A season of spectacular music-making of the highest quality, and exceptional ticket prices, is just waiting to be discovered this autumn. Featuring world-class artists and prodigiously talented young musicians, the series of lunchtime and evening concerts is devised and programmed by Birmingham Conservatoire at the Adrian Boult Hall and Recital Hall. Tickets for most concerts are £3.50-£6.50 and many are FREE.
The autumn season is the first under Birmingham Conservatoire’s new Principal, Julian Lloyd Webber, who says, “Our visiting musicians cover the spectrum of today’s music scene with lunchtime recitals from world-renowned violinist Tasmin Little and legendary fortepianist Robert Levin, and evening concerts from the exceptional jazz bassist Michael Janisch and electro-acoustic music composer Adrian Moore. I can’t think of anywhere else where you could see artists of this calibre for a top ticket price of £6.50!”
“Other highlights include a tribute concert to our former Visiting Fellow, the revered jazz pianist John Taylor who died in July. There’s a rare performance of Steve Reich’s iconic masterpiece Drumming, a focus on British composers from the Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra, and the start of a landmark series of Brahms complete chamber music with piano. Added to that, the adventurous Frontiers series will be pushing boundaries with the Legacies in Technology mini-series, and a week-long celebration of the work of Swedish composer Karin Rehnqvist. Truly there is something for everyone and I am really looking forward to welcoming audiences to the new season.”
Performance Platform on Tuesday lunchtimes features recitals and masterclasses by renowned international musicians including an all-Mozart concert by fortepianist Robert Levin (6 Oct), Tradicional Cubano with former Buena Vista Social Club’s Javier Zalba (13 Oct), and violinist Tasmin Little (1 Dec). These are interspersed with some of the Conservatoire’s award-winning, home-grown talent (from post-graduate students to tutors) in wide-ranging repertoire.
The weekly Monday Showcase is a FREE lunchtime recital series introducing some of Birmingham’s most talented music students – from pianists and violinists to vocalists and jazz groups – and the popular monthly Lunchtimes at Birmingham Music and Art Gallery, now in its second season, offers the chance to enjoy glorious chamber music in the most beautiful of settings, all for free.
The Frontiers series explores cutting-edge new music, and features guest artists as well as student performers and composers. The Legacies in Technology mini-series (12-13 Oct) presents new electro-acoustic and electronic music alongside classic works, with special guest Adrian Moore (12-13 Oct). Frontiers also presents also a major residency and week-long series (8-13 Nov) celebrating the work of Swedish composer Karin Rehnqvist, with masterclasses, contemporary Scandinavian choral music, and a high-octane concert by Decibel of the music of Ed Bennett, including a substantial new commission.
A visit by composer and bassist Michael Janisch (8 Oct), touring his new album Paradigm Shift, is a highlight of the Thursday Jazz Club evenings which also include a tribute concert (22 Oct) by staff, students and alumni bands to the much revered jazz pianist and former Visiting Fellow, John Taylor, who died in July.
A major series of Brahms’s complete chamber works with piano begins in December and introduces newly-appointed Head of Chamber Music with Piano, Daniel Tong. The first two lunchtime concerts in the series (4 & 11 Dec) feature the cello sonatas and piano quartets, with further dates to follow in spring and summer.
Among other special events, the Conservatoire’s Percussion Department give a rare performance of Steve Reich’s Drumming, inspired by his visits to Ghana (1 Dec), and Paul Wingfield and Jamie Hayes return to direct a new selection of Opera Scenes for three nights in November (26-28 Nov).
Music by British composers receives special attention in two concerts (23 Oct, Adrian Boult Hall & 29 Oct, Symphony Hall) by the Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra featuring music by Arnold, Walton, Vaughan Williams, Elgar and Britten, while the String Orchestra gives a rare performance of Tippett’s exciting Concerto for Double String Orchestra.
For dates, further information and details of how to book, visit www.bcu.ac.uk/concerts