The CBSO's smaller ensembles range from string trios to jazz bands, and perform throughout the season in Centre Stage, our chamber music series at CBSO Centre. They're also at the heart of our Education and Community programme, giving over 75 performances a year in schools and community venues across the Midlands and beyond. Some of the most prominent of our ensembles are listed below, but in any season the CBSO has over 25 smaller associated ensembles in operation. For further details or to book any of these groups, contact Richard Bratby, Senior Education and Ensembles Co-ordinator on 0121 616 6522 or email@example.com.
The Dadelsen Trio
Colin Twigg violin, David Powell cello, Anne de Dadelsen piano
The Dadelsen Trio is one of the CBSO’s most established chamber ensembles and has a fine reputation in the classical piano trio repertoire – its performances in the CBSO's Centre Stage chamber music series have included trios by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Haydn.
The Montpellier String Trio
Marcus Barcham-Stevens violin, Colin Twigg viola, David Powell cello
Specialising in the classical repertoire for string trio, the Montpelliers’ performances of Beethoven, Schubert, Françaix and Mozart in Birmingham, Stratford and Cheltenham have been outstanding features of recent chamber music seasons in the Midlands. This ensemble also collaborates frequently with wind players and pianists to compile attractive lunchtime or evening-length programmes, performed at the highest standard.
The Bottom Line
Ian Ludford cello Sally Morgan double bass
A versatile duo from the bottom end of the orchestra! Ian and Sally are available for concerts with programmes that appeal to all ages, and music ranging from Rossini to Mancini. They also run workshops and give presentations in formal and informal settings, as well as schools - tailored to suit your needs and venue.
Broad Street Breakdown
Broad Street Breakdown is a flexible and energetic group of six to ten musicians. The group includes saxophones, brass, strings and percussion, in a line-up closer to that of a street band than a classical ensemble. Bass player mark Goodchild founded the band in 2004, working with an emphasis on repetitve dance rhythms and with the intention of breaking down the barriers between classicla music and pop culture. The programmes they perform have been specially designed for use in secondary schools, with music that illustrates basic techniques of composition and the ideas of form and structure. Broad Street Breakdown is a high-octane group with a universal appeal to be found in its fusion of musical styles.
El Ultimo Tango
Eduardo Vassallo cello, Nicolas Bricht flute, Mark O’Brien saxophone, Mark Goodchild bass, Fred Lezama Thomas piano
CBSO Principal Cello Eduardo Vassallo assembled this colourful group in July 2002 to pay tribute to his compatriot and friend Astor Piazzolla, king of Nuevo Tango. Using superb new musical arrangements by Mark Goodchild, they bring a unique passion to this sexy, stylish and atmospheric music. Their debut concert at CBSO Centre in July 2002 was a sensation and they’ve been in keen demand ever since. Find out more at www.ultimo-tango.co.uk
The Little Big Time Band
Mike Seal violin, Jon Quirk trumpet, Mark O’Brien clarinet, Tom Millar bass, Peter Hill percussion, Wendy Quirk keyboards
The original CBSO-in-miniature, the LBTB is a familiar sound in schools and community venues across Birmingham and beyond. This 6-piece ensemble has a huge repertoire of orchestral favourites, arranged in the Band’s unique style and delivered with their trademark humour and showmanship. A whole orchestral concert in bite-size pieces.
Read The Little Big Time Band brochure (PDF, 986kb)
The Brindley String Quartet
Fiona D'Souza violin, Elizabeth Golding violin, Mike Jenkinson viola, Kate Setterfield cello
The Leo String Quartet
Jane Sidebottom violin, Byron Parish violin, Mike Jenkinson viola, Kate Setterfield cello
Our Quartets are established concert ensembles in their own right, but have a fine pedigree in providing background music at some of Birmingham’s most prestigious events – with a repertoire of popular string quartets and light classics extending from Bach to Cole Porter by way of Handel, Mozart, Borodin and Gershwin. The Leo String Quartet
Wes Warren, Jon Holland trumpets Martin Wright horn Tony Howe trombone Ian Foster tuba
Nothing raises the roof quite like a brass group – and the CBSO’s brass quintet is the perfect ensemble for festive occasions, ceremonial events, or just an evening of tuneful entertainment. Whether giving a summer afternoon concert in the Brindleyplace bandstand, playing fanfares for civic ceremonies, or tackling the classical repertoire for brass in the CBSO Centre Stage series, these five versatile players fit the bill, with music ranging from baroque to jazz and all points in between.
The Berkley Salon Ensemble
Alwyn Green director
Since its launch in December 2000, the 10-piece Berkley Salon Ensemble has become one of the most popular of the CBSO’s chamber ensembles, famed for its sell-out “Palm Court Christmas Parties” at CBSO Centre each December. It's a Salon Orchestra of the kind found in hotels, dance-halls, cinemas and ocean liners throughout the golden age of light music. From the forgotten classics of British light music, to the early days of swing and 50s dancebands, “lollipops” by Elgar, Tchaikovsky and Massenet mingling with "Light Programme" favourites, foxtrots and showtunes, the BSE evokes the sounds of a more leisured age.
Read the Berkley Salon Ensemble brochure (PDF, 1200kb)
Innovation Chamber Ensemble
Richard Jenkinson, director
A vibrant string ensemble ranging in size from quartet to sixteen-piece orchestra, the ICE has already made a splash in the Midlands’ musical life; its début CD, including music by Mozart, Elgar, Boccherini and world premieres of pieces by Robert Farnon and Paul da Vinci, was launched in December 2002 and followed critically acclaimed concerts in Birmingham and London’s Wigmore Hall. Sparkling conductor-less performances of the smaller string orchestra repertoire from some of the CBSO’s leading players. Find out more at www.innovationchamberensemble.co.uk
To book one of the above ensembles, contact Richard Bratby, Senior Education and Ensembles Co-ordinator, on 0121 616 6522 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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