BA Music - Classical (Hons)


Program Description

BA Music - Classical (Hons)


It takes hard work and initiative to make it in today's fast-moving music industry – which is why the BA (Hons) Classical pathway at Leeds College of Music focuses on equipping you with the tools and experience required to sustain a portfolio career.

Built around a mixture of one-to-one tuition, small-ensemble work and seminars, this is a contemporary, highly performance-based course. Whether you choose to specialise in Classical or combine it with any of our other pathways – Jazz, Popular Music or Music Production – you will develop into a fine specialist performer or composer with the commercial skills to earn a living in a highly competitive field.


With access to the Conservatoire's own concert hall (The Venue) and Recital Room, numerous ensembles and the Jazz, Popular and Production communities, your opportunities to perform – and to have your compositions performed – are unlimited.

Your core skills – theory, harmony, composing and orchestration, etc. – are developed through themed projects, and in your second and third year you focus on your strengths, with options ranging from Music and Ideology to Composition and Production for the Moving Image, and Musical Direction.

There is a strong concentration on preparing you for life after graduation, with modules designed to introduce you to the creative industries, expand on your business and marketing skills and enhance essential personal skills such as project management – and in your final year you undertake a substantial independent project in Community Music, Music Journalism or Events Management.

Students are often asked to take part in professional recordings, concerts and other projects, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to network and make valuable contacts.


BA (Hons) students receive 120 hours of specialist one-to-one tuition across three years, meaning you gain invaluable insights into the music industry from professionals who have first-hand experience of working within it.

Your tutors are conductors (Dr David Fligg), composers and authors (Dr Carl Vincent), and have played with groups as prestigious as The Sixteen (Robert Ashworth, horn) and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Martyn Shaw, flute/piccolo), appeared on TV and radio including Later with Jools Holland (Jonathan Enright, trombone), given recitals at Wigmore and Cadogan halls and recorded for Toccata Classics and Naxos (Jakob Fichert, piano), and founded festivals (Jane Anthony, voice).

They are joined throughout the year by visiting professors, many of whom are international stars: joining us for 2012/13 are violinist Charlie Siem, clarinettist Emma Johnson, soprano Deborah York and pianist Wolfgang Manz.


Our BA (Hons) Classical pathway prepares you for a dynamic portfolio career that could see you performing, composing, teaching, or working in the creative industries in anything from arts marketing to events management – and working with students on our other pathways stands you in good stead for a future that will require you to communicate, collaborate and innovate across disciplines. More than 90% of our 2011/12 graduates are in employment or further study.

BA (Hons) Classical alumni include composers Katherine Gillham, Bryn Harrison and Andrew Smith. Within a year of graduating, Katherine became an SPNM shortlisted composer; she has had works performed at the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall, and also works as a teacher, workshop leader, vocalist and pianist. Bryn has written for the London Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and is now Head of Composition at the University of Huddersfield, while Andrew has held a residency with the Hallé Orchestra.

After graduating in 2007, Ashley Hicklin signed a worldwide publishing deal with EMI – and, now with a three-album deal with Ferryhouse/Warner Music, is making a name for himself as a singer-songwriter, both as a performer and writing for others.

Wendy Carr has taken a lead role in Emmy Award-winning composer Martyn Swain's new musical Ruby and the 13th Door, and soprano Lucia Walsh-Hughes has a successful career performing at corporate events and other engagements.

Last updated Jan 2018

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About the School

At Leeds College of Music we provide a stimulating and collaborative environment in which students can become creative, confident and versatile practitioners in their chosen fields. See how our relati ... Read More

At Leeds College of Music we provide a stimulating and collaborative environment in which students can become creative, confident and versatile practitioners in their chosen fields. See how our relationships with Leeds City College and the University of Bradford help us provide opportunities for the local, national and international communities to engage with music and music-making of the highest standards. Read less