'Silent Night' Franz Gruber
21 November 2017, 10:31
As Royal Birmingham Conservatoire boasts a brand-new building and royal status, we went along to find out what they have to offer. And it’s more than just classical music…
You might assume that making your way into a UK music college must be an intimidating experience, full of *very serious* classical music apprentices.
But at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, this really isn’t the case.
As we made our way into the building, a percussion group played an exciting modern piece by Italian composer Giovanni Sollima, called ‘Millennium Bug’. A pianist, Pascal Pascaleff, played some terrifyingly intense Études by Alexander Scriabin. And then, there was the Ellington Orchestra – who totally nailed a schmoozy delivery of ‘Mood Indigo’ in the building’s new jazz café.
And of course, this new presentation is all fronted by the building’s Principal, former concert cellist Julian Lloyd Webber.
What do you enjoy about working here?
“It’s absolutely brilliant working here. I’m surrounded by students who are completely dedicated, and there are some really terrific individual performers.
“I’ve been here for just over two years, and I spent all that time in the old building – which was not in the best condition. Now we’ve come here, it’s like a different world.”
Are there any special new performance spaces?
“We’ve got five performance spaces here. The main hall is the jewel on the crown – but there’s also the black box, the recital hall, organ studio and jazz café.”
Will it be open to the public?
“We’re going to be having a lot of public concerts here, with some really big name artists coming in – not just classical, from other fields too.
“It’s just a fantastic time to be here.”
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire offers 29 different musical courses including acting, jazz and music technology. Part of Birmingham City University, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire was recognised as one of the top three conservatoires for music in the Guardian University Guide 2018.