This November, join BCMG for a weekend of new music, strange sounds, and improvisation.

On the 18th, 19th, and 20th of November we will be hosting a plethora of concerts, featuring composers George Lewis, Elliott Carter, and Melinda Maxwell. We will also be welcoming our new NEXT Study programme musicians in their first concert with BCMG, in collaboration with the Thallein Ensemble! 



NEXT with Thallein Ensemble Concert

Friday 18 Nov, 7:00pm

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Buy Tickets


Our new BCMG NEXT musicians will be joining the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire's student new music ensemble, Thallein Ensemble for a celebration of the music of George Lewis. 

George Lewis is one of the world's foremost pioneers of experimental, improvised, and electronic music, so it is only fitting for these two early-career and student ensembles to delve into his works. This concert will also feature new pieces by student composers Fiona Troon and Marcus Rock.


Conductor Daniele Rosina


George Lewis

Artificial Life 2007 (2007) with BCMG NEXT guest players

The Will to Adorn (2011)

Marcus Rock New Work

Fiona Troon New Work



Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire join forces yearly to offer a unique training programme for music students and professional musicians looking for a career as performers of contemporary music. As part of this, our talented early career musicians perform throughout the year along with our BCMG Musicians, come and support the next generation of musicians. Read more about BCMG NEXT here:




Saturday 19 Nov, 6pm

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Book a FREE ticket


Works by Elliott Carter and George Lewis, performed by BCMG NEXT early career musicians. Read more about BCMG NEXT here:



Improv Concert with Melinda Maxwell 

Saturday 19 Nov, 7pm

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Recital Hall

Buy Tickets


Although known primarily as an oboist, Melinda Maxwell is also a composer. Melinda's work explores the space between composing and improvising and incorporates instruments from the ancient world. Hear the world premiere of her new Sound Investment Commission Janus on Saturday 19 November along with other improvisers. 


Improvisers Group, BCMG Soloists


Melinda Maxwell Janus (2022), World Premiere, Sound Investment Commission

for improvising musicians including the ancient greek wind instrument, the Aulos


Callum Armstrong aulos

Melinda Maxwell oboe

Oli Janes clarinets

Percy Pursglove trumpet

Julian Warburton percussion

Liam Halloran percussion

Sebastiano Dessaney bass

James Dooley live electronics



Pre-Concert Talk

Sunday 20 Nov 2022, 4pm

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Included in The American Dream Concert ticket

George Lewis and Julian Anderson in conversation with Howard Skempton.


The American Dream Concert

Sunday 20 Nov 2022, 5pm

The Bradshaw Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Buy Tickets


Concluding this exciting new music weekend is a concert inspired by the American dream, the media built around it, and in turn a failed utopia.

The American dream, coined in the 1930’s, was the belief that anyone, regardless of background, can be a limitless success. In reality, this idea fast became a way for companies to sell products to hopefuls who were desperate for the unattainable lifestyle promised to them.

Hear the new piece Breaking by George Lewis, likened to long exposure photography through music, next to the UK Premiere of Elliott Carter’s The American Sublime. 

"We’re in a position where if we are at ease we’re a little crazy, you know? We’re just whistling in the dark, as they say, and so Breaking has that sensibility about it. Things are kind of breaking. What does it sound like in the music? I went back to a methodology I haven’t visited since 2013, the idea of having integral repetition in the pieces. The idea is that the flow of things is broken, but also sustained. There’s a sense of instability I’m trying to maintain, a subliminal psychological sense where people shouldn’t feel complacent listening to this music, they should feel a little bit like where are things going? Where am I?"  

Art inspires art, and at BCMG we believe in combining our senses for new experiences, expect to see a very special merchandise drop around this wonderful event.


Anna Dennis Soprano

Paul Carey Jones Baritone 

Stephan Meier Conductor


 Katherine Balch, b. 1991, New Geometry (2015, 9’)

Julian Anderson, b. 1967,

Tombeau, Sound Investment commission (2018, 4’)

Nunca vi Granada, World Premiere, Sound Investment commission (2022, 5’)

Elliott Carter, 1908 – 2012,  What Are Years for soprano and chamber ensemble (2009, 12’) Five Poems of Marianne Moore




Elliott Carter, 1908 – 2012 The American Sublime (2011, 14’) 

for baritone and ensemble, texts by Wallace Stevens, supported by the Amphion Foundation

George Lewis, b. 1952, Breaking, Sound Investment co-commission UK premiere (2022, 14') supported by Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.


We’re grateful for the support of The Amphion Foundation which has given us the opportunity to feature works by Elliott Carter and George Lewis in this series of concerts.