The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a performance filmed at a production warehouse in Birmingham, in what is believed to be the first live post-lockdown concert with a full orchestra.


The orchestra will be joined by its former music director Sir Simon Rattle, who is taking over from current music director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla while she is on maternity leave. Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and sitar player Roopa Panesar will perform alongside the orchestra, while actor Adrian Lester presents.

The venue is large enough that the orchestra will all be able to attend with social distancing measures in place. There will be no audience present for the concert, but it will be broadcast online on the CBSO's Facebook and YouTube channels at 7pm on Saturday 5 September. It will then be available to stream free of charge for the rest of the month.

The performance takes place exactly 100 years to the day since the CBSO's first concert.


The programme includes Robert Schumann's Genoveva Overture and Elgar's Serenade for Strings, both of which were performed in the orchestra's first concert 100 years ago, as well as Saint-Saëns's Cello Concerto No. 1 and Stravinsky's Suite from The Firebird. Also on the programme are works by contemporary composers including Hannah Kendall's The Spark Catchers and AR Rahman's Slumdog Millionaire Suite.


Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.