Birmingham – Summer capital of music for young people

Feast of innovative and exciting music to take place in the city.

10,000 young musicians are about to take over Birmingham for festivals, concerts and live music this summer, underlining the city’s status as one of the youngest and most creative in Europe.

In a period of just over a month, 10,000 young musicians from all over the UK will perform at Birmingham’s two world famous concert halls, Town Hall and Symphony Hall. From superchoirs, bands, youth orchestras, soloists and groups, through festivals, competitions and summer schools, the month will see enthusiastic youngsters perform music of all genres including jazz, rock, classical, folk and world music.

The centrepiece of this exciting month is the 5-day Music for Youth National Festival celebrating 10 years in Birmingham between 8-12 July, in partnership with Town Hall & Symphony Hall and Birmingham Conservatoire. The festival brings 8,000 talented young musicians to the city for main stage concerts and a vibrant festival fringe with satellite events, workshops, taster sessions and a family day.

The month-long takeover opens with the Brant International Piano Competition for musicians aged 18-28 who are about to launch their own professional careers (5th July), and the concluding week sees a showcase from THSH’s own Jazzlines Summer School, open to aspiring jazz musicians from beginners to advanced, whose participants are setting out on what could be a lifelong musical journey (8th August).

Birmingham welcomes the inspirational National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for a week-long residential course at the University of Birmingham, ending in a Symphony Hall concert (9th August) prior to their annual performance as part of the BBC Proms. This year’s conductor is CBSO Principal Guest Conductor, Edward Gardner.

In addition, there are performances from members of the 1000-strong Rock Choir, supertenor Russell Watson and 600 Midlands youngsters in AC Academy Youth Choirs, Birmingham’s own excellent musicians of the CBSO Youth Orchestra Academy, the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain Under 12s Orchestra and international visitors Sonlight, the high school choir from Houston, Texas.

Activity extends beyond Town Hall & Symphony Hall: this year, the leading UK choir Ex Cathedra celebrates ten years of its Singing Playgrounds primary schools project which has worked with over 500 schools in the UK and internationally.

Speaking of the importance of musical opportunities for young people, Andrew Jowett OBE, Chief Executive of Town Hall and Symphony Hall said: “We believe that music has the real potential to inspire and even change lives and we know that the opportunity to play or sing at Town Hall and Symphony Hall – two of the world’s most renowned concert halls – creates a memorable and lasting impression on young people. To be able to offer our stages for young musicians to enjoy such rewarding, participative experiences is a fantastic illustration of the value of Birmingham City Council’s funding of our two halls.”