The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance is the centre of academic and performance excellence housed at the University of Limerick, Ireland. The Academy honours the energies of performance and academic reflection across a wide range of genres and disciplines. These in turn are informed by innovative community outreach and artist-in-residence initiatives that take the Academy to the wider community while attracting a wealth of international performance and scholarly expertise. Founded in 1994 by Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, it has come to find its true home on the beautiful banks of the River Shannon in a state of the art building, which includes two theatres, recording studio, individual practice rooms and dance studios, provides and inspiring creative space for all those who study there. The Academy has a strong international presence with students from over 40 countries studying there. With a faculty of excellent performers, academics and industry professionals the experience of studying at the Irish World Academy second to none. It offers a suite of taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses in musicians dance related subject areas and its research is at the forefront of these fields of enquiry worldwide.
Located on the Clare side of the University of Limerick campus, the 5,000 square metre building was specifically designed to combine the elements of research, performance and teaching. Comprising of both performance and practice spaces; the buildings facilitates include two world class performance spaces. Theatre 1 is a 230 seater configurable space. While Theatre 2, or The Tower, is a 90 seater designed specifically for acoustic performances. Each theatre houses a Steinway piano. Both theatres have sprung dance floors and equipped with professional sound and lighting rigs. Each theatre also has professional multi-track recording capabilities. In addition to networked audio throughout, the buildings technical infrastructure also includes dedicated recording and editing studios. The Academy has a dedicated Mac lab with professional grade software for sound and film studies and there are over 40 music rooms for rehearsals, classes, and practicing. The second floor of the building houses professional dance studios and equipment throughout. In addition to two dedicated digital piano labs, there are over 20 pianos located throughout the building.