Friday, 8 September 2017

The last conservatoire? Birmingham Conservatoire opens with new state-of-the-art facilities

The entrance to the new Birmingham Conservatoire.
The entrance to the new Birmingham Conservatoire.
The new concert hall: Birmingham Conservatoire
The new concert hall: Birmingham Conservatoire
The new Birmingham Conservatoire was officially opened yesterday, 7 September 2017, the first purpose-built music college to be built in the UK since 1987. At the launch the conservatoire's principal, Julian Lloyd Webber, suggested it may well be the “last-ever” performing arts institution of its kind to be built in the UK. The conservatoire is part of Birmingham City University, with the new building being built on the university's City Centre Campus, giving the students at the conservatoire access to Birmingham City University’s wealth of media and recording facilities, including four TV studios and Europe’s largest static green screen.

The new conservatoire, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, five new public performance spaces, including a 500-seat concert hall, a 150-seat recital hall and a 100-seat organ studio as well as The Lab, a cutting edge, completely flexible black-box studio, and the first permanent jazz space in any UK conservatoire – the 80-seat Eastside Jazz Club.

Birmingham Conservatoire was founded in 1859 as a department of the Birmingham and Midland Institute, becoming the Birmingham School of Music in 1889. In 2008 it became a faculty of the Birmingham City Conservatoire, the only UK conservatoire to be a faculty of a university.

The new concert hall: Birmingham Conservatoire
The new concert hall: Birmingham Conservatoire
Students will return to the conservatoire in the next few weeks, and next year the conservatoire's public programme will start with a Royal gala on 11 March 2018 in the new concert hall performed by the Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra and conducted by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s (CBSO) Music Director, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.

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