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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.

Violinist Alina Ibragimova

Review: Tchaikovsky's Fourth, CBSO at Symphony Hall

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.

Oliver Knussen

Review: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Knussen at CBSO Centre

With BCMG, there's never any concert so carefully planned, so meticulously and imaginatively put together, that it doesn’t allow room for spontaneity.

Ben Gernon

Review: Winter Dreams, CBSO at Symphony Hall

Tchaikovsky’s first symphony Winter Dreams is no great shakes structurally – but who cares when it teems with delightful tunes and musical felicities?

Violinist Baiba Skride. Picture by Marco Borggreve.

Review: Baiba Skride: Schumann, CBSO at Symphony Hall

If anyone needed converting to Schumann's enigmatic Violin Concerto, this was the performance to do it, with soloist Baibe Skride so persuasive in her advocacy.

CBSO Youth orchestra

Review: CBSO Youth Orchestra at Birmingham Symphony Hall

The CBSO Youth Orchestra played with a maturity of delivery worthy of the mentors who had guided these youngsters through a week of intensive training.

Birmingham Symphony Hall

Review: Brahms German Requiem, CBSO at the Symphony Hall

Brahms would have been perfectly happy to call his biggest choral composition a ‘Human’ Requiem, and what a difference it might have made.

Composer Riccardo Chailly

Review: Gewandhausorchester Leipzig at Symphony Hall

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.

Conductor Nicholas Collon

Review: Dvorak's Sixth, CBSO at Birmingham Symphony Hall

Good to hear Dvorak's sixth symphony, the equal of his last three in all but fame, especially when performed with such a winning mixture of tender lyricism, rhythmic vigour and bravado.

Ex Cathedra and the CBSO rehearsing at the CBSO Centre.

Review: The Grand Tour, Ex Cathedra at Symphony Hall

Sunday afternoon's sequence was brilliant in its simplicity, a reconstruction of the Grand Tour made by the 18th-century musical historian Charles Burney to investigate the state of music in Europe.

Solo pianist, conductor and composer Ryan Wigglesworth.

Review: Elgar's First by CBSO at Birmingham Symphony Hall

Ryan Wigglesworth's interpretation of Elgar's First was sensitive to the music's many beauties but sometimes cautiously over-respectful.

British violinist Tasmin Little.

Birmingham's Conservatoire welcomes crop of classical superstars

Birmingham Conservatoire's autumn season has just got under way. Christopher Morley takes a look at some of the glittering visitors heading this way.

Conductor Andris Nelsons in rehearsals with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the CBSO Centre.

50 donors raise £2m for CBSO

Orchestra's stunning fundraising effort could point the way to funding arts in city

CBSO Youth Orchestra Academy

Review: CBSO Youth Orchestra Academy at Birmingham Town Hall

Conductor Michael Seal rose to the occasion, magnificently creating total rapport with his young musicians.

Hereford Cathedral

Review: Philharmonia Orchestra at Hereford Cathedral

Christopher Morley enjoys a rich and deep performance of Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie in Hereford

Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla

Review: Summer Concert, CBSO at Symphony Hall

The young  Lithuanian conductor Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla knows exactly how to command the effects she wants to achieve, whether in terms of dynamics, expressive pauses, or arresting dramatic effects.

Conductor Andris Nelsons in rehearsals with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the CBSO Centre.

Review: BBC Proms, CBSO at the Royal Albert Hall

A great artistic partnership, cut heartbreakingly short. 

Violinist Alina Ibragimova

Review: Academy of Ancient Music at Cheltenham Town Hall

Alina Ibragimova performed the Mendelssohn Concerto during the concluding concert of this year's Cheltenham Music Festival.

Lichfield Cathedral

Review: CBSO at Lichfield Cathedral

Shani has an engaging stage presence, and in the world premiere of David Matthews’ Toward Sunrise he drew a colourful, expressive performance.

Birmingham Weekender: Motionhouse dancers Martina Bussi and Alasdair Stewart by Selfridges

Birmingham Weekender programme revealed

Outdoor performances, opera, music and art will all combine in the final weekend of September for annual three-day festival

Alpesh Chauhan, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Review: Summer Showcase, CBSO, at Birmingham Symphony Hall

When a section plays on its own the conductor becomes more of a co-ordinator than full-on interpreter, something Chauhan clearly understands.

In This Week's Paper


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