City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra returns to Symphony Hall with live concerts and audiences

The CBSO celebrates its centenary this year, and will be joined by cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason in a special performance of Elgar's Cello Concerto to link back to the orchestra's debut performance in 1920

Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla conducts the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO)

After seven months away from its home in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra returns in November with two live concerts, both of which will be given two socially distanced performances each.

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The CBSO’s first concert will be on 4 November, with a concert scheduled to take place in March when the UK went into lockdown. The CBSO’s music director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla will lead the orchestra in Brahms’s Symphony No. 3, Ligeti’s Concert Românesc and Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto, with the CBSO’s principal bassoon Nikolaj Henriques as the soloist.

To celebrate its centenary this year, the CBSO will also present a concert harking back to its very first performance in 1920, in which Elgar conducted the orchestra in Birmingham’s Town Hall. Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason will join the orchestra and conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla in a performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto, which was performed in the 1920 concert. The orchestra will also perform Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3, to commemorate the great composer’s 250th anniversary, as well as two works by Sibelius: Lemminkäinen’s Return and The Swan of Tuonela.

Although the CBSO has been hosting concerts since lockdown, this will be the first time since March that they have performed in Symphony Hall with an audience present. In September, the orchestra held a centenary concert at a production warehouse in Birmingham, in what was believed to b the first live post-lockdown concert with a full orchestra in the UK.

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Tickets for both concerts go on sale on Thursday 29 October at 10am.