Performance at a University Workshop

University of Birmingham

BCMG is Ensemble-in-Association at the University of Birmingham. As part of this the Group runs annual student composer workshops for third year and postgraduate students. Students have the opportunity to write for a BCMG ensemble of up to fifteen musicians which rehearses and records their works in a workshop session which forms part of their assessment. Expert feedback is given by the conductors and BCMG players. These workshops have previously been conducted by Thomas Adès, Christopher Austin, Richard Baker, Susanna Mälkki, Peter Wiegold, and Dominic Muldowney.

In addition to this, students writing for the ensemble can participate in masterclasses with individual BCMG musicians, looking in detail at composing for specific instruments. For example in 2013 masterclasses were given by BCMG musicians Céline Saout (harp) and Julian Warburton (percussion).

BCMG also provides opportunities for students to perform alongside the Group’s professional players: the University New Music Ensemble performed Louis Andriessen’s Workers Union in a 2003 Series Concert alongside players from BCMG; and in 2006 University students joined Birmingham Conservatoire students to perform Bruno Maderna’s Serenata per un Satellite and Salvatore Sciarrino’s The mouth, the feet, the sound with BCMG.

Students are offered discounted tickets and are invited to watch the Group rehearse. BCMG offers students opportunities to volunteer on Learning projects and provides a variety of training and professional development sessions for students interested in this type of work.

BCMG was quickly able to interpret the musicality of my score, enabling me to understand my work within the practicalities of a professional performance environment.

Jamie Wilkin, student, University of Birmingham

My workshop was the height of my studies in composition. I was delighted with the response from the players and the conductor to my piece. Their input and advice was priceless and just watching them perform was inspiring in itself.

Student, University of Birmingham

It was so special to hear my piece played to such a high standard in just an hour. It felt like my first premiere.

Student, University of Birmingham

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