Festival presents the very last events in Birmingham Conservatoire’s Paradise Place home


Two days of creative anarchy are set to bring down the curtain on Birmingham Conservatoire’s Brutalist Paradise Place home.

The two-day CODA marathon of new and experimental music takes place in the Conservatoire’s Recital Hall on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 June, with performances every two hours from 11am to 11pm each day.

A festival of bold and daring composition, CODA will be the very last public event to take place in the building prior to its demolition, ending with the fittingly-destructive ‘Finale’ that literally begins the demolition process by chiselling into the walls.

Birmingham Conservatoire

Birmingham City University

Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University, moves to its £57m state-of-the-art new premises in the city’s Eastside district in September.

Michael Wolters, Deputy Head of Composition, says:

“The Recital Hall has been many things to many students and staff over the years. For us, the composers, it’s been the space where we could try things out, present the most cutting-edge ideas in front of a handful of people or a crowded house.

Featured events include some existing pieces, such as Andy Ingamells’ messy and beautiful ‘Piano Recital’, which uses a glass-fronted piano which is played whilst being filled with coloured wallpaper paste until it stops working.

Meanwhile, Andrew Hamilton’s ‘The Spirit of Art’ will be performed, as well as Michael Wolters’ ‘Requiem’ (commissioned by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group in 2015), featuring a pre-recorded and live solo singer capturing what the composer describes as “the loneliest situation I could think of”. 

Other events have been especially created for CODA: Seán Clancy and Simon Goff’s ‘Fade In/Fade Out’ for electronica and violin, Howard Skempton’s lecture on form, Paul Norman’s ‘Paganini Caprice (reconstruction)’ as well as lots of new compositions for trumpet, for speaking pianist, for piano duet and also for player-piano (pianola).

Other highlights include Birmingham City University’s Afrocuban Jazz Orchestra’s Grupo Paradiso! and Liam Noble, whose gig featuring Birmingham Conservatoire’s jazz students also forms part of Monkathon, a 9-day celebration of the centenary of Thelonious Monk. 

CODA takes place from 19-20 June 2017 at Birmingham Conservatoire, Paradise Place. Visit the website for further information and to book tickets .

image credit - James Otto

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