Keyboard

Birmingham forms an important nexus in international pianism. Our series of visiting artists is second to none  worldwide.

Be inspired by masterclasses with renowned artists

This year we’ve enjoyed masterclasses given by: Peter Donohoe (6 visits), Hamish Milne, Orit Wolf, Jeffrey Siegel, Barbara Nissman, Iain Burnside, Piers Lane, Clive Williamson, Andrew West, Håkon Austbø, Pei-Chun Liao, Mikhail Kazekevich, Ivan Yanakov, Anna Tilbrook, Martin Jones, Anna Scott, the Martinu Piano Trio and the Schubert Ensemble alongside two day residencies with Robert Levin, Idil Biret, Christian Blackshaw and Gergely Bognanyi.

Reap musical rewards by participating in our ambitious festivals

Every year we host ambitious Festivals. This year the major solo works, chamber music and song cycles by Schubert, and recently British Festivals (including the complete solo works and chamber music with piano of John Ireland), complete solo works of Debussy, sonatas, preludes and études by Skryabin and Rachmaninov, and, next year, first Reger, and then a week of Parisian music culminating in a 12-hour all-night piano recital in the Town Hall. Such Festivals complement regular Lunchtime and Evening concert series (including this year the Complete Chamber Music with Piano of Johannes Brahms, and regular Piano Showcases in Birmingham Symphony Hall), a varied range of Competitions, Concerto opportunities and weekly Performance Classes for every year group taken in rotation by the large faculty. All students are encouraged to join the Chamber Music coaching and festival programmes and to work with Singers- indeed this is built into course requirements and properly assessed and rewarded.

Practice with pianos of the highest standard

The piano stock includes wonderful older Steinways from the 1930s and 1970s as well as a concentration of Steinways from the 1990s and 2000s, but has recently also been extensively expanded. The Concert Fleet comprises 5 Steinway Model Ds, a new full size Bechstein Concert Grand, and a Yamaha CFX. The teaching studio stock has been augmented with four new Steinway Bs and two Fazioli 212s, with predominately Steinways to follow (6 new Steinway Model Bs in 2017). The Period Piano stock is also being upgraded as part of our contribution to Historically Informed Performance Practice.