The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is to launch a series of concerts to encourage a new audience to enjoy classical music.
The Tuned In concerts, on March 25 and April 29 at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, will come with a live “user’s guide” to the music being played.
The aim is to offer an introduction to live classical concerts for new audiences, as well as enhancing the enjoyment of regular concert-goers.
CBSO music director Andris Nelsons, who was appointed in September 2008, said: “I hope with our new Tuned In concerts we can help even more people than ever to experience the same deep level of satisfaction that I enjoy so much with this wonderful music.”
Radio 3 presenter Stephen Johnson will take the stage, alongside orchestra and maestro, to share the background stories to the music being performed, and explain how the pieces work.
He will demonstrate how the composer creates a particular sound.
“It’ll be incredible to be part of it,” Mr Johnson said. “I’m excited just at the thought of being on the platform with all those musicians. To be able to take a piece apart on stage, and demonstrate how it works, will be wonderful.”
The works involved are Stravinsky’s fairytale ballet The Firebird and Shostakovich’s mighty Fourth Symphony.
Mr Nelsons said: “One is a journey into a fairytale world, and the other is the product of Soviet politics and the composer’s personal turmoil.”
“All music for me is about everyday life and human beings, or else about taking us to other worlds, and I hope with these pieces we’ve chosen music that demonstrates this perfectly.”
The CBSO’s first Tuned In concert introducing Stravinksy’s Firebird is on March 25, 7.30pm and the second which looks at Shostakovich’s 4th Symphony is on April 29, 7.30pm at Symphony Hall, Birmingham.
Tickets are £20 in all areas and can be booked by calling Symphony Hall Box Office on 0121 780 3333 or online at www.cbso.co.uk/tunedin