Head of Music

A message from Professor Caroline Bithell.

Professor Caroline Bithell

Whether you see yourself as a composer, a performer, an academic or a combination of these, Manchester is the place for you. With more than a hundred concerts and other in-house musical events each year, performance is at the heart of everything we do, and our unrivalled music-making culture binds us together as a community. It's a heady mix. Composers can work with performers. Performers can work with composers. Academics benefit from being around the foremost intellectuals of our time. It's a simple formula, but it works.

The city of Manchester has always been at the forefront of cutting-edge innovation in music. Whether you think of the formation of the Hallé Orchestra in the 19th Century, the New Manchester Group (composers Peter Maxwell Davies, Harrison Birtwistle and Alexander Goehr) in the 1950s or the Madchester scene in the 1980s, Manchester is where it's at. We are proud to build on this legacy as we move forwards into the 21st century.

Performance + Musicology + Composition.

Making Music. Thinking about music. Creating new music. For us at Manchester, these provide the three sides of an equilateral triangle, and we pursue all three to an equal level of excellence.

Professor Caroline Bithell / Head of Music and Professor of Ethnomusicology

Today Manchester is home to three professional orchestras, the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), the main headquarters of the BBC, the Bridgewater Hall, the Manchester Arena and more clubs and popular music venues than you can count. Most of our instrumental and vocal tutors – the very best you will find in the world – are drawn from the city's professional orchestras and many more are shared with the RNCM.

We are committed to helping each and every one of our students to pursue their musical passions and ambitions and hone their existing strengths while also giving them the tools they need to explore new directions and discover the talents they never knew they had. We invite you to explore these pages to discover more about the unique combination of academic excellence and conservatoire standards of performance that makes this possible.