The CBSO or City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1920 by Birmingham’s civic leaders, led by MP Neville Chamberlain who later became UK Prime Minister (1937-1940). Originally known by the shorter title of City of Birmingham Orchestra, it changed to its current name in 1948. The CBSO is the resident orchestra at Birmingham Symphony Hall, playing around 130 concerts a year, and has released music on its own label and on other labels. The CBSO also runs a range of choirs as well as community music projects to help disadvantaged areas and develop the next generation of musical talent.
There was so much headily exciting about the evening, which must surely have been the highlight for delegates to this year's Association of British Orchestra's conference, hosted so brilliantly by the CBSO.
Despite the continuing uncertainties over finding a successor to Andris Nelsons, the CBSO remains in tremendous shape, and nothing could have proved it more spectacularly than Saturday's amazing achievement of two concerts within a few hours of each other.
Alina Ibragimova burrowed into entries and emerged smilingly at the top of each paragraph, in a reading which was indeed one of seriousness and smiles, combining assertive statements with sweet lyricism, her altissimo notes angelically pure.
Portuguese pianist Maria Joao Pires, performed Mozart's last piano concerto, no. 27 in B-flat, with an insight which brought a confiding intimacy to every note she played, even when her fingers were flashing with filigree.
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