It may not enjoy the limelight of other classical genres but chamber music is enjoying a revival in the Midlands.
Young musicians in Solihull have been given the chance to join ensembles that will rehearse and perform chamber music pieces.
The project has been set up by Ruth Openshaw and Claire Noakes, head of strings and music at Solihull Music Service, as a way of introducing young musicians to the specialist works.
Written for small groups of musicians, chamber music has often been overlooked by schools and music groups in favour of large orchestras. Despite the passion for the musical genre, funding could not be met by the SMS. Determined to get the project up and running, Solihull Young Musicians Support Association (SYMSA) stepped in to help secure funding.
Having built up good links with the John Lewis store in Solihull, the SYMSA approached it for sponsorship. Although the store could not help directly, it instead received a donation from the arts support fund of the chairman of John Lewis, Charlie Mayfield.
The project has formed a string quartet, a string quintet and two piano trios. They now rehearse and receive chamber music tuition once a week at the Lyndon Music Centre. The John Lewis sponsorship is helping meet half of the cost of tuition for the rehearsals, for an initial period of 12 months.
Alan Homer, at SYMSA, said: "It is great to have a group that expands on the ensembles that already exist in the area. It's things like this that push and develop the students."