Bramall Music Building 

‘Help us to inspire the next Elgar’

The Bramall Music Building will provide a 450-seat auditorium for music, opera, drama and prestigious lectures as well as state-of-the-art rehearsal and practice rooms and recording facilities.

What’s the impact?


  • Helping to ensure the best quality, best trained musical professionals for the future.
  • Promoting musical performance at the highest level to reach and inspire audiences regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • Completing the University’s central, crescent-shaped Aston Webb building, the inspiration for all subsequent ‘red brick’ universities and a landmark of the University and the city of Birmingham.


Why Birmingham and why now?

The appointment of Sir Edward Elgar as the University of Birmingham’s first Professor of Music led to the creation of one of the country’s leading music departments.

Today the Department of Music continues that heritage, teaching around 200 undergraduate and 50 postgraduate students annually, with strengths in musical composition, early music, 19th Century music, English music and opera from its beginnings to the 20th Century.
Improved teaching and learning facilities are urgently needed to ensure the Department continues to attract and train the best possible students and make an important contribution to the study, composition and performance of music in the UK and worldwide.

What is the need?

The universal nature of music fulfils almost infinite roles including communication, therapy, celebration, teaching and simple pleasure. To attract and develop the top musical professionals and academics of the future, first-class facilities must be offered to reflect the Department’s first-class teaching and research.


The next step


Building contractors have been appointed and construction officially started last month. The next steps are:


  • Lifting of concrete slab on the site (on which the Aitcheson building was based).
  • Creating trenches for new services.
  • Creating trenches for the existing pipes which are currently running over the Physics bridge.
  • Laying foundations.


Key project dates


  • 16 July  - Ground breaking ceremony
  • Spring 2011 - Topping Out
  • Spring 2012 - Completion
  • 24 November 2012 - Opening concert. This will be incorporated into a week of special music events. 


Lead donors


Lead donors to the project include:


  • Sir Dominic Cadbury
  • Professor David Eastwood - Vice-Chancellor
  • Philip Eden (BA Geography, 1972)
  • Dr Doug Ellis (DUniv, 2008)
  • Simon Freakley (BCom Industrial Economics and Business Studies, 1983)
  • Sir David Garrard
  • John (BSocSc Economics, 1980) and Moyra Horseman
  • Phyllida Lloyd (BA English and Drama, 1979; DUniv, 2009)


Lead foundation donors


  • The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust
  • The Charles Henry Foyle Trust
  • The Edward Cadbury Charitable Trust
  • The Garfield Weston Foundation
  • The Liz and Terry (BSc Civil Engineering, 1964) Bramall Charitable Trust)
  • The Wolfson Foundation

How you can help


ThaThanks to the genorosity of our supporters, the £5 million fundraising target has been reached and it is hoped with further funding a custom-made organ will be included as an integral part of the project. Fundraising is ongoing with a ‘Name a Seat Campaign’ where we are asking alumni and friends to name a seat in the auditorium at £1,000 per seat. For further details, contact Philip Addy on

There is a once in a lifetime opportunity to play a part in the future of music at Birmingham and to help us to complete Chamberlain’s original vision. Match funding means that for every £3 donated to the University, the government will donate £1 until 2011; for further information, contact Matt Mangan, tel +44 (0)121 414 8640.











See work on the building progress in our photo gallery


See aerial images of the site here


Take a virtual tour of the auditorium













University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
Tel: +44 121 414 2773. Email:

Privacy | Accessibility | Contact us | FAQs | Terms and conditions | Legal