Birmingham International Piano Academy open to junior and adult students for the first time

  • BBC Young Musician of the Year Lara Melda helps to launch ‘BIPA Junior’
  • BBC Radio 3 to record ‘Discovering Music’ featuring Leslie Howard at BIPA
  • Peter Donohoe headlines guest artist masterclass and recital series

Launched in 2004, the annual Birmingham International Piano Academy (BIPA) has brought some of the world’s finest young pianists to Birmingham to study with internationally-renowned artists. This year, for the first time, BIPA will offer junior pianists and adult amateurs the chance to attend this exciting summer school, running from Monday 25th to Saturday 30th July at Birmingham Conservatoire (part of Birmingham City University).

As in the past, the prestigious BIPA Advanced course caters for a maximum of eight outstanding pianists of any nationality, aged 14 or over and already performing at ABRSM Diploma level or above. The course offers individual tuition and masterclass opportunities with distinguished professionals, and a public performance.

Lara Melda – 2010 BBC Young Musician of the Year – will help to launch BIPA Junior, a week-long day course suitable for pianists under the age of 18 playing at ABRSM Grade 4 standard or above (up to and past Diploma level).

Creating a significant opportunity for talented pianists from the Midlands and beyond to further their skills, BIPA Junior offers individual tuition with esteemed keyboard tutors from Birmingham Conservatoire, the opportunity to perform in a public concert, and three workshops, including an informal masterclass with Lara Melda.

At £240 for the week, BIPA Junior has been designed to offer an outstanding experience at an affordable cost. Additionally, as part of the University’s Gifted and Talented Provision through the West Midlands Excellence Hub, and the Aimhigher programme, the Conservatoire is offering four fully funded places on the BIPA Junior course. Applications for funded places must be supported by the candidate’s school and must be received by 9 May.

Also launching in 2011, the BIPA Adult Improver course offers students over the age of 18 the chance to improve their skills in a supportive and intensive environment. In addition to three hours’ individual tuition, two workshops and a performance opportunity, BIPA Adult Improver students – like all BIPA students – can attend all of the BIPA concerts and masterclasses for free.

In addition to high-profile performances by Peter Donohoe and Lara Melda, the BBC will record a ‘Discovering Music’ programme for Radio 3 in the Conservatoire’s Adrian Boult Hall on Wednesday 27 July. The concert features Leslie Howard, guest artist and tutor at BIPA 2011.

All concerts and masterclasses will also be open to the general public and a series ticket to all events is available for £47. Alternatively, the BIPA Observer ticket offers access to the entire summer school, including private lessons and workshops by negotiation.

David Quigley, Artistic Director of BIPA, said: "The 7th Birmingham International Piano Academy promises to be a rewarding and memorable experience for pianists, piano enthusiasts and local audiences. I am excited to launch the new Junior and Adult Improver courses, which will run concurrently with our existing, highly acclaimed Advanced course. With a faculty of internationally renowned pianists and teachers, BIPA 2011 is sure to inspire both young and seasoned pianists alike."

The Birmingham International Piano Academy will take place from 25th to 30th July 2011 at Birmingham Conservatoire. Further information, application forms and concert details are available on the BIPA website ( Applications for all BIPA courses must be received by Friday 10th June 2011.

Birmingham City University is running a major awareness campaign in the Midlands to demonstrate how it is upgrading the future of individuals and companies. From Monday 11 April you will be able to find out more at

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