Performing Ensembles

Playing in orchestras and other large ensembles at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire represents one of the most important steps for you en route to becoming a professional musician.

The range of experience, from period music training through to the newest developments in contemporary music, combined with the great classics, opera and pops concerts, will help you to develop the experience, knowledge and flexibility required for the variety that professional music-making demands.

Orchestras and Ensembles

You'll have a wide range of opportunities to play symphonic music, as well as opera, chamber, contemporary and period performance at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Orchestras and Ensembles

Partner Organisations

As well as providing valuable performing experience, our links with professional organisations all demand serious engagement from our students, involving a full application process and an audition in addition to the all-important contact with professional performers.

Partner Organisations

Music courses

We offer a wide range of music performance degree courses and programmes at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire at undergraduate, postgraduate and short course level.

Music courses


Find out more about the audition process and requirements for the department.


Most concerts take place in the Conservatoire itself. You'll have access to our superb £57 million facilities, including the five stunning spaces that make up our 'Eastside Venues': The Bradshaw Hall, a breath-taking concert hall large enough for a full symphony orchestra, 150-seat Recital Hall, our black-box performance space known as The Lab, and our intimate Organ Studio; all acoustically designed to provide a music-making environment that is world-class.

Performances sometimes take place at Symphony Hall, one of Europe’s finest concert venues – as part of our close relationship with the CBSO. We also use local cathedrals for our chamber choir and orchestra concerts and Brass band concerts, making the most of the excellent acoustics and surroundings that lend them so well to those ensembles.

Industry links

The Conservatoire has forged strong links with professional organisations in Birmingham and beyond. The CBSO Training Scheme, which offers a series of masterclasses by CBSO principals as well as a sit-in scheme with the orchestra, is the most comprehensive relationship between a symphony orchestra and conservatoire in the UK.

There are also side-by-side and participation schemes with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Welsh National Opera, Orchestra of the Swan and the Royal Shakespeare Company allowing successful candidates to have valuable first-hand exposure to a wide range of professional activities.

Scope of encounters

The breadth of scope of the music you will encounter is enhanced by the opportunity to work with a variety of artists, some of whom may be members of Conservatoire staff or who may visit especially such as a guest or CBSO conductors.

Each artist, whether they be conductors, soloists or professional orchestral members, bring their own style to their work to engender an important learning experience for the budding professional musician.

CBSO Youth Orchestra

Outside the Conservatoire, you will be able to audition for the CBSO Youth Orchestra, which runs three courses every year that include sectional coaching from CBSO musicians, rehearsals, and performances with leading professional conductors performing a wide variety of music.

Staff spotlight

Joe Broughton is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and educator based in Birmingham, UK. As well as his own internationally renowned band The Urban Folk Quartet, Joe has played with everyone from Joss Stone to Fairport Convention.

His compositions have been performed at The Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican Centre in London and his workshops in performance and ensemble playing are legendary amongst the teaching community. Joe has played on over 100 albums as a session musician as well as making more than 20 solo and band albums of his own. In the 2023 New Years Honours list, Joe was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to music.

Our tutors

We have a variety of tutors who provide specialist teaching and advice within the Performing Ensembles department at RBC.

Our tutors

Open days

When possible, the best way to explore what's on offer is to come and see us in person, and we host a number of Open Days throughout the year. Come and be taught by our trailblazing academics and study in our innovative facilities.

Open Days

Social media

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Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s £57 million teaching and performance facility offers unrivalled opportunities for our students.

Our facilities