening of a building named after her


A Coventry University building has been named after the late electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire in honor of her life and work.

The new College of the Arts and Society building at Coventry University, now named The Delia Derbyshire Building, opened last week to commemorate the Coventry-born innovator.


Plans for the building were unveiled in 2022 with a projected opening date of 2023. At the time, university dean Shaun Hide expressed hope that the facility would inspire future pioneers, saying, "We hope to find the next Delia Derbyshire and 100 others who are doing things we can’t even envisage yet.”


The building bearing her name


Born in Coventry in 1937, Delia Derbyshire studied math and music at Cambridge University. Her groundbreaking work eventually led her to a position at the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop, where she co-composed the iconic Doctor Who theme tune and became known for her unique sound. After her passing in 2001, she earned the nickname “the sculptress of sound.”

The building, home to the university’s College of the Arts and Society, features cutting-edge technology


The new university building aims to honor Derbyshire’s legacy by encouraging students to experiment with sound. “That idea of experimentation between generations of technology is a really creative force that these students are brilliant at mobilising,” said Hide. He also noted that Derbyshire's early experiences in Coventry, such as hearing air raid sirens as a child in Coundon, deeply influenced her work.


The building features metal and woodworking spaces, digital technology suites, and post-production studios. According to the BBC, upcoming events include a panel from BBC Radio 6 DJ Stuart Maconie, DJ sets, talks, and sound masterclasses.


The building’s launch was organized by Deliaphonic, a group of enthusiasts who have hosted events honoring Derbyshire over the years. In 2016, a street in Coventry was named after her, and the following year, she was awarded a posthumous honorary doctorate.


[Via the BBC]