Spring Symphony

Thursday 27 January 2011 at 2.15pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Olari Elts  conductor
Elspeth Dutch  horn

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 25′
Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1 15′
Strauss: Waltz Scene from Intermezzo 10′
Schumann: Symphony No. 1 (Spring) 30′

It’s darkest January. But for one afternoon only at Symphony Hall, it’s
spring! Schumann was head-over-heels in love when he wrote his
Spring symphony, and it burst through in the ringing fanfares and
blossoming melodies of this joyous masterpiece. Estonian conductor
Olari Elts tackles Beethoven’s irresistibly playful First Symphony – and
then joins the CBSO’s popular principal Horn Elspeth Dutch in the
young Richard Strauss’s First Concerto. Neither piece is “about”
spring, but there’s no mistaking that swaggering joie de vivre. Add the
swinging Waltz Scene from Strauss’s most playful opera, and you’ve
got an afternoon of pure musical sunshine.

This concert is followed by a Members’ Afternoon Tea, with Olari Elts as guest
speaker. Contact Ellie Griffiths on 0121 616 6514.

Review by Christoper Morley, Birmingham Post:


….. “But to conclude with Strauss again: the CBSO’s recent record of triumphs in the works of this virtuosity-demanding composer was maintained in the Introduction and Waltz Scene from his autobiographical (yet again) opera Intermezzo, gaudy yet stylish, and given with spirit, elan and sumptuous tone.”

Pavel Haas Quartet

Birmingham International Concert Season 2010/11

Thu 20 Jan 7:30pm at Birmingham Town Hall

Britten Three Divertimenti 10’
Ravel String Quartet 29’
Schubert Quartettsatz 10’
Dvořák String Quartet, Op 96, American 29’

Encore Dvořák Tempo di Valse

‘Take note: this is one of the most polished and musically exciting young string quartets in the world today,’ announced The Washington Post last year. The Pavel Haas Quartet play the best-loved of Dvořák’s quartets alongside the urbane lyricism of Ravel and pieces by Schubert and Britten.

BBC Music magazine’s Editor, Oliver Condy, explains why he has recommended tonight’s concert:
“Since being part of the BBC New Generation scheme a few years back, the Pavel Haas Quartet has been making waves in the UK and Europe. Undoubtedly the most talented of all the fine chamber groups to emerge recently from the Czech Republic, this young quartet has proved themselves to be one of the most versatile quartets on the scene.” www.thsh.co.uk

Review for same concert, different venue, by Chris Robins, Yorkshire Post! :


….. “Their programme showed off their versatility and phenomenal tonal range. Britten’s Three Divertimenti were precocious student pieces precociously played with a nod towards Walton in his cheeky Sitwell days.

In Ravel’s Quartet, another student piece, the players demonstrated a range of colours from shimmering silver to darkest purple, one moment fizzing with electricity and the next spinning ethereal filigree.

Schubert’s Quartettsatz was dramatic, agitated and tinged with a foreboding stirred up by its relentless ostinato accompaniment.

The players evoked the relaxed sensuous nature of Dvorak’s Op 96 F major Quartet, rejoicing in its potent rhythmic inventions as well as its gorgeous melodies.”

BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert

Tuesday 8 February
1.00-2.00pm BBC RADIO 3
Penny Gore presents the award-winning Pavel Haas Quartet, graduates of the BBC New Generation Artist scheme, in the first of four Lunchtime Concerts from the ensemble this week. www.bbc.co.uk/radio3

Nelsons Conducts Strauss

Thursday 13 January 2011 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

 City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andris Nelsons  conductor
Gautier Capuçon  cello

Beethoven: Egmont Overture 8′
Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1 28′
Strauss: Ein Heldenleben 46′

Richard Strauss liked to blow his own trumpets… and his horns,
trombones and tubas! So when he used a massive orchestra to tell the
story of an imaginary hero, complete with enemies and battles (and a
shamelessly explicit love scene), it’s not hard to work out who he actually
had in mind: himself. But Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life) is more than
just an irresistibly flamboyant musical self-portrait; it’s one of the all-time
great orchestral showpieces. Andris Nelsons’s recent recording of Ein
Heldenleben with the CBSO won worldwide acclaim, with one critic
declaring it “one of the most sumptuous and refined ever put on to disc”.
Don’t miss this chance to hear it live, or to hear the brilliant French cellist
Gautier Capuçon in a very different musical autobiography:
Shostakovich’s punchy First Cello Concerto. www.cbso.co.uk

CBSO’s recording of Ein Heldenleben with Der Rosenkavalier – Suite available from http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Orfeo/C803091A

Review by Norman Stinchcombe, Birmingham Post:


… “The various episodes were vividly characterized. The woodwind whined and bickered as the hero’s critics, and orchestra leader Laurence Jackson gave us a beautifully played portrait of the hero’s wife – voluble yet vulnerable and tender.

Nelsons also wrung every ounce of drama from Beethoven’s Egmont overture before he and the CBSO provided admirable support for soloist Gautier Capuçon in Shostakovich’s first cello concerto.” …

Viennese New Year

Friday 7 January 2011 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Roberto Minczuk  conductor
Chloe Hanslip  violin

Suppé: Overture to Light Cavalry 9′
Strauss: Éljen a Magyar!; Polka Schnell 3′
Strauss: Czárdás from ‘Ritter Pásmán’ 5′
Lehar: Zigeunerlieber Waltzes 8′
Strauss: Entrance March from The Gypsy Baron 3′
Lehar: Hungarian Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra 8′
Strauss: Tales from the Vienna Woods; Waltzes 8′
Strauss: Vom Donaustrande (By the Danube’s Shores Polka) op. 358 3′
Strauss: Wiener Bonbons, Op.307 10′
Strauss: Champagne Polka 4′
Kreisler: Various selections about Vienna for Violin and Orchestra tbc 10′
Strauss: Wiener Blut; Waltzes 8′
Strauss: Leichtes Blut; Polka Schnell, op.319 4′
Strauss: On the Beautiful Blue Danube; Waltzes 9′

As sweet as a slice of sachertorte, and as fizzy as champagne – it wouldn’t be New Year without Johann Strauss and the music of Vienna! There’ll be elegant waltzes, playful polkas, and a few sparkling surprises from our special guest, violinist Chloë Hanslip. So let the CBSO and conductor Roberto Minczuk whirl you back to a more
glamorous age, as we raise a glass to the start of another great year of music. Prosit! www.cbso.co.uk

Roald Dahl’s Matilda -a Musical

The Courtyard Theatre

Wednesday 5th January 2011 at 7:15pm  

RSC Presents Matilda, a musical

Welcome to the magical world of Matilda, the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination. Roald Dahl’s much loved novel has been adapted by Dennis Kelly, with songs by composer and comedian Tim Minchin, in this hilarious new musical.

For everyone aged 6 to 96, this is the perfect production for all the family this winter.

About the show: www.rsc.org.uk

” ‘She had begun to imagine the most incredible tales, entire universes inside her head. Stories, stories! I’m a sucker for a good story…’

Welcome to the magical world of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.

Her parents think she is a nuisance and she thinks, quite rightly, they are only interested in watching telly. When they are not glued to the box, her mum spends all her time practising ballroom dancing while her dad gloats about his latest dodgy business deal. Life is not much better at school, where the monstrous headmistress Miss Trunchbull terrifies students and teachers alike.

Then one day Matilda discovers she has a very special power and decides it’s time the grown ups were taught a lesson.

Be warned, the children are revolting…

Roald Dahl’s classic novel, loved by generations of readers young and old, has been adapted by Dennis Kelly with songs by composer and comedian Tim Minchin, in this hilarious new version from the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Running time: 2 hrs 30 mins (including interval)”


Doctor – Michael Rouse

Mrs Wormwood – Josie Walker

Mr Wormwood – Paul Kaye

Michael Wormwood – Peter Howe

Mrs Phelps – Melanie La Barrie

Escapologist – Matthew Malthouse

Acrobat – Emily Shaw

Miss Honey – Lauren Ward

Miss Trunchbull – Bertie Carvel

Rudolpho – Michael Rouse

Cook – Verity Bentham

Sergei – Alastair Parker

Henchmen – Marc Antolin, Nick Searle

Swings – Emily-Jane Boyle, Michael Kent

MatildaAdriana Bertola, Josie Griffiths, Kerry Ingram

Lavender – Ruby Bridle, Rebecca Stoll, Misty May Tindall

BruceJake Bailey, James Beesley, Kuan Frye

AmandaJadie-Rose Hobson, Katie Lee, Lara Weaver

Nigel – Arthur Byrne, Jake Pratt, Adam Scotland

Eric – Jack Christou, Toby Murray, Shivum Gupta

Alice – Jessica Daugirda, Ellie Simons, Annabel Parsons

HortensiaJessica Adair, Daisy Brophy, Shyanne Sanders

Reginald – Elliot Allinson, Thomas McGarrity, Robert Madge

TommyCharlie Callaghan, Callum Henderson, Denzil Sampson