Birmingham forms an important nexus in international pianism. Our series of visiting artists is second to none worldwide.
Be inspired by masterclasses with renowned artists
Recently we’ve enjoyed masterclasses given by: Imogen Cooper, Kirill Gerstein, Stephen Kovacevich, Steven Osborne, Peter Donohoe, Orit Wolf, Jeffrey Siegel, Stephen Hough, Marcus Groh, Boris Slutsky, Natalia Trull, Barbara Nissman, Iain Burnside, Piers Lane, Clive Williamson, Andrew West, Håkon Austbø, Pei-Chun Liao, Mikhail Kazekevich, Ivan Yanakov, Anna Tilbrook, Martin Jones, Anna Scott, the Martinu Piano Trio and the Schubert Ensemble alongside two day residencies with Robert Levin, Idil Biret, Christian Blackshaw and Gergely Bognanyi.
I would not be where I am today in my career without the support of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. I benefitted immensely from my Principal Study tutor, but I also had the opportunity to work with tutors from the Strings and Vocal departments for chamber music and lieder coaching. I believe the openness and collaborative atmosphere is what makes the Conservatoire unique. I have also had many high-profile performance opportunities throughout the United Kingdom, thus broadening my professional network and setting up my performance career.
Edward Leung, piano
Reap musical rewards by participating in our ambitious festivals
Every year we host ambitious Festivals. These have included the major solo works, chamber music and song cycles by Schubert, British Festivals (including the complete solo works and chamber music with piano of John Ireland), complete solo works of Debussy, sonatas, preludes and études by Skryabin and Rachmaninov, and even a 12-hour all-night piano recital in Birmingham Town Hall. In 2022 32 student pianists played the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven in a single day.
In February 2024 a major Conference/Festival will explore Historic Piano Performance Style using our 1888 90 note Erard, 1861 Streicher, 1872 Bösendorfer, 1860 Collard and Collard, 1850's Wieck and older Fortepianos. Such Festivals complement regular Lunchtime and Evening concert series, regular Piano Showcases in Birmingham Symphony Hall, and a varied range of Competitions, Concerto opportunities and weekly Performance Classes for every year group taken in rotation by the large faculty. All students are encouraged to join the Chamber Music coaching and festival programmes and to work with Singers- indeed this is built into course requirements and properly assessed and rewarded.
Practice with pianos of the highest standard
The piano stock includes wonderful older Steinways from the 1930s and 1970s as well as a concentration of Steinways from the 1990s and 2000s, but has recently also been extensively expanded. The Concert Fleet comprises 5 Steinway Model Ds, a new full size Bechstein Concert Grand, and a Yamaha CFX. The teaching studio stock has been augmented with four new Steinway Bs and two Fazioli 212s, with predominately Steinways to follow (6 new Steinway Model Bs in 2017). The Period Piano stock is also being upgraded as part of our contribution to Historically Informed Performance Practice.