The new Birmingham Conservatoire has been announced as the leading venue for the prestigious BBC Young Musician competition in 2018, as the contest prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
Following the regional auditions later this year, Birmingham Conservatoire will host the Category Finals between Friday 16 and Tuesday 20 March 2018, alongside the Semi Final on Friday 23 March. All performances in Birmingham will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Four.
BBC Young Musician is a part of the BBC’s ongoing commitment to supporting and providing a platform for new and emerging talent. Musicians are judged in five categories ahead of the Semi Final; strings, keyboard, woodwind, percussion and brass.
Birmingham Conservatoire’s new £57 million home, opening in the Eastside region of the city in September this year, will also welcome the BBC Young Musician Jazz Award Final in 2018.
Launched three years ago, the BBC Young Musician Jazz Award runs alongside the established classical music format and aims to showcase another group of exceptional young musicians to audiences across the UK. Current Birmingham Conservatoire student Elliott Sansom reached the finals in 2016.
Professor Julian Lloyd Webber, Principal, Birmingham Conservatoire, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Category Finals, Semi Final and the Jazz Final of BBC Young Musician 2018 in our state-of-the-art new building! Birmingham Conservatoire will be the first fully-digital music college and it is a tribute to our wonderful new facilities that the BBC has chosen us to host its iconic competition which has launched the careers of so many of the UK’s top soloists.”
Part of Birmingham City University, the new Birmingham Conservatoire will be a unique contemporary building, incorporating five public performance spaces including a new 500 seat concert hall for orchestral training and performance, private rehearsal and practice rooms, and teaching spaces for musicians from a variety of disciplines.
Furthermore, as the first purpose built conservatoire in the UK since 1987, it will be the only one of its kind in the country designed for the demands of the digital age. The venue will also be home to a purpose-designed jazz club – Birmingham’s only permanent jazz venue. Earlier this year, Birmingham Conservatoire Jazz Department launched its Ellington Orchestra, who will be a regular fixture in the new club.