The new Royal Birmingham Conservatoire has officially opened after hundreds of visitors were treated to an evening of music at the venue’s Royal Opening Gala Concert.
The Concert [March 11] ushered in a new era for music in the UK as the new £57 million site was formally declared open by the conservatoire’s Royal Patron HRH Prince Edward with an array of performances in its 500–seater Concert Hall.
Speaking ahead of the Royal Gala Opening Concert, HRH Prince Edward said: “This evening’s celebration is not just about the United Kingdom’s first purpose-built music college for a generation, but also a prefix which recognises the fantastic contribution this institution has made to music education over many years.”
Among attendees on the night were West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber and Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley MP who watched on as HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO, unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion.
Recorded live by BBC Radio 3, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s Symphony Orchestra and Chorus were conducted by renowned maestro, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
The evening also featured the announcement of the Conservatoire’s year-long Opening Festival which will see an array of performances by world famous artists to mark the venue’s arrival in the Second City.
These will include a unique triple-bill ‘residency’ featuring legendary virtuoso Nigel Kennedy and appearances by Sir Lenny Henry, Indian composer Nitin Sawhney and the Conservatoire’s own Principal, Julian Lloyd Webber who will conduct a special celebratory concert on May 28.
Following the performance Professor Lloyd Webber said: “This has been an extraordinary time with the opening of our fantastic new home, the granting of our Royal title and now this fantastic concert. The students have done themselves and the Royal Conservatoire proud!"