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The Birmingham Music Festival is one of Britain's leading piano competitions.


We welcome entrants of all ages and all abilities from enthusiastic beginners and gifted amateurs to veteran competitors.  

We have a fantastic venue: The Ruddock Performing Arts Centre at King Edward’s Schools, the BMF offers high quality grand pianos in both of our performance theatres and adjudicators to match.


We think the Birmingham Music Festival offers the very best in amateur music making.

We look forward to seeing you at the Festival!

For information about Summer Concert 2024 click here

The 2024 Birmingham Music Festival will take place on
12 and 13 October 2024


The Ruddock Performing Arts Centre at King Edward’s Schools

Edgbaston Park Road



B15 2UA


We have made the following change to our syllabus this year:

  • Class 17: Romantic Connections - Open class - Any original piano composition by Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Clara or Robert Schumann.

If you are considering entering in 2024, do not wait too much longer or you may find that you are unable to enter your preferred classes (or at all!)

The Grade classes are the most popular, followed by the Age classes - please bear this in mind.

The Open Recital class will have no more than 10 competitors so please register early.


We are delighted to announce that our President Margaret Fingerhut has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List 2024 for Services to Music and Charitable Fundraising.

Congratulations, Margaret!


The 82nd Birmingham Music Festival is now open for entries.

We have made a few detailed changes to our entry pages, so please take care to read them as a few things are different from in prior years. But overall the fundamental structure remains intact and we hope that you welcome the changes that we have made.

We welcome back two popular adjudicators: Ruth Gerald and Timothy Barratt. Both can be relied upon to give perceptive and helpful comments in their adjudications.

As ever we must advise you to enter early. Every year we close early and have to reject entries as we have become full. Indeed, some classes, especially the junior ones, may be closed before other classes as we reach our physical capacity in the music theatre. 

We are looking forward to seeing you and hearing you play in October!

Our Aim:

"The object of the Festival is to advance, encourage and foster the art of music making by holding and promoting an annual competitive festival of public performances, recitals and concerts"

In partnership with:

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Festival 2024

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If you are entering children (or a vulnerable adult) into the Festival, please click here to review our Child Protection Policy..

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We are sharing with you the announcement that Richard Abel is stepping down from the Birmingham Music Festival on health grounds. Richard has steadily led the Festival for more than a decade and has seen it grow into a major magnet for pianists in the Birmingham area and beyond. We are sad to see him go.

As chairman, Richard has been tirelessly supporting the Festival and music making. Our winners went on to take prizes in major national and international music competitions, engage with instrumental bands and make successful steps into a career in music. Quality feedback from the Festival's specialist adjudicators and an opportunity to perform on a professional grade instrument contributed to the education of many young pianists in Birmingham and the wider region, and Richard's dedication was key in all this.

While we will miss Richard's leadership, the Birmingham Music Festival will continue as usual, supported by volunteers and run by the Committee headed by the new chairman, Olga Maleva.

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The BMF is a registered charity and relies on external funding to provide our annual Festival. Please help by making a donation if you can.


This is how you can help us: 



If you would like to make a voluntary contribution to our finances please click here:

We will acknowledge your funding support to our operations in future years in our Festival programme.

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We are sometimes short of help on the days of the Festival.


Could you help us on one or both days by acting as a presenter or adjudicator’s clerk?


Experience of a festival environment is an advantage but not a requirement as brief training can be given. We will provide lunch and refreshments.


If so, please contact us. You will not be offered to act in any class in which you, a member of your family or one of your students is performing.

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