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CBSO musical director Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla conducts the orchestra

Birmingham's concert scene has been lit up by Mirga effect

Christopher Morley looks back on a spectacular year for classical music in the Midlands

The Path to Knighthood

Diaries that give insight into path to greatness is a Christmas cracker

Still looking for the perfect gift for the music lover in your life? Christopher Morley has found some that should definitely make it into their stocking this year.

The blackbird should challenge the robins' Christmas monopoly.

There are about 5 million breeding pairs of blackbirds in this country, and by Christmas they will have been joined by up to five million individuals from Scandinavia and northern Europe.

Ex Cathedra's expedition to explore the New World

Ex Cathedra conductor Jeffrey Skidmore tells Christopher Morley about the Birmingham choir's journey to discover the baroque music of South America

Sir Simon's scintillating symphonies top of the pile for Christmas

As the festive season is upon us, here’s Christopher Morley's top picks for the best gifts for the classical music lovers in your lives

Win An Exclusive Christmas Party At Warwick Castle

Win the chance for you and twenty other guests to dine like kings with Warwick Castle this Christmas.

Jeffrey Skidmore

Review: Ex Cathedra: Christmas Music by Candlelight at St Paul's Church

It's not every Christmas concert that complete strangers in the audience spontaneously offer you a mug of mulled wine in the interval, but then Christmas Music by Candlelight isn't just any Christmas concert.

updated

Aga Rangemaster slammed for dozens of job losses ahead of Christmas

The upmarket cooker-maker plans to axe 68 workers as part of an efficiency drive

Birmingham's tallest crane gets Christmas makeover

Tower crane brought in to knock down the NatWest Tower even more prominent on the city skyline with 50kg of LED lights

The Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre

Review: The Nutcracker at Birmingham Hippodrome

Sir Peter Wright's production of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, now in its 25th year is the ballet of all ballets, being both magical, marvellously well designed and presented by a company which is in world class.

Jo Cameron

Former Apprentice candidate is keynote speaker at accountants' ball

Former BBC Apprentice contestant Jo Cameron will be the keynote speaker at the CIMA event

The full tram extension to New Street station will now not open until next year

Midland Metro extension will complete in 2016

Transport body Centro said first phase to Bull Street would open in December but work on the rest of the new line to New Street station would be scaled back to minimise impact on the festive period

Library of Birmingham was the most visited free attraction in the West Midlands during 2014

Record number of visitors to Birmingham brings £500m boost

New data released today shows that three million more people came to the city last year compared with 2013

Yodel to create 1,200 Christmas jobs in the Midlands

Parcel delivery firm starts hunt for staff to fulfil delivers in the run up to peak Christmas period

A computer-generated image of the Grand Hotel created by Blink Image

The Alchemist and Italian restaurant Gusto set to open at The Grand Hotel

High-end chains, which are both popular in the North West, expected to open first Birmingham venues on Colmore Row

Royal Mail

1,000 Royal Mail jobs deliver boost to unemployment figures

The recruits will be sorting out Christmas cards and parcels before they are sent to delivery offices for post staff to push through letterboxes

Sealed-off section of railway tunnel beneath Old Square

Hidden Spaces: Subterranean Birmingham - exploring the world beneath our feet

We've carved beneath the city an invisible network of service tunnels, subways, crypts, catacombs, bomb shelters, cellars, mine shafts, railway lines and roads, writes Ben Waddington

Midland savers grow nest eggs to £18,680 despite Christmas crunch

The average savings balance in the Midlands stands at £18,680, according to Halifax’s Savings Review

Birmingham's Christmas market welcomed record visitors and income in 2014

Record numbers enjoyed Birmingham Christmas market

Takings and footfall were up last year with almost £400m spent and over five million people flocking to the city

The council chamber inside Birmingham Council House.

How many politicians does it take to run Europe's largest local authority?

The city's councillors are getting nervous as recommendations suggest their numbers should be reduced from 120 to 100

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