Playing in orchestras and other large ensembles at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire represents one of the most important steps for you en route to becoming a professional musician.
The range of experience, from period music training through to the newest developments in contemporary music, combined with the great classics, opera and pops concerts, will help you to develop the experience, knowledge and flexibility required for the variety that professional music-making demands.
Most concerts take place in the Conservatoire itself, you'll have access to our superb £57 million facilities, including the five stunning spaces that make up our 'Eastside Venues': The Bradshaw Hall, a breath-taking concert hall large enough for a full symphony orchestra, 150-seat Recital Hall, our black-box performance space known as The Lab, and our intimate Organ Studio; all acoustically designed to provide a music-making environment that is world-class.
Performances sometimes take place at Symphony Hall, one of Europe’s finest concert venues – as part of our close relationship with the CBSO. We also use local cathedrals for our chamber choir and orchestra concerts and Brass band concerts, making the most of the excellent acoustics and surroundings that lend them so well to those ensembles.
The breadth of scope of the music you will encounter is enhanced by the opportunity to work with a variety of artists, some of whom may be members of Conservatoire staff or who may visit especially such as a guest or CBSO conductors. Each artist, whether they be conductors, soloists or professional orchestral members, bring their own style to their work to engender an important learning experience for the budding professional musician.
Equally important is the opportunity to experience the reality of professional scheduling and discipline. You will need to be punctual, organised and well prepared because this is what the music profession will demand of you and so therefore, is what we too will expect you. We have high expectations and are proud of the excellent standards of orchestral activity at the Conservatoire.
Outside the Conservatoire, you will be able to audition for the CBSO Youth Orchestra, which runs three courses every year that include sectional coaching from CBSO musicians, rehearsals, and performances with leading professional conductors performing a wide variety of music.
In addition, the Conservatoire has forged strong links with professional organisations in Birmingham and beyond. The CBSO Training Scheme, which offers a series of masterclasses by CBSO principals as well as a sit-in scheme with the orchestra, is the most comprehensive relationship between a symphony orchestra and conservatoire in the UK. There are also side-by-side and participation schemes with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Welsh National Opera, Orchestra of the Swan and the Royal Shakespeare Company allowing successful candidates to have valuable first-hand exposure to a wide range of professional activities.
It is also important for you to experience the reality of professional scheduling and discipline. You will need to be:
Because this, too, is what the music profession will expect of you. We have high expectations and are proud of the excellent standards of orchestral activity at the Conservatoire.