A message from our Principal

Violinist Ustad Johar Ali

Principal Stephen Maddock welcomes the great Indian violinist Ustad Johar Ali to RBC, as the new Chair of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. He will be working with students, local musicians and building on the work of former Chair Radhika Balakrishnan.

Friends, as we begin our spring term, it is my great pleasure to wish you all a Happy New Year. There is, as always, a great deal of activity happening at RBC between now and Easter: Three acting productions, an opera production, some orchestral projects and dozens of other events both large and small.

An event that I'm particularly excited about this month is a special (free) concert on Wednesday 24 January to welcome the great Indian violinist Ustad Johar Ali (pictured) to Birmingham. He is spending six months with us in his role as Chair of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), a prestigious appointment for RBC and Birmingham City University (BCU). He is looking forward to working with RBC students, but also with musicians young and old from Birmingham's communities – building on the pioneering work here of last year’s ICCR Chair Radhika Balakrishnan.

I am equally delighted to welcome two new heads of department to our teaching staff: Edward Jones, our new Head of Brass, and Nicholas Trygstad, Head of Strings. Both will bring a wealth of teaching and orchestral experience, as well as a huge enthusiasm for RBC as one of the very best institutions of its kind.

This month, we have also welcomed our Acting students to their new rehearsal studios at RBC Digbeth in Bromley Street. This new space is in addition to their continuing use of Ruskin Hall in Bournville, and gives RBC a new presence in one of Birmingham’s most vibrant cultural quarters.

I look forward to seeing you at one or more events in the coming weeks, and thank you in advance for all that you will do to support RBC and our students in 2024.

Principal Stephen Maddock

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