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September 2014

7.30pmTuesday 16th September

BEETHOVEN WEEK: THE EROICA

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons

Beethoven Cycle: Symphonies 1, 2 & 3

The symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven are the greatest journey any conductor and orchestra can take together, and tonight, Andris Nelsons and the CBSO begin that adventure once more. The first two symphonies are the sound of a young genius stretching his wings and then, with the two mighty chords that open the Eroica, changing music forever. They'll knock you backwards. Supported by ...

2.15pmThursday 18th September

BEETHOVEN WEEK: THE FIFTH SYMPHONY

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons

Beethoven Cycle: Symphonies 4 & 5

"Thus Fate knocks at the door!" Everyone's heard the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, but if that's all you've heard, you're in for a thrilling surprise, as Andris Nelsons' Beethoven cycle arrives at the most famous symphony of all time. Prepare to be electrified - and to be delighted by the Fifth's prettier, funnier little sister: the joyous Fourth Symphony. 1pm - FREE pre-concert performance by Trio Severn. Beethoven Week: Opus 1 Beethoven: Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 1 No. 3 Supported by ...

7.00pmSaturday 20th September

BEETHOVEN WEEK: THE PASTORAL

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons

Beethoven Cycle: Symphonies 6 & 7

From spring-fresh opening to serene finish, there's no experience in music more life-affirming than Beethoven's lovely Pastoral Symphony. And there's none more gloriously, exuberantly, physical than his unstoppable Seventh - the piece that made even Richard Wagner get up and dance! Andris Nelsons' journey through Beethoven's symphonies reaches two of the most enduringly popular masterpieces in all music. Beethoven Week: The Ghost 5.45pm - FREE pre-concert performance by Trio Severn. Beethoven: Piano Trio in D Op. 70 No. 1 (The Ghost) Supported by ...

7.00pmSunday 21st September

BEETHOVEN WEEK: THE CHORAL SYMPHONY

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Dasch, Braun, Johnson, Mlinde, CBSO Chorus

Beethoven Cycle: Symphonies 8 & 9

Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is the summit of any Beethoven cycle - and some might say, the whole of classical music. But there's a lifetime of experience to live through before we get to that final, transcendent Ode To Joy, and Beethoven's explosive little Eighth Symphony launches a concert that's sure to be one of the most talked-about events in Birmingham this year. Supported by ...

7.30pmWednesday 24th September

PANUFNIK CENTENARY

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Seal, Donohoe

Stravinsky, Beethoven, Panufnik, Wagner

When Andrzej Panufnik escaped from communist Poland, Britain offered him a home - and so it was that one of Europe's greatest post-war composers became principal conductor of the CBSO. Tonight, on what would have been his 100th birthday, we celebrate with some of the music Panufnik conducted in Birmingham, and two of his own finest works: as fresh and communicative today as when he conducted them here himself. Supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of Polska Music programme ...

7.30pmThursday 2nd October

ROMANTIC JOURNEYS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Wigglesworth, Tynan

Sibelius, Mozart, Wigglesworth, Debussy

Mozart composed, directed and performed his own music. So does the remarkable young British musician Ryan Wigglesworth, and the 21-year old Mozart's lively piano concerto is just one of the delightful waypoints on tonight's musical voyage of discovery: a concert that begins on Sibelius's sunlit Mediterranean and ends in Debussy's storm-tossed English Channel - by way of Wigglesworth's own, glittering homage to the Romantics. ...

7.30pmWednesday 8th October

BRUCH'S VIOLIN CONCERTO

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Sinaisky, Jackson

Smetana, Bruch, Dvorak

Autumn sunshine: cellos and horns sing a quiet hymn, a bird sings cheerfully, and in a flurry of drums and trumpets, Dvorák's Eighth Symphony is on its way. Symphonies simply don't get much happier than this - and violin concertos don't get much more popular than Bruch's First, performed by the CBSO's leader, Laurence Jackson. Smetana's tuneful trip down the River Vltava starts our journey today. ...

2.15pmThursday 9th October

BRUCH'S VIOLIN CONCERTO

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Smetana, Sinaisky, Jackson

Bruch, Dvorak

Autumn sunshine: cellos and horns sing a quiet hymn, a bird sings cheerfully, and in a flurry of drums and trumpets, Dvorák's Eighth Symphony is on its way. Symphonies simply don't get much happier than this - and violin concertos don't get much more popular than Bruch's First, performed by the CBSO's leader, Laurence Jackson. Smetana's tuneful trip down the River Vltava starts our journey today. ...

7.30pmThursday 16th October

BARTÓK UNCOVERED

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Gardner, Rissmann

Bartok, Brahms

Exiled to America, Béla Bartók re-invented himself, and his Concerto for Orchestra is far more than just one of the most entertaining showpieces ever created for a great symphony orchestra. In this specially-devised concert, presenter Paul Rissman uses illustrations, anecdotes and the full CBSO to unlock the puzzles, secrets and not-so private jokes of this 20th century landmark - before Edward Gardner conducts a complete live performance. ...

3.00pmSaturday 18th October

BARTÓK'S CONCERTO FOR ORCHESTRA

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Gardner, Schwizgebel

Bartok, Brahms, Liszt

Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra begins in darkness, and ends with a shout of joy. In between comes the ultimate work-out for orchestra: 40 minutes of zingy tunes, fabulous colours and raw feeling. It's the ear-tingling climax to a concert filled with fireworks, whether Brahms's playful dances, or a terrific young pianist dancing with the devil in Liszt's white-hot First Concerto. ...

7.30pmWednesday 22nd October

MEDITERRANEAN CLASSICS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Altinoglu, Capuçon

Rossini, Berlioz, Stravinsky, Ravel

Pirates of the Mediterranean, hard-drinking bandits, and Greek gods who know how to party... just another night in with the CBSO! The French conductor Alain Altinoglu caused quite a stir last season; tonight he's devised a concert with a Mediterranean flavour, from Berlioz's Byronic fantasy to the Olympian grace of Stravinsky's art-deco ballet, and the sensuous, shiver-down-the-spine beauty of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé. Pure hedonism: go on, indulge! 6.15pm - Conservatoire Showcase Granville Bantock: Pagan Symphony Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michael Seal, performs a neglected work by one of the CBSO's founders. ...

7.30pmFriday 24th October

FRIDAY NIGHT CLASSICS: TV AND ADVERT CLASSICS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Seal, Gaspar, Whatley

TV and Advert Classics

Prokofiev Montagues and Capulets The Apprentice Bach Orchestral Suite No. 3 - Air Hamlet Sibelius Karelia Suite - Intermezzo This Week Bellini Casta Diva Jean-Paul Gaultier Grieg In the Hall of the Mountain King Alton Towers Délibes Lakmé - Flower Duet British Airways Coates The Dam Busters Carling Black Label Rossini William Tell - Overture The Lone Ranger Wagner Ride of the Valkyries British Gas Bucalossi Grasshopper's Dance Milk ...

2.30pmSunday 26th October

FAMILY CONCERT: CARTOON CLASSICS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Seal, Wilkinson

Cartoon Classics

What's up, doc? You might not realise it - but if you're a fan of The Simpsons, The Incredibles or Bugs Bunny, you've probably heard enough classical music to fill a concert! And this is that concert: one hour full of looney tunes, silly symphonies and merry melodies for the whole family. Well-known classics including The Sorcerer's Apprentice, William Tell Overture, Ride of the Valkyries, Blue Danube Waltz and many more are brought to life by Naomi Wilkinson of Channel 5's Milkshake and CBBC fame and the 80 distinctly animated musicians of the CBSO! FREE workshops in the foyers from 1pm. ...

2.15pmWednesday 29th October

NELSONS CONDUCTS STRAUSS AND BRAHMS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Vassallo, Yates

Strauss, Brahms

Battling windmills, flying horses and a very angry herd of sheep... Richard Strauss's warm-hearted take on the tale of Don Quixote is one of music's all-time comic masterpieces. Brahms's First Symphony is made of sterner stuff - but it still tells an epic story of tragedy and hope, crowned by one of the noblest tunes ever written. Andris Nelsons will give it his all. ...

7.30pmThursday 30th October

NELSONS CONDUCTS STRAUSS AND BRAHMS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Vassallo, Yates

Strauss, Brahms

Battling windmills, flying horses and a very angry herd of sheep... Richard Strauss's warm-hearted take on the tale of Don Quixote is one of music's all-time comic masterpieces. Brahms's First Symphony is made of sterner stuff - but it still tells an epic story of tragedy and hope, crowned by one of the noblest tunes ever written. Andris Nelsons will give it his all. The annual Patrons' Reception takes place afetr this concert. For information, contact Claire Watts on 0121 616 6533. ...

7.00pmSunday 2nd November

THE PLANETS: CBSO YOUTH ORCHESTRA:

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Gernon, Ainsley, CBSO Youth Chorus

Turnage, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Matthews

Since 2004, the CBSO's world-class Youth Orchestra has been pushing back the frontiers of what young musicians can achieve. Tonight, in a special 10th anniversary celebration, CBSO Youth Orchestra alumnus Ben Gernon conducts our superb young players in Holst's spectacular The Planets, and unwraps a unique birthday present: a powerful new work, inspired by the year 1914, from one of Britain's greatest living composers. ...

7.30pmThursday 6th November

WAR AND PEACE

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Shani, Piemontesi

Prokofiev, Beethoven

Composed in wartime Russia and premiered to the sound of gunfire, Prokofiev's Fifth was considered by the composer to be a "symphony of the greatness of the human spirit". But, like his opera War and Peace, it's also a stirring chronicle of a nation's final push to victory. They'll make a powerful Birmingham debut for the award-winning young conductor Lahav Shani; between them, Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto will be an oasis of calm. ...

7.30pmWednesday 12th November

RUSSIAN CLASSICS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Gimeno, Trpceski

Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev

No composer puts on a show quite like Tchaikovsky - whether it's the world's most famous love theme in his Romeo and Juliet overture, or the high-kicking, vodka-fuelled festivities that close his shamelessly tuneful "Little Russian" Symphony. In his CBSO debut, the energetic young Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimeno should get the pulse racing - and joins Birmingham favourite Simon Trpceski in Prokofiev's best-loved piano concerto. 6.15pm: Conservatoire Showcase A FREE 30-minute piano recital, performed by rising stars of Birmingham Conservatoire. ...

2.15pmThursday 13th November

RUSSIAN CLASSICS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Gimeno, Trpceski

Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev

No composer puts on a show quite like Tchaikovsky - whether it's the world's most famous love theme in his Romeo and Juliet overture, or the high-kicking, vodka-fuelled festivities that close his shamelessly tuneful "Little Russian" Symphony. In his CBSO debut, the energetic young Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimeno should get the pulse racing - and joins Birmingham favourite Simon Trpceski in Prokofiev's best-loved piano concerto. This concert is followed by a Members' Afternoon Tea with Gustavo Gimeno. For information, contact Claire Watts on 0121 616 6533. ...

3.00pmSunday 16th November

THE FINAL: DUDLEY-YAMAHA INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Seal, Competition Finalists

The Final: Dudley International Piano Competition

For nearly 50 years, the Dudley-Yamaha International Piano Competition has been one of the UK's leading piano competitions - and with past competitors including Paul Lewis, Peter Donohoe and Joanna MacGregor, it has a real knack for discovering the keyboard stars of tomorrow. Today's concerto final pits three superb young pianists against each other in three full-scale concertos; whoever wins, this should be an afternoon of really electrifying music-making. Come and share the thrills. 2014 Jury: John Humphreys • Mark Bebbington Peter Donohoe • Mikhail Kazakevich Paul Lewis • Noriko Ogawa Siva Oke • Lucy Parham Martin Roscoe • Allan Schiller Michael Seal • Andrew Wilde ...

7.30pmWednesday 19th November

SPIRIT OF 1945

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Collon, Leleux

Britten, Copland, Strauss, Shostakovich

1945: year zero. In the USSR, Shostakovich blew a raspberry at Uncle Joe Stalin. In America, Copland conjured a magical picture of lost innocence. In Germany, Richard Strauss was also retreating from the horrors of wartime into an idealised classical past. And in Wolverhampton, Benjamin Britten rehearsed an opera that would change the face of British music. A musical portrait of an extraordinary time - conducted by one of the most dynamic young conductors of our own day. ...

7.30pmFriday 21st November

FRIDAY NIGHT CLASSICS: SONGS FROM THE SIXTIES

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Balcombe, Carewe, Osmon, Jiear, Bickley

Songs from the Sixties

Up, Up and Away Monday Monday/California Dreamin' Music to Watch the Girls Go By • At Last Downtown • You're My World I Only Want To Be With You • MacArthur Park Everlasting Love • Something Stupid Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In • Alfie 60s TV Themes (from Thunderbirds / Avengers / Mission Impossible / Star Trek / Aqua Marina) The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life? Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps • I Close My EyesGod Only Knows • To Sir with Love Don't Make Me Over Wouldn't you like to ride in our beautiful balloon? There's never been a decade quite like the 60s - and tonight, the CBSO and an all-star West End cast get down and groovy with the songs that defined a generation. Presented in association...

2.15pmThursday 27th November

NELSONS CONDUCTS BRUCKNER'S SEVENTH

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Hough

Schumann, Bruckner

Imagine a symphony played by an angel. That's how Anton Bruckner first dreamed of the blissful opening melody of his Seventh Symphony - and when you hear it, you'll understand why: this is music that scales sublime heights and heartrending depths. For Andris Nelsons, it's a labour of love; so he begins by teaming up with the incomparable Stephen Hough in Schumann's ever-fresh love-poem of a Piano Concerto. ...

7.00pmSaturday 29th November

NELSONS CONDUCTS BRUCKNER'S SEVENTH

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Hough

Schumann, Bruckner

Imagine a symphony played by an angel. That's how Anton Bruckner first dreamed of the blissful opening melody of his Seventh Symphony - and when you hear it, you'll understand why: this is music that scales sublime heights and heartrending depths. For Andris Nelsons, it's a labour of love; so he begins by teaming up with the incomparable Stephen Hough in Schumann's ever-fresh love-poem of a Piano Concerto. ...

7.30pmThursday 4th December

MACMILLAN'S ST LUKE PASSION

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

MacMillan, Spence, Watkins, CBSO Chorus, CBSO Youth Chorus

Britten, MacMillan

James MacMillan has been called the greatest British composer since Britten, and his music is urgent, melodious, and burning to communicate. The UK premiere of his St Luke Passion - co-commissioned for the 40th anniversary of the CBSO Chorus - is a major event, and with the composer himself conducting our famous choruses, this is a chance to experience musical history in the making. This concert also forms part of the Birmingham International Concert Season. It can be booked as part of a CBSO or Birmingham International Concert Season concert package. ...

10.30amFriday 5th December

NOTELETS: CHRISTMAS CRACKERS

CBSO Centre, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0491

CBSO Brass Ensemble, Arlidge

Christmas Crackers

What better Christmas gift for the youngest members of the family than this special toddler-friendly Christmas concert at CBSO Centre? Join members of the CBSO brass section for some festive musical treats bringing seasonal fun to this magical time of year. Each concert lasts 45 minutes and there will be lively presentation, lots to see, and plenty of chances for fidgety feet to dance their way through the concert. "We know Notelets audiences need to move: they are active, they want to join in, there is nothing passive about a three-year old! At our performances they get up close to the action, they dance, sing, march and listen. No wonder tickets are hard to come by!" Catherine Arlidge, CBSO violinist and Notelets presenter FREE craft activities take place from an...

1.30pmFriday 5th December

NOTELETS: CHRISTMAS CRACKERS

CBSO Centre, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0491

CBSO Brass Ensemble, Arlidge

Christmas Crackers

What better Christmas gift for the youngest members of the family than this special toddler-friendly Christmas concert at CBSO Centre? Join members of the CBSO brass section for some festive musical treats bringing seasonal fun to this magical time of year. Each concert lasts 45 minutes and there will be lively presentation, lots to see, and plenty of chances for fidgety feet to dance their way through the concert. "We know Notelets audiences need to move: they are active, they want to join in, there is nothing passive about a three-year old! At our performances they get up close to the action, they dance, sing, march and listen. No wonder tickets are hard to come by!" Catherine Arlidge, CBSO violinist and Notelets presenter FREE craft activities take place from an...

11.00amSaturday 6th December

NOTELETS: CHRISTMAS CRACKERS

CBSO Centre, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0491

CBSO Brass Ensemble, Arlidge

Christmas Crackers

What better Christmas gift for the youngest members of the family than this special toddler-friendly Christmas concert at CBSO Centre? Join members of the CBSO brass section for some festive musical treats bringing seasonal fun to this magical time of year. Each concert lasts 45 minutes and there will be lively presentation, lots to see, and plenty of chances for fidgety feet to dance their way through the concert. "We know Notelets audiences need to move: they are active, they want to join in, there is nothing passive about a three-year old! At our performances they get up close to the action, they dance, sing, march and listen. No wonder tickets are hard to come by!" Catherine Arlidge, CBSO violinist and Notelets presenter FREE craft activities take place from an...

1.30pmSaturday 6th December

NOTELETS: CHRISTMAS CRACKERS

CBSO Centre, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0491

CBSO Brass Ensemble, Arlidge

Christmas Crackers

What better Christmas gift for the youngest members of the family than this special toddler-friendly Christmas concert at CBSO Centre? Join members of the CBSO brass section for some festive musical treats bringing seasonal fun to this magical time of year. Each concert lasts 45 minutes and there will be lively presentation, lots to see, and plenty of chances for fidgety feet to dance their way through the concert. "We know Notelets audiences need to move: they are active, they want to join in, there is nothing passive about a three-year old! At our performances they get up close to the action, they dance, sing, march and listen. No wonder tickets are hard to come by!" Catherine Arlidge, CBSO violinist and Notelets presenter FREE craft activities take place from an...

3.30pmSaturday 6th December

NOTELETS: CHRISTMAS CRACKERS

CBSO Centre, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0491

CBSO Brass Ensemble, Arlidge

Christmas Crackers

What better Christmas gift for the youngest members of the family than this special toddler-friendly Christmas concert at CBSO Centre? Join members of the CBSO brass section for some festive musical treats bringing seasonal fun to this magical time of year. Each concert lasts 45 minutes and there will be lively presentation, lots to see, and plenty of chances for fidgety feet to dance their way through the concert. "We know Notelets audiences need to move: they are active, they want to join in, there is nothing passive about a three-year old! At our performances they get up close to the action, they dance, sing, march and listen. No wonder tickets are hard to come by!" Catherine Arlidge, CBSO violinist and Notelets presenter FREE craft activities take place from an...

2.15pmWednesday 10th December

ELGAR'S ENIGMA VARIATIONS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Litton, Ehnes

Britten, Walton, Elgar

Elgar dedicated his Enigma Variations to "my friends pictured within", and if all you know of them is Nimrod, you're about to meet some of the most engaging characters in British music. Guest conductor Andrew Litton begins with Britten's playful salute to a well-loved teacher, and James Ehnes scales the gleaming heights of Walton's dazzling Art Deco violin concerto. ...

7.00pmSaturday 13th December

ELGAR'S ENIGMA VARIATIONS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Litton, Ehnes

Britten, Walton, Elgar

Elgar dedicated his Enigma Variations to "my friends pictured within", and if all you know of them is Nimrod, you're about to meet some of the most engaging characters in British music. Guest conductor Andrew Litton begins with Britten's playful salute to a well-loved teacher, and James Ehnes scales the gleaming heights of Walton's dazzling Art Deco violin concerto. ...

7.30pmFriday 19th December

FESTIVE FAVOURITES WITH HUGH DENNIS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Halsey, Dennis, CBSO Choruses

Festive Favourites with Hugh Dennis

Christmas is a time for the family, and as we bring together our family of musicians for favourite tunes and carols, humorous readings, and a chance to join in and sing along, we'll get your festive season off to a really heart-warming start. Hugh Dennis, star of Outnumbered, hosts this great Birmingham Christmas tradition, but the CBSO's famous choruses are the real stars of the show. The CBSO Youth Chorus and Children's Chorus sing with the CBSO Chorus in the evenings, whilst our acclaimed community choirs CBSO SO Vocal and Young Voices team up the CBSO Chorus on Sunday afternoon. ...

3.00pmSunday 21st December

FESTIVE FAVOURITES WITH HUGH DENNIS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Halsey, Dennis, CBSO Choruses

Festive Favourites with Hugh Dennis

Christmas is a time for the family, and as we bring together our family of musicians for favourite tunes and carols, humorous readings, and a chance to join in and sing along, we'll get your festive season off to a really heart-warming start. Hugh Dennis, star of Outnumbered, hosts this great Birmingham Christmas tradition, but the CBSO's famous choruses are the real stars of the show. The CBSO Youth Chorus and Children's Chorus sing with the CBSO Chorus in the evenings, whilst our acclaimed community choirs CBSO SO Vocal and Young Voices team up the CBSO Chorus on Sunday afternoon. ...

7.30pmSunday 21st December

FESTIVE FAVOURITES WITH HUGH DENNIS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Halsey, Dennis, CBSO Choruses

Festive Favourites with Hugh Dennis

Christmas is a time for the family, and as we bring together our family of musicians for favourite tunes and carols, humorous readings, and a chance to join in and sing along, we'll get your festive season off to a really heart-warming start. Hugh Dennis, star of Outnumbered, hosts this great Birmingham Christmas tradition, but the CBSO's famous choruses are the real stars of the show. The CBSO Youth Chorus and Children's Chorus sing with the CBSO Chorus in the evenings, whilst our acclaimed community choirs CBSO SO Vocal and Young Voices team up the CBSO Chorus on Sunday afternoon. ...

7.30pmMonday 22nd December

FESTIVE FAVOURITES WITH HUGH DENNIS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Halsey, Dennis, CBSO Choruses

Festive Favourites with Hugh Dennis

Christmas is a time for the family, and as we bring together our family of musicians for favourite tunes and carols, humorous readings, and a chance to join in and sing along, we'll get your festive season off to a really heart-warming start. Hugh Dennis, star of Outnumbered, hosts this great Birmingham Christmas tradition, but the CBSO's famous choruses are the real stars of the show. The CBSO Youth Chorus and Children's Chorus sing with the CBSO Chorus in the evenings, whilst our acclaimed community choirs CBSO SO Vocal and Young Voices team up the CBSO Chorus on Sunday afternoon. ...

3.00pmSunday 4th January

THE MAGIC OF VIENNA

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Ward, Royal

Viennese Classics

Strauss The Gypsy Baron - Overture Strauss Music of the Spheres Waltz Strauss Helenen-Quadrille Délibes Sylvia - Pizzicati Mozart Arias from Cosě fan tutte and The Marriage of Figaro Strauss Éljen a Magyar! Polka Strauss Artist's Life Strauss Die Fledermaus - Overture R. Strauss Capriccio - Moonlight Music Strauss Emperor Waltz Strauss Bahn Frei! Polka Strauss Tritsch-Tratsch Polka Strauss Blue Danube Waltz There's no need to go to Vienna to toast the New Year - raise a musical glass of bubbly with us right here in Birmingham. There'll be...

7.30pmThursday 8th January

RACHMANINOV'S THIRD PIANO CONCERTO

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Vedernikov, Lugansky

Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky

It's been called the "Everest of piano concertos", and it's true - for difficulty, grandeur and pure heart-on-sleeve romance, Rachmaninov's Third Concerto is hard to top. Nikolai Lugansky, an old friend here in Birmingham, takes on that challenge today, and former Bolshoi music director Alexander Vedernikov brings all his theatrical flair to Tchaikovsky's delightful Third Suite - half ballet, half symphony: all Tchaikovsky ...

3.00pmSaturday 10th January

RACHMANINOV'S THIRD PIANO CONCERTO

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Vedernikov, Lugansky

Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky

It's been called the "Everest of piano concertos", and it's true - for difficulty, grandeur and pure heart-on-sleeve romance, Rachmaninov's Third Concerto is hard to top. Nikolai Lugansky, an old friend here in Birmingham, takes on that challenge today, and former Bolshoi music director Alexander Vedernikov brings all his theatrical flair to Tchaikovsky's delightful Third Suite - half ballet, half symphony: all Tchaikovsky ...

2.15pmWednesday 14th January

SCHUBERT'S GREAT

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Afkham, Polegato

Beethoven, Mahler, Schubert

There's nothing in all music to compare with Schubert's monumental Ninth Symphony. Some hear it as a challenge to Beethoven, others hear it as a summer journey through a sunlit world of melody. Either way, it's a wonderful Birmingham debut for the charismatic young German conductor David Afkham, and a magical complement to Mahler's ever-fresh Songs of a Wayfarer. ...

7.00pmSaturday 17th January

SCHUBERT'S GREAT

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Afkham, Polegato

Webern, Mahler, Schubert

There's nothing in all music to compare with Schubert's monumental Ninth Symphony. Some hear it as a challenge to Beethoven, others hear it as a summer journey through a sunlit world of melody. Either way, it's a wonderful Birmingham debut for the charismatic young German conductor David Afkham, and a magical complement to Mahler's ever-fresh Songs of a Wayfarer. ...

11.30amTuesday 20th January

SCHOOLS CONCERT: THE CBSO'S GUIDE TO THE ORCHESTRA

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Seal, Malloy

The CBSO's Guide to the Orchestra

Prokofiev Montagues and Capulets Vivaldi The Four Seasons - Spring John Williams Harry Potter: Nimbus 2000 Mozart Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter) - excerpt Copland Fanfare for the Common Man Beethoven Symphony No. 5 - excerpt Stravinsky Infernal Dance from Firebird Suite Plus a chart topper and music from a computer game What sound does a piccolo make? Why is a double bass so huge? And do they really need quite so many violins? Join presenter Alasdair Malloy as he explores music from Mozart to Harry Potter, in a concert specially devised for Key Stage 3 students....

1.30pmTuesday 20th January

SCHOOLS CONCERT: THE CBSO'S GUIDE TO THE ORCHESTRA

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Seal, Malloy

The CBSO's Guide to the Orchestra

Prokofiev Montagues and Capulets Vivaldi The Four Seasons - Spring John Williams Harry Potter: Nimbus 2000 Mozart Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter) - excerpt Copland Fanfare for the Common Man Beethoven Symphony No. 5 - excerpt Stravinsky Infernal Dance from Firebird Suite Plus a chart topper and music from a computer game What sound does a piccolo make? Why is a double bass so huge? And do they really need quite so many violins? Join presenter Alasdair Malloy as he explores music from Mozart to Harry Potter, in a concert specially devised for Key Stage 3 students....

7.30pmThursday 22nd January

SPANISH NIGHT

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Pons, Toledo, Perianes

Falla, Ravel

"Something more than festivals and dances has inspired these evocations in sound," said Manuel de Falla, "for melancholy and mystery also have their part." In the latest instalment of the CBSO:2020 project, two fiercely poetic scores from 1915 reveal the Spain that musical tourists never see - though in the hands of the great Spanish conductor Josep Pons, Ravel's Boléro will never have sounded more authentic! 6.15pm: Conservatoire Showcase A FREE 30-minute piano recital, performed by rising stars of Birmingham Conservatoire. ...

11.00amFriday 23rd January

SCHOOLS CONCERT: THE CBSO'S GUIDE TO THE ORCHESTRA

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Seal, Malloy

The CBSO's Guide to the Orchestra

Prokofiev Montagues and Capulets Vivaldi The Four Seasons - Spring John Williams Harry Potter: Nimbus 2000 Mozart Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter) - excerpt Copland Fanfare for the Common Man Beethoven Symphony No. 5 - excerpt Stravinsky Infernal Dance from Firebird Suite Plus a chart topper and music from a computer game What sound does a piccolo make? Why is a double bass so huge? And do they really need quite so many violins? Join presenter Alasdair Malloy as he explores music from Mozart to Harry Potter, in a concert specially devised for Key Stage 3 students....

1.00pmFriday 23rd January

SCHOOLS CONCERT: THE CBSO'S GUIDE TO THE ORCHESTRA

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Seal, Malloy

The CBSO's Guide to the Orchestra

Prokofiev Montagues and Capulets Vivaldi The Four Seasons - Spring John Williams Harry Potter: Nimbus 2000 Mozart Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter) - excerpt Copland Fanfare for the Common Man Beethoven Symphony No. 5 - excerpt Stravinsky Infernal Dance from Firebird Suite Plus a chart topper and music from a computer game What sound does a piccolo make? Why is a double bass so huge? And do they really need quite so many violins? Join presenter Alasdair Malloy as he explores music from Mozart to Harry Potter, in a concert specially devised for Key Stage 3 students....

7.00pmSunday 25th January

SINGALONG WITH THE CBSO: MOZART'S REQUIEM

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Halsey, CBSO Chorus

Mozart

Ever wondered what it's like to sing live at Symphony Hall with the full CBSO? Now's your chance to find out, in this one-off performance from scratch of Mozart's Requiem. And whether you're a choral society veteran or have only ever sung in the shower, you're welcome to rehearse and perform it today, under the CBSO's world-famous chorus director Simon Halsey. Singer information: rehearsals start at 1.30pm; details will be sent with singer tickets. Scores: we will be using the Novello edition. To hire a score with Simon Halsey's rehearsal markings, purchase the Singer & Score Hire ticket when booking. NB If you're not bringing your own score, pre-booking score hire is ...

7.30pmWednesday 28th January

AMERICAN CLASSICS WITH FREDDY KEMPF

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Seal, Kempf

Bernstein, Gershwin, Korngold

A symphony from the New World... with a difference. Mahler declared Erich Korngold a genius, but Hitler had other ideas - and from exile in California, Korngold poured out all his hopes and sorrows in 53 minutes of grand, heartbroken passion. It's a wonderful counterpart to Bernstein's hilarious Divertimento and the irresistible jazz-age melodies of Gershwin's "skyscraper concerto", played by one of Britain's favourite pianists. ...

7.30pmFriday 30th January

FRIDAY NIGHT CLASSICS: BEST OF THE WEST END

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

England, West End star vocalists

Best of the West End

Want to take in a show? Tonight the CBSO brings the West End's biggest hits - and biggest stars - right here to Birmingham. With songs from The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, Chicago, Mamma Mia!, Wicked and The Lion King, in the stunning sound of Birmingham's Symphony Hall, there's no need to go to London - because we've already reserved the best seats for you! Produced in association with West End International Ltd ...

2.30pmSunday 1st February

FAMILY CONCERT: AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 MINUTES

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Wilkins, Malloy, CBSO Youth Chorus

Around the World in 80 Minutes

Birmingham has been called "the world in one city" - and here's the music to prove it! Presenter Alasdair Malloy, maestro Julian Wilkins, the incredible CBSO Youth Chorus and the full City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra whisk you off on a whistle-stop musical world tour, in this lively afternoon concert for all ages. FREE workshops in the foyers from 1pm. ...

7.30pmThursday 5th February

FROM THE DANUBE TO THE RHINE

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Ono, Zupancic

Schubert, Mozart, Schumann

Schumann's "Rhenish" symphony opens in a blaze of glory… and ends at a beer festival! There's never been a more enjoyable way to experience the Rhineland, and you don't even have to leave your seat in Symphony Hall! First, though, Franz Schubert raises the curtain with a gentle smile - and the CBSO's own Marie- Christine Zupancic brings out the light and shade of Mozart's jewel-like concerto. The annual Bequest Patrons' Reception takes place after this concert on 5 February. For information, contact Claire Watts on 0121 616 6533. ...

3.00pmSaturday 7th February

FROM THE DANUBE TO THE RHINE

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Ono, Zupancic

Schubert, Mozart, Schumann

Schumann's "Rhenish" symphony opens in a blaze of glory… and ends at a beer festival! There's never been a more enjoyable way to experience the Rhineland, and you don't even have to leave your seat in Symphony Hall! First, though, Franz Schubert raises the curtain with a gentle smile - and the CBSO's own Marie- Christine Zupancic brings out the light and shade of Mozart's jewel-like concerto. ...

7.30pmWednesday 11th February

SHOSTAKOVICH UNCOVERED

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Rissmann

Shostakovich

Shostakovich's Eleventh Symphony is an epic musical tale of tyranny and revolution - or is it? In this special concert, presenter Paul Rissmann uses illustrations, anecdotes and the full CBSO to explain Shostakovich's hidden agenda - and unlock the story behind the music. Then Andris Nelsons conducts a full performance of this most gripping of 20th century symphonies. 6.15pm: Conservatoire Showcase Scriabin: The Poem of Ecstasy, Op.54 Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michael Seal, performs Scriabin's spectacular fourth symphony. ...

3.00pmSunday 15th February

WAR AND REVOLUTION

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Dennis

Elgar, Shostakovich

War, protest, and a great nation on the brink of revolution: officially, Shostakovich based his mighty Eleventh Symphony on the events of 1905 - but this roof-raising blockbuster of a symphony is still thrillingly relevant today. Back in England, Elgar did current affairs a little differently. Andris Nelsons explores some of the deeply moving music that Britain's greatest composer wrote in response to the First World War. ...

2.15pmThursday 19th February

SCHUBERT, STRAUSS & DVORAK

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Dutch

Schubert, Strauss, Dvorak

If you enjoy Dvorák's New World Symphony, just imagine the music he wrote when he was happily at home! Dvorák's Seventh is stormy, passionate and filled with the kind of tunes you just can't stop humming. Andris Nelsons serves it up with Strauss's bubbly second horn concerto (starring the CBSO's own Elspeth Dutch), and Schubert's Eighth: a symphony that couldn't be more perfect even if he'd finished it. ...

7.30pmFriday 20th February

FRIDAY NIGHT CLASSICS: OPERA GALA

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Bell, Romaniw, Wedd, Thorpe, Birmingham University Singers

Opera Gala

Wagner Lohengrin - Prelude to Act 3 • In Fernem Land Dvorák Rusalka - Song to the Moon Rossini The Barber of Seville - Largo Al Factotum Verdi Nabucco - Va Pensiero Mozart Don Giovanni - La Ci Darem La Mano Mozart The Marriage of Figaro - Overture Puccini Madam Butterfly - One Fine Day • The Humming Chorus Verdi Il Trovatore - Anvil Chorus Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin - Polonaise Gounod Faust - Jewel Song Puccini Manon Lescaut - Intermezzo Bizet Carmen - Flower...

7.00pmSunday 22nd February

MAHLER'S FIRST SYMPHONY: CBSO YOUTH ORCHESTRA

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Gardner, Kozhukhin

Lutoslawski, Prokofiev, Mahler

Mahler's First Symphony begins by creating the world - and ends by storming Heaven itself. Well, the CBSO Youth Orchestra likes a challenge, and if you've heard our inspirational young players before, you'll know that under the baton of CBSO principal guest conductor Edward Gardner we're in for something very special indeed. Twentieth century classics by Lutoslawski and Prokofiev raise the curtain with an explosion of colour. ...

7.30pmThursday 26th February

MAHLER'S SIXTH SYMPHONY

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons

Berg, Mahler

Mahler's Sixth Symphony portrays an artist crushed by three "hammer blows of fate" - and soon afterwards, three devastating blows reduced Mahler's own life to ruins. Coincidence? What's certain is that this is one of the most powerful, and personal, symphonies ever written. Andris Nelsons brings every bar urgently to life - and explores the atmospheric Three Pieces that Mahler's friend Berg wrote in the second year of the Great War. ...

7.00pmSaturday 28th February

MAHLER'S SIXTH SYMPHONY

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons

Mahler

Careful what you wish for. Mahler's Sixth Symphony portrays an artist destroyed by three mighty "hammer blows of fate" - and soon afterwards, three devastating blows reduced Mahler's own life to ruins. Well, that's the legend, anyway; what's beyond dispute is that Mahler Sixth is one of the most powerful, and personal, symphonies ever written. Andris Nelsons will bring every bar urgently to life. ...

7.30pmThursday 5th March

JANACEK'S GLAGOLITIC MASS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Gardner, Orgonášová, Connolly, Daszak, Bayley, Trotter, CBSO Chorus

Berlioz, Janacek

"The fragrance of the trees was like incense," declared Leos Janácek. "I felt a cathedral grow from a great forest." And with its jubilant trumpets, thundering organ and raw, unbuttoned lust for life, there's nothing quite like the Glagolitic Mass. The CBSO Chorus loves to sing it, and Edward Gardner gets the pulse racing straight away, with three barnstorming showpieces by Hector Berlioz. Hold tight! This concert has been made possible with support from an anonymous donor through the Keynote Programming Fund. ...

10.30amFriday 6th March

NOTELETS: MOVE & GROOVE

CBSO Centre, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0491

Arlidge

An interactive mini-concert for toddlers and their families

You're never too young to discover the joy of live music, with this specially-devised, toddler-friendly mini-concert. A 10-piece mini orchestra will help parents and children alike onto their feet with music to make you move and groove your way through the concert. We know Notelets audiences need to move: they are active, they want to join in, there is nothing passive about a three-year old! At our performances they get up close to the action, they dance, sing, march and listen. No wonder tickets are hard to come by!" Catherine Arlidge, CBSO violinist and Notelets presenter Each concert lasts 45 minutes and FREE craft activities take place from an hour before each concert. At the end there is also a chance...

1.30pmFriday 6th March

NOTELETS: MOVE & GROOVE

CBSO Centre, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0491

Arlidge

An interactive mini-concert for toddlers and their families

You're never too young to discover the joy of live music, with this specially-devised, toddler-friendly mini-concert. A 10-piece mini orchestra will help parents and children alike onto their feet with music to make you move and groove your way through the concert. We know Notelets audiences need to move: they are active, they want to join in, there is nothing passive about a three-year old! At our performances they get up close to the action, they dance, sing, march and listen. No wonder tickets are hard to come by!" Catherine Arlidge, CBSO violinist and Notelets presenter Each concert lasts 45 minutes and FREE craft activities take place from an hour before each concert. At the end there is also a chance...

7.30pmFriday 6th March

FRIDAY NIGHT CLASSICS: 21ST CENTURY BLOCKBUSTERS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Seal, Pearson

21st Century Blockbusters

Williams Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Williams Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Shore The Hobbit Zimmer Gladiator Greenwood There Will Be Blood Horner Avatar Williams Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Rahman Slumdog Millionaire Zimmer Pirates of the Caribbean Giacchino Star Trek Into Darkness Arnold/Price Sherlock Powell The Bourne Ultimatum Williams War Horse Armstrong Love, Actually Powell How To Train Your Dragon A film doesn't have to be old to be a classic. Think of the...

11.00amSaturday 7th March

NOTELETS: MOVE & GROOVE

CBSO Centre, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0491

Arlidge

An interactive mini-concert for toddlers and their families

You're never too young to discover the joy of live music, with this specially-devised, toddler-friendly mini-concert. A 10-piece mini orchestra will help parents and children alike onto their feet with music to make you move and groove your way through the concert. We know Notelets audiences need to move: they are active, they want to join in, there is nothing passive about a three-year old! At our performances they get up close to the action, they dance, sing, march and listen. No wonder tickets are hard to come by!" Catherine Arlidge, CBSO violinist and Notelets presenter Each concert lasts 45 minutes and FREE craft activities take place from an hour before each concert. At the...

1.30pmSaturday 7th March

NOTELETS: MOVE & GROOVE

CBSO Centre, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0491

CBSO 10-piece 'mini orchestra', Arlidge

An interactive mini-concert for toddlers and their families

You're never too young to discover the joy of live music, with this specially-devised, toddler-friendly mini-concert. A 10-piece mini orchestra will help parents and children alike onto their feet with music to make you move and groove your way through the concert. We know Notelets audiences need to move: they are active, they want to join in, there is nothing passive about a three-year old! At our performances they get up close to the action, they dance, sing, march and listen. No wonder tickets are hard to come by!" Catherine Arlidge, CBSO violinist and Notelets presenter Each concert lasts 45 minutes and FREE craft activities take place from an hour before each concert. At the...

3.30pmSaturday 7th March

NOTELETS: MOVE & GROOVE

CBSO Centre, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0491

CBSO 10-piece 'mini orchestra', Arlidge

An interactive mini-concert for toddlers and their families

You're never too young to discover the joy of live music, with this specially-devised, toddler-friendly mini-concert. A 10-piece mini orchestra will help parents and children alike onto their feet with music to make you move and groove your way through the concert. We know Notelets audiences need to move: they are active, they want to join in, there is nothing passive about a three-year old! At our performances they get up close to the action, they dance, sing, march and listen. No wonder tickets are hard to come by!" Catherine Arlidge, CBSO violinist and Notelets presenter Each concert lasts 45 minutes and FREE craft activities take place from an hour before each concert. At the...

7.30pmWednesday 11th March

BACH AND BRUCKNER

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Volkov, Gringolts

Bach, Bruckner

Soul music, Austrian style. Bruckner's Fifth Symphony has been described as a cathedral in sound, but Bruckner also drew his inspiration from the music of J. S. Bach and the majestic scenery of the Austrian Alps. So the timeless beauty of Bach's A minor violin concerto - played today by the superb Ilya Gringolts - will make the perfect upbeat. ...

7.00pmSaturday 14th March

BACH AND BRUCKNER

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Volkov, Gringolts

Bach, Bruckner

Soul music, Austrian style. Bruckner's Fifth Symphony has been described as a cathedral in sound, but Bruckner also drew his inspiration from the music of J. S. Bach and the majestic scenery of the Austrian Alps. So the timeless beauty of Bach's A minor violin concerto - played today by the superb Ilya Gringolts - will make the perfect upbeat. ...

7.30pmWednesday 18th March

RACHMANINOV'S SECOND SYMPHONY

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Hough

Dvorak, Rachmaninov

Is Rachmaninov's Second the most romantic symphony ever written? With its vast, stormswept vistas, endless melodies and rapturous love-song of a slow movement, it's certainly a contender, and Andris Nelsons conducts it with unbridled emotion. First, though, he rediscovers the spirited Piano Concerto by Antonín Dvorák - with one of the world's finest living pianists as his partner. ...

2.15pmThursday 19th March

RACHMANINOV'S SECOND SYMPHONY

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Hough

Dvorak, Rachmaninov

Is Rachmaninov's Second the most romantic symphony ever written? With its vast, stormswept vistas, endless melodies and rapturous love-song of a slow movement, it's certainly a contender, and Andris Nelsons conducts it with unbridled emotion. First, though, he rediscovers the spirited Piano Concerto by Antonín Dvorák - with one of the world's finest living pianists as his partner. ...

2.15pmWednesday 25th March

BRAHMS AND BEETHOVEN

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Manze, Osborne

Vaughan Williams, Beethoven, Brahms

When Brahms went on holiday, all his troubles fell away - and that's exactly the effect of his lovely second symphony, 45 minutes of glowing landscapes, jubilant trumpets and tunes that never seem to end. The very English serenity of Ralph Vaughan Williams is a gentle prelude to Beethoven's most brilliant piano concerto, played today by one of Britain's brightest keyboard stars. ...

7.30pmFriday 27th March

FRIDAY NIGHT CLASSICS: QUEEN: A ROCK AND SYMPHONIC SPECTACULAR

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Sidwell, James, Afonso, Wooding, Eldridge Wyke

Queen: A Rock and Symphonic Spectacular

Bohemian Rhapsody • I Want To Break Free Play The Game • Under Pressure These Are The Days Of Our Lives Love Of My Life • Bicycle Race Killer QUEEN • Radio Ga Ga • I Want It All Who Wants To Live Forever • Hammer To Fall A Kind Of Magic • The Show Must Go On Crazy Little Thing Called Love Fat Bottomed Girls • Don't Stop Me Now Another One Bites The Dust • One Vision Somebody To Love • We Will Rock You Seven Seas of Rhye • Love of My Life Innuendo It's a kind of magic - big, brash, and fabulously larger than life, the music of Queen was simply made for a symphony orchestra. This sensational full orchestral spectacular unleashes Queen's greatest hits like you've never heard them before. We Will Rock You?...

7.00pmSaturday 28th March

BEETHOVEN AND BRAHMS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Manze, Osborne

Vaughan Williams, Beethoven, Brahms

When Brahms went on holiday, all his troubles fell away - and that's exactly the effect of his lovely second symphony, 45 minutes of glowing landscapes, jubilant trumpets and tunes that never seem to end. The very English serenity of Ralph Vaughan Williams is a gentle prelude to Beethoven's most brilliant piano concerto, played today by one of Britain's brightest keyboard stars. ...

2.15pmThursday 16th April

MENDELSSOHN'S MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Gardner, Tiberghien, CBSO Youth Chorus

Mendelssohn

Edward Gardner's Mendelssohn symphony cycle was one of the real delights of last season in Birmingham. Now he teams up again with our famous Youth Chorus in its 20th anniversary year in Mendelssohn's magical homage to Shakespeare: fairies, donkeys and that Wedding March! And we're delighted to welcome the award-winning Cédric Tiberghien to sprinkle a different kind of magic over Mendelssohn's sparkling First Piano Concerto. ...

7.00pmSaturday 18th April

MENDELSSOHN'S MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Gardner, Tiberghien, CBSO Youth Chorus

Mendelssohn

Edward Gardner's Mendelssohn symphony cycle was one of the real delights of last season in Birmingham. Now he teams up again with our famous Youth Chorus in its 20th anniversary year in Mendelssohn's magical homage to Shakespeare: fairies, donkeys and that Wedding March! And we're delighted to welcome the award-winning Cédric Tiberghien to sprinkle a different kind of magic over Mendelssohn's sparkling First Piano Concerto. ...

7.30pmThursday 23rd April

ELGAR'S CELLO CONCERTO

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Garner, Gerhardt

Elgar, Bridge, Tippett

"Stout and steaky" was how Elgar described his Cockaigne overture - and this uproarious portrait of Edwardian London is a far cry from the heartbreak and poetry of his famous Cello Concerto, written in the aftermath of the Great War. Edward Gardner joins Alban Gerhardt to dig deep into this very British masterpiece - and then offers a joyous cure for melancholy: the "abounding, generous, exuberant beauty" of Tippett's vibrant Second Symphony. ...

2.30pmSunday 26th April

FAMILY CONCERT: BITE-SIZE CLASSICS II

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Phillips, Smedley, CBSO Children's Chorus

Bite-size Classics II

You don't have to be old to make great music - in fact, you don't have to be grown up at all! As the CBSO Children's Chorus celebrates its 20th birthday, this fun family concert features music by and for children - from Britten and Elgar, to Mozart and Holst. Former Children's Chorus member Jamie Phillips is back for the day to conduct, and whether you're young or just young at heart, you're invited to the party! FREE workshops in the foyers from 1pm. ...

7.30pmWednesday 29th April

SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Znaider, Wang

Dvorak, Berlioz

All you need is love! When Hector Berlioz couldn't get the girl of his dreams, he wrote her a symphony: a huge, crazy, opiumfuelled riot of supernatural fantasies and star-crossed passion. It's quite simply... well, fantastic! And Dvorák took a boyhood romance and a vision of Niagara Falls, and poured them into the most ardent cello concerto ever written. Jian Wang tells the story tonight. ...

2.15pmThursday 30th April

SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Znaider, Wang

Dvorak, Berlioz

All you need is love! When Hector Berlioz couldn't get the girl of his dreams, he wrote her a symphony: a huge, crazy, opiumfuelled riot of supernatural fantasies and star-crossed passion. It's quite simply... well, fantastic! And Dvorák took a boyhood romance and a vision of Niagara Falls, and poured them into the most ardent cello concerto ever written. Jian Wang tells the story tonight. This concert is followed by a Members' Afternoon Tea with Nikolaj Znaider. For information, contact Claire Watts on 0121 616 6533. ...

7.30pmFriday 1st May

FRIDAY NIGHT CLASSICS: CHARLIE CHAPLIN

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Davis

Davis, Chaplin

Until you've heard a symphony orchestra accompanying a film live, you've never experienced the ultimate in movie sound. Veteran movie maestro Carl ("Cranford") Davis conducts the CBSO in a live soundtrack to one of Hollywood's all-time comedy classics, Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times - humour that never gets old, with Chaplin's wonderful score sounding as good as new. He also gives us his own music with one of Chaplin's funniest shorts, a satire on the business of making movies. You can't hire this on Netflix! Special seating plan applies ...

2.15pmWednesday 6th May

HAYDN IN LONDON

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Skride

Haydn, Mozart, Prokofiev

No two great composers were ever closer than Mozart and Haydn, and there's a smile in every bar of this delightfully entertaining concert. Two of the wittiest and warmest symphonies ever written frame lively concertos by Haydn's best friend, and his biggest 20th century fan. Andris Nelsons' schoolfriend Baiba Skride is the soloist. This is going to be fun: this spring, put a spring in your step! ...

7.30pmThursday 7th May

HAYDN IN LONDON

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Skride

Haydn, Mozart, Prokofiev

No two great composers were ever closer than Mozart and Haydn, and there's a smile in every bar of this delightfully entertaining concert. Two of the wittiest and warmest symphonies ever written frame lively concertos by Haydn's best friend, and his biggest 20th century fan. Andris Nelsons' schoolfriend Baiba Skride is the soloist. This is going to be fun: this spring, put a spring in your step! c.9.45pm: Post-concert chat Stay late for a post-concert conversation with Andris Nelsons and Stephen Maddock. ...

3.00pmSunday 17th May

PARSIFAL

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Burkhard, Zeppenfeld, Rutherford, Fujimura, Wilson-Johnson, CBSO Chorus, CBSO Youth Chorus

Wagner

"In this realm, time becomes space". Wagner's Parsifal tells of the knights of the Holy Grail: a story of truth, suffering and redemption, set to music so beautiful that it pierces straight to your very soul. Andris Nelsons has been hailed around the world as one of the finest Wagner conductors of our time: this concert performance of Wagner's final opera should be transcendent. The approximate running times of Acts 1, 2 and 3 are 97', 62' and 67' respectively. There will be a one-hour interval after Act 1, and a 30-minute interval after Act 2. Image from the set of pictures by Ferdinand Leeke: Parsifal's Journey to the Grail. From Richard Wagner: 12...

10.30amFriday 5th June

NOTELETS: UNDER THE SEA

CBSO Centre, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0491

CBSO String Ensemble, Arlidge

An interactive mini-concert for toddlers and their families

Bring the youngest members of the family to CBSO Centre for this special toddler-friendly mini-concert. Dive into action for an under the sea musical adventure and let members of the CBSO string section transport you into an amazing underwater world (with just a little help from some of their percussion friends - they don't like to stray too far from their tank!). Each concert lasts 45 minutes and FREE craft activities take place from an hour before each concert. At the end there is also a chance to meet the musicians and see their instruments close up. In association with ...

1.30pmFriday 5th June

NOTELETS: UNDER THE SEA

CBSO Centre, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0491

CBSO String Ensemble, Arlidge

An interactive mini-concert for toddlers and their families

Bring the youngest members of the family to CBSO Centre for this special toddler-friendly mini-concert. Dive into action for an under the sea musical adventure and let members of the CBSO string section transport you into an amazing underwater world (with just a little help from some of their percussion friends - they don't like to stray too far from their tank!). Each concert lasts 45 minutes and FREE craft activities take place from an hour before each concert. At the end there is also a chance to meet the musicians and see their instruments close up. In association with ...

11.00amSaturday 6th June

NOTELETS: UNDER THE SEA

CBSO Centre, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0491

CBSO String Ensemble, Arlidge

An interactive mini-concert for toddlers and their families

Bring the youngest members of the family to CBSO Centre for this special toddler-friendly mini-concert. Dive into action for an under the sea musical adventure and let members of the CBSO string section transport you into an amazing underwater world (with just a little help from some of their percussion friends - they don't like to stray too far from their tank!). Each concert lasts 45 minutes and FREE craft activities take place from an hour before each concert. At the end there is also a chance to meet the musicians and see their instruments close up. In association with ...

1.30pmSaturday 6th June

NOTELETS: UNDER THE SEA

CBSO Centre, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0491

CBSO String Ensemble, Arlidge

An interactive mini-concert for toddlers and their families

Bring the youngest members of the family to CBSO Centre for this special toddler-friendly mini-concert. Dive into action for an under the sea musical adventure and let members of the CBSO string section transport you into an amazing underwater world (with just a little help from some of their percussion friends - they don't like to stray too far from their tank!). Each concert lasts 45 minutes and FREE craft activities take place from an hour before each concert. At the end there is also a chance to meet the musicians and see their instruments close up. In association with ...

3.30pmSaturday 6th June

NOTELETS: UNDER THE SEA

CBSO Centre, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0491

CBSO String Ensemble, Arlidge

An interactive mini-concert for toddlers and their families

Bring the youngest members of the family to CBSO Centre for this special toddler-friendly mini-concert. Dive into action for an under the sea musical adventure and let members of the CBSO string section transport you into an amazing underwater world (with just a little help from some of their percussion friends - they don't like to stray too far from their tank!). Each concert lasts 45 minutes and FREE craft activities take place from an hour before each concert. At the end there is also a chance to meet the musicians and see their instruments close up. In association with ...

7.30pmThursday 11th June

SCHUBERT, STRAUSS AND DVORAK

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Dutch

Schubert, Strauss, Dvorak

If you enjoy Dvorák's New World symphony, just imagine the music he wrote when he was happily at home! Dvorák's Seventh is stormy, passionate and filled with the kind of tunes you just can't stop humming. Andris Nelsons loves it, and tonight he serves it up with Strauss's bubbly second horn concerto (starring the CBSO's own Elspeth Dutch), and Schubert's Eighth: a symphony that couldn't be more perfect even if he'd finished it. ...

7.30pmWednesday 17th June

ANDRIS NELSONS' FAREWELL CONCERTS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Schuster, CBSO Chorus, CBSO Youth Chorus, CBSO Children's Chorus

Ešenvalds, Mahler

All good things come to an end. And on what are sure to be emotional evenings, Andris Nelsons has chosen to say farewell to Birmingham with Mahler's huge, rapturous hymn to nature - both unchanging, and forever renewing. A beautiful new choral work by Andris's fellow-Latvian Eriks Ešenvalds - jointly commissioned (thanks to support from the Feeney Trust) with Andris's new orchestra in Boston - brings our orchestra, choruses, audience and conductor together to celebrate seven inspirational years. The annual Members' Reception takes place after this concert. For information about how to join, contact Claire Watts on 0121 616 6533. ...

7.30pmThursday 18th June

ANDRIS NELSONS' FAREWELL CONCERTS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Nelsons, Schuster, CBSO Chorus, CBSO Youth Chorus, CBSO Children's Chorus

Ešenvalds, Mahler

All good things come to an end. And on what are sure to be emotional evenings, Andris Nelsons has chosen to say farewell to Birmingham with Mahler's huge, rapturous hymn to nature - both unchanging, and forever renewing. A beautiful new choral work by Andris's fellow-Latvian Eriks Ešenvalds - jointly commissioned (thanks to support from the Feeney Trust) with Andris's new orchestra in Boston - brings our orchestra, choruses, audience and conductor together to celebrate seven inspirational years. ...

2.15pmThursday 25th June

SUMMER SHOWCASE

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Chauhan

Strauss, Shostakovich, Reich, Cage, Mussorgsky (arr. Howarth)

Our orchestra is made up of 83 extraordinary artists, and today they step into the limelight. The CBSO woodwinds share Strauss's delightful Suite, and our strings play their hearts out in Shostakovich's white-hot Chamber Symphony. Then the percussion section sets up a rhythm in two stunning contemporary classics - and a spectacular, all-brass version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition proves that a great orchestra is the sum of some seriously impressive parts! This concert is followed by a Members' Afternoon Tea with CBSO players. For information, contact Claire Watts on 0121 616 6533. ...

11.30amThursday 2nd July

SCHOOLS CONCERT: BITE-SIZE CLASSICS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Seal, Smedley

Bite-size Classics

You don't have to be old to make great music - in fact, you don't even have to be grown up at all! This lively concert for Key Stage Two is entirely made up of music by and for children - from Britten and Elgar, to Mozart and Holst. Michael Seal waves the stick, and presenter Nikky Smedley (best known as Laa-Laa from Teletubbies) proves that when it comes to classical musical, you're never too young! ...

1.30pmThursday 2nd July

SCHOOLS CONCERT: BITE-SIZE CLASSICS

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Seal, Smedley

Bite-size Classics

You don't have to be old to make great music - in fact, you don't even have to be grown up at all! This lively concert for Key Stage Two is entirely made up of music by and for children - from Britten and Elgar, to Mozart and Holst. Michael Seal waves the stick, and presenter Nikky Smedley (best known as Laa-Laa from Teletubbies) proves that when it comes to classical musical, you're never too young! ...

7.30pmFriday 3rd July

FRIDAY NIGHT CLASSICS: THE ELLA FITZGERALD SONGBOOK

Symphony Hall, Birmingham. +44 (0)121 345 0600

Cottle, Martin

The Ella Fitzgerald Songbook

Lerner & Loewe Almost Like Being In Love Rodgers & Hart The Lady is a Tramp Manhattan • With A Song In My Heart Arlen This Time the Dream's On Me • That Old Black Magic Gershwin Ambulatory Suite • S'Wonderful Three Preludes • But Not For Me Berlin Cheek to Cheek • Blue Skies Kern I Won't Dance • Pick Yourself Up Duke Ellington All Too Soon Swan When Your Lover Has Gone Cole Porter Too Darn Hot • Every Time We Say Goodbye They called her the First Lady of Song, and no-one's ever sung the Great American Songbook with more style - and joy - than Ella Fitzgerald. Tonight's show brings together one of the most...