The centerpiece of Old Cabell Hall at UVA, which houses the McIntire Department of Music, is its auditorium. When completed in 1898, what was termed the “public hall” held an audience of approximately fifteen hundred people. Due to extensive renovations in the late 1990s to ensure handicap accessibility and improve the quality of seating, capacity was reduced to 851 seats. Hanging above the stage inside the auditorium is a copy of Raphael’s School of Athens that replaced an earlier copy lost in the Rotunda fire of 1895. The Skinner Organ in the auditorium was a gift from Andrew Carnegie in 1906 and was dedicated at a 1907 recital given by Samuel Baldwin. In 2012, the mural “The Student’s Progress” by Lincoln Perry was completed outside of the auditorium.
Today, Old Cabell Hall Auditorium hosts more than 200 public performances and events each year ranging from musical performances to visiting speakers.