Skip to content

World-famous orchestra brings musical expertise to students and communities in Nottingham

The BBC Concert Orchestra has partnered with the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University to give students world-class performance, composition, and production experiences. The partnership will also reach schools and local communities through projects designed to improve quality of life and wellbeing of people in the city as well as supporting the music education sector in the region.

BBC Concert Orchestra
BBC Concert Orchestra

The partnership will begin with a year-long filmmaking and scoring project, involving students from both universities. The project will culminate in workshops with BBC Concert Orchestra musicians and BAFTA and multi-Emmy Award-winning composer, George Fenton. There will also be improvisation workshops with renowned musicians and composers.

A new BBC Radio 3 Recital Series including New Generation Artists will be recorded in collaboration with students in Djanogly and University Halls, and there are plans for further broadcast programmes as the partnership develops.

The partnership will:

  • Give students regular access to one of the UK’s most highly rated professional broadcast orchestras so that they can develop their skills and gain industry experience that will increase their employability.
  • Develop new pathways to highly skilled technical roles in the broadcast industry.
  • Create new research and development opportunities, focusing on areas such as the social impact of music, digital technologies in music practice and audience engagement.
  • Support music-making with young people across curricular and extra-curricular settings.

The partnership supports the mission of the Universities for Nottingham to support economic prosperity, raise educational attainment in disadvantaged communities, boost environmental sustainability, improve health and wellbeing, and create impactful connections between students, academics and local communities in Nottingham.

Professor Jeremy Gregory, Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts at the University of Nottingham said: “This is a unique opportunity to develop and enhance the cultural life of Nottingham. The partnership will showcase the talent, research and cultural offering of our region. It will be invaluable to students, who’ll be working with a world-class orchestra to develop their industry experience, and it will create community outreach opportunities that will benefit diverse groups across the city. We also look forward to exploring a wide range of research opportunities.”

Amy Bere, Director of Culture at Nottingham Trent University added: “This is an exciting partnership that not only benefits our colleagues and students but also the wider community. Collaboration between all partners will showcase the talent, research and cultural offering of our region, putting Nottingham firmly on the cultural map. Our students will benefit from new courses and access to one of the UK’s most highly rated broadcast orchestras. There will also be research and development opportunities and the chance to enhance our facilities. We will be able to not only reach large audiences across the UK, but bring music to local communities where it doesn’t currently play a large role, to demonstrate how it can improve quality of life, health and wellbeing.”

The partnership will start with a two-week BBC Concert Orchestra Residency, placing the BBC production activity at the heart of research and training programmes, and building on the BBC Concert Orchestra’s already growing presence in the city. The BBC Concert Orchestra will be London-based and will continue to perform and rehearse in venues in London, across the UK and – as announced today – as part of a new long-term partnership in Nottingham. This approach will help to secure a creatively and financially sustainable future for the ensemble.

Simon Webb, Head of BBC Orchestras and Choirs said: “This partnership between the BBC Concert Orchestra and the universities of Nottingham builds on the existing relationship between the orchestra and the city. What we have planned for this partnership is ambitious and incredibly exciting, and demonstrates the vital role of music in education. I look forward to working with the teams in Nottingham and sharing our world class music making with students and local communities.”

The benefits of music and music education are innumerable, and a unique opportunity to develop and enhance the cultural life of Nottingham. The partnership will showcase the talent, research and cultural offering of our region. It will be invaluable to students, who’ll be working with a world-class orchestra to develop their industry experience, and it will create community outreach opportunities that will benefit diverse groups across the city. We also look forward to exploring a wide range of research opportunities.

The mission of the BBC Concert Orchestra is to bring inspiring musical experiences to everyone, everywhere. It offers enjoyable and innovative education and community activities through concerts, pop-up performances and learning projects in schools and educational establishments. More information about upcoming performances and events is available here.

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Sarah McLeod, Corporate PR Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8735, or via email.

    About the University of Nottingham

    Ranked 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2023, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

    The University is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

    The University is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research. We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2021 for cultural heritage science research. It is the second time that NTU has been bestowed the honour of receiving a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research, the first being in 2015 for leading-edge research on the safety and security of global citizens.

    The Research Excellence Framework (2021) classed 83% of NTU’s research activity as either world-leading or internationally excellent. 86% of NTU’s research impact was assessed to be either world-leading or internationally excellent.

    NTU was awarded The Times and The Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2023 and ranked University of the Year in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023. It was awarded Outstanding Support for Students 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards), University of the Year 2019 (Guardian University Awards, UK Social Mobility Awards), Modern University of the Year 2018 (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide) and University of the Year 2017 (Times Higher Education Awards).

    NTU is the 5th largest UK institution by student numbers, with approximately 40,000 students and more than 4,400 staff located across five campuses. It has an international student population of 7,000 and an NTU community representing over 160 countries.

    Since 2000, NTU has invested £570 million in tools, technology, buildings and facilities.

    NTU is in the UK’s top 10 for number of applications and ranked first for accepted offers (2021 UCAS UG acceptance data). It is also among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was the first UK university to sign the Social Mobility Pledge.

    NTU is ranked the second most sustainable university in the world in the 2022 UI Green Metric University World Rankings (out of more than 900 participating universities).

    About the BBC Concert Orchestra

    The mission of the BBC Concert Orchestra is to bring inspiring musical experiences to everyone, everywhere, with the ensemble’s versatility as the key. The orchestra can be heard on BBC Radio 2’s Sunday Night Is Music Night and for BBC Radio 3 it explores a wide selection of music, ranging from classical to contemporary. They have performed on many soundtracks, including Blue Planet and Serengeti for BBC One, and this year have worked with over 20 artists, including Stormzy and Noel Gallagher, for BBC Radio 2’s Piano Room with BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds.

Published on 27 June 2023
  • Category: Press office