Thursday 22 June 2023

Birmingham bound: concerts in Symphony Hall and Town Hall as part of B:Music and Ex Cathedra's new seasons

Birmingham Town Hall
Birmingham Town Hall

B:Music, the Birmingham-based music charity, has announced its 2023/24 season at Symphony Hall and Town Hall, whilst the choir Ex Cathedra, artistic director Jeffrey Skidmore, has also announced its 2023/24 season which includes concerts at Symphony Hall and Town Hall as part of Ex Cathedra’s long-established residency, plus in venues across the Midlands and London.

B:Music's season kicks off on 6 October with Thomas Trotter celebrating 40 years as Birmingham City Organist, and the season includes Lang Lang in Bach's Goldberg Variations, one of just three UK recital venues he is playing this this Autumn. Other performers include Boris Giltburg in Rachmaninov, Rachel Podger and the Armonico Consort in Scarlatti, Paul Lewis in Schubert, Julian Bliss with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Dinis Sousa, as well as orchestras including the Symphony Orchestra of India, conductor Alpesh Chauhan (when all tickets are £10), the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine and the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra. Symphony Hall’s Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space continues to host the ECHO Rising Stars hour-long recitals on Sunday mornings.

Full details from the B:Music website.

Ex Cathedra's season begins with Rachmaninoff's Vespers, celebrating the composer's 150th anniversary.  Recent discoveries from the original 1915 poster inform the performance of this powerful work, and bells, so dear to Rachmaninoff, will sound the chants between the movements – chants drawn from the Znamenny tradition, Greece and, poignantly, from the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Other events during the season include Baroque Passion with music by Purcell, Loti, Monteverdi, Carissimi, Bach and Scarlatti, Bach’s St John Passion at Symphony Hall on Good Friday, and Handel's Messiah featuring soloists from the choir.

Byrd to Bacharach and Bach celebrates Ex Cathedra’s Student Scholarship scheme, created in partnership with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, now in its 5th year. The programme contains music by Charpentier and Purcell, as well as the programme’s three eponymous Bs: Byrd, Bacharach and Bach. Performed on the eve of St Cecilia’s Day, it also includes iconic works from two of the giants of 20th century British music: Britten’s Hymn to St Cecilia and Howells’ Take him earth for cherishing – dedicated to John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated on St Cecilia’s Day 60 years ago.

Full details from the Ex Cathedra website.

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