Friday 14 June 2019

The Bradshaw Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

  • Cross-Channel project involving Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Court-circuit, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
  • Concert includes works by composers with cross-European links
  • UK premiere of Siphonophorae by Hilda Paredes
  • François Paris’s À propos de Nice includes screening of Jean Vigo’s silent film of the same name
  • NEXT early career musicians perform side-by-side
  • Cultural exchange sees three-day residency by Court-circuit and return visit to Paris by BCMG in November



A cross-Channel cultural exchange is bringing world-leading new music ensembles from Paris and Birmingham together with early career musicians to perform works by some of five contemporary composers with pan-European roots.


Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG), Paris-based Ensemble Court-circuit and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University, are joining forces for Across the Channel.  The collaborative project involves a residency, exchange visit and concert at the Conservatoire’s Bradshaw Hall on Friday 14 June, conducted by Jean Deroyer, with NEXT early career musicians side-by-side.

The five featured composers – two British, two French and one Mexican, now living in the UK – represent established and younger generations and have all spent time in major European centres.    

The concert includes the UK premiere of Siphonophorae by Mexican-born Hilda Paredes who, since 1999, has made her home in London, while Six miniatures pour sextuor is by the young French composer Maël Bailly.  French-born François Paris has lived in Spain since 1999.  His 2005 work À propos de Nice was inspired by the 1929 silent film of the same name by Jean Vigo which will be shown as part of the concert performance. 

Stirrings Still I is by Berlin-based, British composer Rebecca Saunders who is credited with a distinctive and intensely striking sonic language. The 2019 Ernst von Siemens prize winner has strong links to BCMG, two of her works were featured in a concert earlier this year and December sees the premiere of Scar, co-commissioned through their Sound Investment crowdfunding scheme.  NEXT Musicians were coached by Saunders when she visited Birmingham in March.

The concert also features Jonathan Harvey’s 2009 composition for ten-piece chamber ensemble Vajra.  Born in Sutton Coldfield, Harvey was invited by Pierre Boulez in the 1980s to work at the IRCAM in Paris, an influential factor throughout his composing career and a place to which he returned many times.  

During a three-day residency before the concert, Court-circuit will work with NEXT musicians who will then perform side-by-side during the concert itself.  Launched in September 2018 by BCMG and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, NEXT is a unique one-year programme offering post-graduates and early career musicians unprecedented training, coaching and performance opportunities to become specialist contemporary classical musicians.

In November, the cultural exchange is completed when members of BCMG visit Paris to spend time with students at the Conservatoire à rayonnement regional de Paris.  

BCMG’s Artistic Director, Stephan Meier, “In this project, prepared in close contact with our colleagues and collaborators in Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Ensemble Court-circuit in Paris, we have selected composers who have travelled far from home.  We are looking forward to sharing the stage in June: the musicians of BCMG, Court-circuit and young NEXT musicians performing. We reciprocate in Autumn when we in turn travel to Paris.”

Across the Channel is at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on Friday 14 June. For tickets and details visit or phone 0121 616 2616.








Box office Please visit for full details and booking, or call 0121 616 2616



Friday 14 June 2019, 7.30pm

The Bradshaw Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire 200 Jennens Road, Birmingham, B4 7XR


Ensemble Court-circuit

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

NEXT Musicians side-by-side

Jean Deroyer Conductor


Hilda Paredes (b.1957, Mexico, now UK)           Siphonophorae (2016) UK premiere       13’

François Paris (b.1961, France)                        À propos de Nice (2005)                         20’

including a screening of the Jean Vigo silent film of the same name

Maël Bailly (b. 1988, France)                            Six miniatures pour sextuor (2015/16)      7’

Rebecca Saunders (b.1967, UK)                       Stirrings Still I (2006)                              11’

Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012, UK)                   Vajra (2009)                                          7’


Tickets £15 (£5)



Co-production of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group / Court-circuit / Royal Birmingham Conservatoire; with NEXT support

With the support of Le Bureau Export and Diaphonique

The Court-circuit ensemble is supported by the Regional Department of Cultural Affairs of Île-de-France - Ministry of Culture and Communication under the programme of companies and ensembles with national and international influence (CERNI). Its action is funded by the Ile-de-France region as part of the support for artistic and cultural permanence. The Court-circuit ensemble also receives the support of SACEM and SPEDIDAM for all its activities.



Useful links


BCMG | Ensemble Court circuit | NEXT scheme | Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Maël Bailly | Jonathan Harvey | Hilda Paredes | François Paris | Rebecca Saunders


Issued on behalf of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group by:  

Fiona Fraser PR | T: 07973 822808 | E: [email protected]

Date 20 May 2019