Led by internationally-acclaimed organists and tutors Daniel Moult and Henry Fairs, with a stellar staff including International Consultant Nathan Laube (New York) and Visiting Professor Martin Schmeding (Leipzig), Royal Birmingham Conservatoire enjoys a reputation as a leading European centre for organ studies.
Recent undergraduates include several RCO prizewinners who have gone on to positions at cathedrals in Worcester, Chelmsford, St Davids, Liverpool, Hexham (Abbey), Chester, Norwich and St Wenzel Naumburg (Germany).
“I very much admire the standard and scope of the work being done in the Conservatoire’s Organ Department, and warmly congratulate them on their glowing international reputation.” - Dame Gillian Weir
“We receive inspiring teaching from experts at the top of their profession, both here and abroad. We ae wisely guided into becoming mature musicians and performers, and learn to look at music from a variety of angles, on an extremely high level.” - Callum Alger
Be part of a leading centre for organ studies
- With 17 students, a world-class faculty, and a new home with several new organs imminent, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire enjoys a reputation as a leading centre for organ studies in the UK.
- We are a destination of choice for some of the most gifted young organists in the UK and beyond, including many young professional organists who study with us at the start of their careers. We have just relaunched our Junior Fellowship scheme, where a couple of younger established professional organists can gain valuable experience of working at conservatoire level and receive support for competition preparation, research and performance projects.
- Current and recent postgraduates (including musicians from cathedrals at St Paul’s, Ely, Lichfield, Birmingham, Peterborough, St George's Chapel, Windsor, as well as international students from Germany, Norway, Japan and Hong Kong) include prizewinners at diploma, national and international competition level.
- Recent undergraduates include several RCO prizewinners who have gone on to positions at cathedrals in Westminster, Salisbury, Worcester, Birmingham, Liverpool, St David’s, Chester, Norwich, St Wenzel Naumburg (Germany) and elsewhere.
Benefit from unique resources to help you become the musician you want to be
- The Conservatoire's move to a new, purpose-built home in 2017 provides a unique set of resources that will further equip our students to become leaders in the profession.
- The city of Birmingham boasts a vibrant cultural scene that includes the CBSO, BCMG and regular concerts by city organist, Thomas Trotter. With an additional three concert hall organs on our doorstep, as well as the libraries of the Royal College of Organists and BIOS in the city and tuition by internationally renowned musicians, Birmingham provides the ideal environment for the serious study, research and performance of organ art music.
Hone your skills through an inspiring programme of study
- The focus of your study will be developing a solid technique and building a broad core repertoire with an emphasis on deepening your understanding in matters of performance practice, historically informed techniques and their practical application today.
- Your course will also provide you with training in crucial skills required in the wider musical world. You will follow a syllabus with reading lists that cover three areas of repertoire per term and, in addition, receive training in church music skills, Royal College of Organists (RCO) diploma preparation, improvisation and continuo. Tuition is both in-house and on the acclaimed, mechanical-action Walker organ in St Chad's Cathedral.
- You will receive a first-study lesson with your principal teacher each week during term, plus occasional lessons with visiting specialists. In addition to first-study lessons, all undergraduates attend weekly performance classes and fortnightly choral conducting classes. Regular study trips to France, Germany and Holland include visits to historic instruments and masterclasses given by distinguished tutors and performers.
Birmingham is a centre of excellence for organ building, performance and research
- Organ music plays a vital role in the life of the city of Birmingham, with regular profile recitals given by City Organist Thomas Trotter and guests on the Town Hall's historic instrument by William Hill and Symphony Hall's newer Klais organ. Birmingham is also home to the libraries of the RCO and British Institute of Organ Studies. The city therefore offers a unique combination of resources and opportunities. The arrival of a new instrument by Marc Garnier at the University of Birmingham in 2014 has also put the city firmly on the map as a centre of excellence in organ building, performance study and research.
Apply for prestigious scholarships which enhance your opportunities
- As a Conservatoire student, you will have the opportunity to gain additional hands-on experience by applying for - including those at Birmingham's two cathedrals and the prestigious organ scholarship at Town Hall Symphony Hall. You will receive details of the organ scholarships available after your application has been received. An entry scholarship for continuo players is also available.
- Organ scholarships are offered by St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham Cathedral, Coventry Cathedral, St Mary's Warwick and other regional cathedrals and local churches. There is also an opportunity for an appropriately experienced student to take a role in Symphony Hall’s educational programme, with opportunities to demonstrate the instrument to a variety of audiences.
- Continuo scholarship
- One of our two Corton-Hyde Early Music Scholarships is available to support talented undergraduate or postgraduate keyboard students wishing to further their studies in Early Music.
Opportunities for younger musicians
- We are always delighted to welcome younger musicians (accompanied by an adult if under 18 years of age) to view our work in the department, or to observe a performance class or master class etc. Please feel free to contact Daniel Moult (Head of Organ), with no obligation!
- Visit our Facebook page Royal Birmingham Conservatoire - Organ Department, where you can follow us for updates and news about our vibrant Organ Department!