Performing Ensembles

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.

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO)

Under the leadership of Sir Simon Rattle, Sakari Oramo, Andris Nelsons and now Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, the CBSO has maintained a growing relationship with Royal Birmingham Conservatoire; including:

  • Conductor and ensemble workshops
  • Research
  • Unique performance opportunities
  • The CBSO Training Scheme.

The CBSO Training Scheme provides the opportunity for selected students from the Strings, Woodwind, Brass and Percussion departments to gain first-hand professional experience by observing and playing in CBSO rehearsals.

Students on the Scheme also have the opportunity to perform in CBSO masterclasses and receive orchestral audition training and mentoring from orchestra principals. Auditions for the scheme reflect professional orchestral audition procedures.

Visit the CBSO website

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Offering the opportunity to work alongside the members of the Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) orchestra, Conservatoire students audition for places on this scheme.

Visits to orchestral rehearsals in London and to production rehearsals at Birmingham’s Hippodrome theatre are supplemented by professional and – importantly – personal mentoring by orchestra members.

Visit Birmingham Royal Ballet website

Welsh National Opera

Playing alongside members of the Welsh National Opera (WNO) orchestra as part of complete string, or woodwind/brass/percussion sections, and directed by WNO’s conductors and leaders, this scheme gives students valuable insight into the special flexibility that is required in opera repertoire.

Student trips to the rehearsal process in Cardiff, as well as to performances in Milton Keynes and Birmingham complement visits by orchestra members to the Conservatoire.

Places on the scheme are decided through an audition process that replicates professional conditions.

Visit Welsh National Opera website

Orchestra of the Swan

Orchestra of the Swan has its home in Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon and celebrated its 21st Anniversary 2016/2017. OOTS is also Associate Orchestra at Town Hall Birmingham with regular concert series at Number 8 Pershore, Worcester Cathedral and Malvern Theatres.

Orchestra of the Swan will be coming to the Conservatoire for five concerts throughout 2018/19 (all on Wednesdays at 14:30): 7 Nov, 5 Dec, 6 Feb, 1 May and 19 Jun).

David Le Page (OOTS’ Artistic Director)  is keen to involve Conservatoire students as much as possible in the morning rehearsals before each concert. There is an opportunity for short student compositions to be performed, the rehearsals will be open for students to attend and meet with OOTS musicians in the break, and the final concert will also include a concerto performance by a Conservatoire student.

In addition, in conjunction with conductors/soloists David will select one of the pieces from each programme for selected Conservatoire students to sit and play side-by-side with the orchestra for part of the rehearsal.

This is a new and great development in our relationship with Orchestra of the Swan.

Visit OOTS website

Royal Shakespeare Company

In collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), we are pleased to be pioneering a theatrical side-by-side scheme. Students will be given the opportunity of shadowing a complete production process, from first rehearsals through to first night.

As the nature of the music differs widely from production to production, places are offered to appropriate suitable candidates. In the event that there is more than one suitable student, a professional audition process will again be employed to reach a decision.

Visit Royal Shakespeare Company website