If you are an instrumentalist or singer, performance will be integral to your course. In addition to solo performance, you will be expected to participate in a range of ensemble activities appropriate to your first study area. Your Head of Department will work with you to negotiate a suitable balance of activity, including participation in orchestras, bands, choirs, chamber music, etc.
Our performance programme includes several orchestras and large ensembles, ranging from our Symphony Orchestra to our Thallein Ensemble for contemporary music, chamber music, early music, performance opportunities in large and chamber ensembles, and a well-developed folk and world music programme.
Both undergraduate and postgraduate vocalists are given the opportunity to participate in our active and inclusive opera and stage performance programme. Composers can take advantage of our dedicated Composers’ Ensemble when organising performances of new compositions. A number of ongoing and special concert series and festivals provide further opportunities to showcase particular areas of work. In addition, there have been many special large-scale events in recent years.
- Birtwistle in Birmingham – a mini-festival celebrating Sir Harrison Birtwistle on the occasion of his 80th birthday, comprising of masterclasses and performances in the presence of the composer.
- Turangalîla-Symphonie – a performance of Messiaen's monumental work in Birmingham's iconic Town Hall, under the baton of Pierre-André Valade.
- Performances supporting CBSO: – two pre-concert orchestral performances in Symphony Hall supporting the CBSO's 100th anniversary programming strand.
- Frontiers Festival 2014 – a city-wide celebration of the extraordinary contemporary sounds of Birmingham and New York with visits from Pauline Oliveros, the Elysian Quartet and Elliott Sharp amongst others.
- The music of Azimuth – presented in new arrangements by the Conservatoire Jazz Orchestra with legendary jazz vocalist Norma Winstone.