41 Portland Place, home to the Academy of Medical Sciences, hosts pioneering Music and medicine event

Last night 41 Portland Place, part of the Harbour & Jones Events venue collection and home to the Academy of Medical Sciences, opened its doors to over 200 members of the public for the Academy’s pioneering ‘Music and medicine’ event. 

Taking place as part of National Science and Engineering Week 2014, the evening showcased the unexpected links between music and health. The event explored different ways that music can be used to increase our understanding and treatment of disease by bringing together some of the sector’s most highly regarded researchers and musicians including UK beatboxing champion Ball-Zee, and the distinguished Orchestra of St John’s.

Nick Hillier, Director of Communications at the Academy of Medical Sciences, said: “It was a fantastic evening that really captured people’s imaginations. Our guests were fascinated to hear about how music can impact on health and wellbeing, and further our understanding of how the body works.

“41 Portland Place has an amazing heritage as a home for medical discussion, over 90 Nobel Laureates have spoken at events in the building and it’s great to be able to continue that. 

“As a venue 41 Portland Place offers a beautiful mix of period and modern architecture, so combining a classical orchestra with a national champion beatboxer seemed the perfect fit for the building.” 

Taking over the entire venue for one evening, the Grade II* listed building, which is based near Oxford Street, became a buzz of musical workshops, performances and talks. The programme included an opportunity to hear research from the Royal College of Music into the effects of music in hospitals, how leisure activities – such as listening to music – affect stress levels, and learn about the physiology of beatboxing. The audience was also treated to a very special performance by the Orchestra of St John’s, which holds pioneering musical therapy sessions with autistic children. 

The venue’s ultra modern gallery was combined with its state-of-the-art Wolfson Suite to host an exhibition from renowned photographer David Smith and a drop-in film screening.

Sign up to our newsletter