Project information

Towards a Centre of Baroque Excellence

No other UK city has a resource like Ex Cathedra, and our Baroque Orchestra is unique in Birmingham. It is extremely highly regarded, but funding cuts mean it is under threat. We wish to put our orchestral concerts on a sustainable footing and develop a Centre of Baroque Excellence

March 2016 - March 2017

Charity information: Ex Cathedra Ltd

Ex Cathedra Ltd logo
  • Need

    Need

    Our Baroque Orchestra is vital to our artistic aims and ambitions, it provides our audiences with a unique insight into the era in which the music was originally composed and performed, and provides an important platform for talent development. Orchestral concerts are the most expensive we programme and in a period of funding cuts they have declined to just 1-2 per year. It is essential the orchestra has regular opportunities to rehearse and perform together or the above benefits will be lost.

    Solution

    We are building towards a Centre of Baroque Excellence, based in Birmingham. It will be a sustainable programme of activity for the Baroque Orchestra which will attract the best students to study in Birmingham and be trained to the highest level for a career in Baroque performing, a collaboration between Ex Cathedra and Birmingham Conservatoire. However, a pre-requisite is to maintain the excellence of the orchestra, with a minimum number of 4 performances from March 2016 to March 2017.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Regular opportunities for the orchestra to work, essential for its unique style, sound and identity

    Activities

    » Minimum of 4 concerts involving the Baroque Orchestra from March 2016 to March 2017, with repertoire from Bach to Brazilian Christmas music

    Programme minimum of 4 performances involving the Baroque Orchestra each year, performing a wide range of repertoire from Early to contemporary music


    Aim 2

    Exceptional opportunities for young instrumentalists to learn alongside some the UK’s finest players

    Activities

    » Minimum of 4 concerts involving the Baroque Orchestra from March 2016 to March 2017, with repertoire from Bach to Brazilian Christmas music

    Programme minimum of 4 performances involving the Baroque Orchestra each year, booking the best emerging instrumentalists alongside the world's finest period instrumentalists


    Aim 3

    Maintain our Baroque Orchestra as an important part of the arts infrastructure and cultural offer

    Activities

    » Minimum of 4 concerts involving the Baroque Orchestra from March 2016 to March 2017, with repertoire from Bach to Brazilian Christmas music

    Programme minimum of 4 performances, audience of over 3,500 to hear a wide range of repertoire performed by a leading period instrument orchestra, and the only one in Birmingham


    Aim 4

    Secure the platform on which we plan to develop a national Centre of Baroque Excellence

    Activities

    » Formalize relationship with Birmingham Conservatoire to jointly attract the best students and deliver world class training in Baroque performance

    Regular opportunities are essential to the unique style, sound and identity of an orchestra. Conversations with Birmingham Conservatoire and funders to develop national Centre


  • Impact

    Impact

    Formalize relationship between Ex Cathedra and Birmingham Conservatoire, to create a national Centre of Baroque Excellence, offering exceptional opportunities for young instrumentalists to learn and perform alongside some the UK’s finest players, supporting the retention of talent in the region and the long-term sustainability of our Baroque Orchestra

    Risk

    Substantial funding will be needed to create a national Centre of Baroque Excellence. We are mitigating this with ongoing conversations with Birmingham Conservatoire, potential funders, and we are seeking to augment our fundraising capacity.

    Reporting

    Funders of the project will receive a report in April 2017 updating them on the progress achieved, any necessary changes, lessons learned and outcomes, as well as an update on the development of the Centre of Baroque Excellence. An interim progress report can be provided in April 2016 if requested.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £80,400

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      Amount Heading Description
      £21,200 Bach St John Passion, Mar 2016 Professional fees, venue hire and associated costs for promoting at Birmingham Cathedral
      £22,500 Bach B Minor Mass, Oct 2016 Professional fees, venue hire and associated costs for promoting at Birmingham Town Hall
      £18,500 A Brazilian Christmas Dec 2016 Professional fees, venue hire and associated costs for promoting at Birmingham Town Hall
      £18,200 Purcell Dido & Aeneas Mar 2017 Professional fees, venue hire and associated costs for promoting at Birmingham Town Hall
  • Background

    Location

    Birmingham is the UK's second city and Ex Cathedra draws its concert audiences from across the region: 37% say they travel 20+ miles, including 5.5% who say they travel 150+ miles per concert. Birmingham is one of the youngest and most diverse cities in Europe. It deserves a rich and diverse cultural offer, including a world-class Baroque Orchestra (every major city should), and it should be able to retain talent from its HE institutions in the city, which it struggles to achieve.

    Beneficiaries

    Highly talented graduate period instrumentalists will benefit from increased opportunities to work professionally in Birmingham, alongside the world-class players who trained them at Birmingham Conservatoire. Audiences will benefit from a rich programme in which they can hear period performances of Baroque classics alongside unusual repertoire like 'early' Brazilian Christmas music.
    As we develop a Centre of Baroque Excellence, hundreds of HE students will be engaged in training and performance

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Ex Cathedra is about training and performing excellence and is widely recognised as such. Recent recognition includes being shortlisted for a Grammy Award 2015, and Jeffrey Skidmore's OBE. Our Baroque Orchestra was the first to be founded in an English regional city, in 1983-84. We already have strong links to Birmingham Conservatoire where Jeffrey is Head of the Early Music Programme.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Jeffrey Skidmore

    Founder, artistic director & conductor of Ex Cathedra

    Peter Trethewey

    General Manager of Ex Cathedra

Bach St Matthew Passion at Symphony Hall

Bach St Matthew Passion at Symphony Hall

the fantastic Ex Cathedra

The Guardian