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5 years of the brilliant Bramall: a birthday look back

5 years of the brilliant Bramall: a birthday look back

It’s hard now to picture the perfect red-brick crescent at the heart of the University of Birmingham’s campus without the beloved Bramall Music Building.

Where once was an empty space, now there’s a fully-accessible concert hall, providing both performance and practice space for the university music department, and an incredibly modern venue for the public. The 419-seat Elgar auditorium may not have opened its doors until 2012, but the Bramall building has earned its reputation as one of the most imaginatively-programmed  spaces on the Birmingham arts scene.

Here’s a fond look back, with a special memory for each of our birthday candles.

The very first event held on our beautiful stage back in 2012 was, remarkably, the World Masters  squash championship. A full-size glass squash showcourt was lifted into the auditorium, and Willie Hosey emerged victorious over Dominic Hughes before a rapt audience.

In summer 2013, the Bramall welcomed the extraordinary Sampad south Asian dance company with a celebration of the classical Indian music of Bollywood, featuring singers Sanchita Pal and Sangyogita Kumari.

The Bramall’s pipe organ was installed over one night in 2014, to ensure that it could be tuned in perfect silence. Its baroque styling conceals a hi-tech interior, with electric stop mechanisms and a sequencer, and it was the first to be built in the UK by the esteemed French company Marc Garnier.

Garnier organ

The Bramall Comedy Night really took off in 2015, with performances from stand-up comedians we know and love from Mock the Week, 8 out of 10 Cats and Radio 4 comedy: Joe Lycett, Romesh Ranganathan, Holly Walsh and many more. We loved Nathan Caton when he took the stage in January 2015 – so much so we’re bringing him back to headline next year!

2016 saw the first ever performance of The Animal Symphony, a collaboration between TV naturalist Chris Packham and acclaimed composer Nitin Sawhney. This unique experiment drew on research exploring the effect of music on animals, and is written specifically for our furred and feathered friends to enjoy. It was performed by the CBSO, and broadcast on Sky Arts.

We’re having a birthday party – and you’re invited!

2017 has been just as replete with variety, and our birthday weekend reflects that perfectly. The celebrations run from Friday night to Sunday afternoon, with An Audience with Martin Kemp, silent film The Hunchback of Notre Dame with live organ accompaniment, and a celebration of our musical heritage in Music at the Bramall: 5th Anniversary concert.

Don’t delay! Book your tickets, pull on your party hat and join us for an incredible weekend of chat, film and music.

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