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Adrian Boult Hall

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Adrian Boult Hall

Birmingham Conservatoire
Adrian Boult Hall, the main concert hall of the school situated in Paradise Circus.
Motto Inspiring Musicians since 1886
Established 1886 (as Birmingham School of Music)
1989 (as Birmingham Conservatoire)
Type Public, School of Music
President Sir Simon Rattle
Vice-president Peter Donohoe
Principal David Saint
Admin. staff 50
Students 600

Birmingham, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom
52°28′45″N 1°54′20″W / 52.47917°N 1.90556°W / 52.47917; -1.90556Coordinates: 52°28′45″N 1°54′20″W / 52.47917°N 1.90556°W / 52.47917; -1.90556

Campus Urban
Former names Birmingham School of Music
Affiliations Birmingham City University
Conservatoires UK, CUKAS, The European Association of Conservatoires

Birmingham Conservatoire is an international conservatoire and a major concert venue, its main platform being the Adrian Boult Hall. Prior to 1989, it was known as the Birmingham School of Music and was one of the faculties of Birmingham City University, the only one out of the nine conservatoires in the United Kingdom that was a university faculty. However, in 2008, as part of the re-organisation of faculties it became a part of the Faculty of Performance, Media and English (PME).


Situated in Paradise Place, in the centre of Birmingham between Centenary Square and Chamberlain Square, the conservatoire was founded in 1886 as the Birmingham School of Music, which had been a department of, and stands on the original site of, the Birmingham and Midland Institute, since around 1859. The title 'Birmingham Conservatoire' was adopted in 1989, with its undergraduate diploma and award (GBSM and ABSM) renamed from 'Graduate / Associate of the Birmingham School of Music' to 'Graduate / Associate of the Birmingham Schools of Music', to reflect the internal structure adopted of the Schools of Creative Studies, of Orchestral Studies, of Keyboard Studies, and of Vocal Studies. In 1995 the GBSM degree-equivalent diploma was redesigned and revalidated to become a full-fledged Bachelor of Music (BMus) degree.

The future

The surrounding area, known as Paradise Circus is currently going through a major redevelopment plan involving the flattening of the whole site. The development does include proposals for a new Adrian Boult Hall.

The Conservatoire

Facilities include the 518 seat Adrian Boult Hall, the Recital Hall, six recording studios and a specialised music library with around 95,000 individual scores and parts and 10,000 sound recordings. Most tutors are active professional musicians and with nearly 200 visiting specialist tutors, there is approximately one member of staff for every two students.

Around 600 students are currently enrolled in the conservatoire's undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Teaching exists in a wide range of options including solo performance, composition, chamber music, orchestral playing, music technology and jazz. Students on the four-year BMus(Hons) are encouraged to spend time studying in Europe or the USA.

An active Junior Department also takes place on Saturdays.


  • Brass
  • Chamber Music
  • Composition
  • Conducting (Choral)
  • Conducting (Orchestral)
  • Early music
  • Jazz
  • Keyboard
  • Music Technology
  • Percussion
  • Performing Ensembles
  • Strings
  • Vocal & Operatic
  • Woodwind


Conservatoire students perform regularly in the Conservatoire's concert venues, and also nationally and internationally under such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Pierre Boulez, Sakari Oramo, Paul Spicer and Jeffrey Skidmore.

The Conservatoire collaborates with other schools of music, colleges, academies and conservatoires worldwide, including participating in the SOCRATES student and staff exchange programme.



Birmingham Conservatoire

  • George Caird (1993 - 2010)
  • Kevin ThompsonTemplate:Dn (1988 - 1993)
  • Roy Wales (1987 - 1988)

Courses offered

Birmingham Conservatoire offers training from pre-college level (Junior Conservatoire) to PhD.


The Conservatoire offers a variety of scholarships to undergraduates and postgraduate students. All candidates are automatically considered for financial assistance up to the value of full scholarships. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit (according to audition panel recommendation), with some specifically reserved to assist candidates in financial need or studying in specific areas.

Entrance Scholarships (UK/EU candidates) A number of Entrance Scholarships are awarded each year to UK and European Union candidates on the recommendation of auditions panels.

Tuition Fees Scholarships (Non-EU candidates)

A number of part-tuition fees scholarships are awarded each year to overseas candidates. These scholarships are normally renewed for each subsequent year of a student’s course.

Corton Hyde Early Music Scholarships

Two scholarships are normally available to support talented students wishing to further their studies in Early Music. The Corton Hyde Continuo Scholarship supports a keyboard, cello/viola da gamba, or lute/theorbo player specialising in continuo, while the Corton Hyde Performance Practice Scholarship is open to a variety of musicians, including period violinists, vocalists, early oboe or flute players, recorder players and cellists. Both scholarships are worth £1,000 and may be renewed after one year by negotiation.

Denis Matthews Scholarships

Established in 1989 in memory of the distinguished pianist and scholar, the Denis Matthews Trust offers scholarships through competition to pianists who are studying at Birmingham Conservatoire, as well as an additional entrance scholarship of £1,000.

Ella Cheshire Scholarship (Soprano)

A scholarship of approximately £1,500 is awarded annually to a nominated postgraduate soprano candidate.

Leverhulme Trust Scholarship (UK candidates)

The Leverhulme Trust scholarships are awarded each year to excellent UK candidates on the recommendation of audition panels.

Symphony Hall Whitlock Organ Scholarship

This scholarship, generously funded by the Percy Whitlock Trust, offers a talented organ student access to the outstanding four-manual Klais organ in Symphony Hall, acclaimed as one of the finest concert halls in the world. The Scholar plays a significant role in Symphony Hall’s education programme, presenting the organ to school groups and members of the public. The Scholarship also includes an annual recital. The successful candidate will be a highly competent player, with excellent presentational skills and the ability to capture the imagination of young people. The appointment is for one year initially, but may be renewed. The value of the Scholarship is £1,000 per annum.

Weingarten Scholarships

These prestigious scholarships, established through the generosity of Joseph and Lilian Weingarten, are available by competition to final-year undergraduate or postgraduate Piano, Violin or Voice students at the Conservatoire. Successful students undertake up to a year of postgraduate study at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. Another scholarship is available to enable a student to study the Kodály Method at the Kodály Institute at Kecskemét in Hungary.

Junior Department Scholarships

Applicants to the Junior Conservatoire may be eligible for a DCSF Music and Dance Award, or bursary funding from the Leverhulme Trust or the Wolfson Foundation. The Junior Conservatoire can provide advice and guidance to suitable candidates.


Birmingham Conservatoire has around 50 full-time members of staff that include active professional musicians, internationally renowned performers, composers, conductors, scholars, and educators. In addition, nearly 200 highly acclaimed specialist tutors, musicians and scholars visit the Conservatoire to give master classes and guest lectures or to serve as visiting faculty members. For a full list of staff members (including support staff), see Birmingham Conservatoire Staff website

Notable alumni

Notable Staff (Current & Former)


See also


  • The history of Birmingham Conservatoire
  • History & Origins Of Birmingham City University

External links

  • Official website
  • Birmingham City University website
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