Midori and the CBSO

Friday 29 July 2011 at 7.30pm

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

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andris Nelsons conductor
Midori violin
Nadezhda Serdiuk mezzo
CBSO Chorus

Strauss: Don Juan 18′
Walton: Violin Concerto 28′
Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky Op 78 36′
Strauss: Salome: Dance of the Seven Veils 9′

A flurry of strings, a blaze of trumpets, and Richard Strauss’s Don Juan rockets into passionate life. And that’s just the start of this highoctane thriller of a concert with the ever-energetic Andris Nelsons at the helm. Prokofiev’s spectacular cantata began life as a film score – but with the massed forces of the CBSO and the full CBSO Chorus going for broke, it’s even more graphic without the pictures. And we’re thrilled to welcome a true superstar of the violin, Midori, making an eagerly-awaited return to Birmingham in Walton’s glittering, rarely heard concerto. Prepare to be dazzled. www.cbso.co.uk

Listen / watch Prom 21 again – http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/whats-on/2011/july-30/24 


Review of this programme at the Proms, by Edward Seckerson, Independent:


…     “But it wasn’t all over until the fat lady danced and ending as he began, with Strauss, Nelsons’ account of the “Dance of the Seven Veils” from Salome was the true climax of the concert with a swoon factor pretty much off the scale. “

Review of this programme at the Proms, by Ivan Hewett, Telegraph:


…     “But the three other pieces were incandescent. Strauss’s Dance of the Seven Veils dripped with sultry eroticism, and the famous Battle of the Ice in Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky’s cantata raised the roof. However there was space within the tumult for subtleties, such as the Field of the Dead movement, which Mezzo-soprano Nadezhda Serdiuk sang with beautifully focused gravity.”


Review of this programme at the Proms, by Alexandra Coghlan, TheArtsDesk:


…     “Here the CBSO could finally release the power of their string section who swelled to match the baleful hit of brass and timpani that rose from the back. Joined by the CBSO chorus they marched us through barren landscapes, telling warmly of the great victory over the Swedish. The heart of the work is surely its latter sections, where the banners of triumphal nationalist pride become muddied under foot. It was here that the dynamism of the Nelsons/CBSO partnership came into its own, the conflicting currents juddering through The Battle on the Ice, pace rising to a crazed orchestral tattoo. Mezzo Nadezhda Serdiuk mourned passionately over The Field of the Dead with depth and breadth of tone, and just enough simplicity to keep this folk epic from overheating.”     …


Review of this programme at the Proms, by Guy Dammann, Guardian:


…     “Nelsons’s pacing was immaculate at every step, from the blustering opening to the blissful swellings that precede the heart-stopping final resignation. Together with Dance of the Seven Veils, which concluded the concert, Don Juan also showcased the orchestra’s excellent woodwind section – particularly the principal oboeist, Rainer Gibbons, whose snaking phrases in the slow middle section left me, if thankfully not him, breathless.”     …


Review of this programme at the Proms, by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:


…     “But most astounding of all was the account of Prokofiev’s film-derived cantata Alexander Nevsky, the CBSO Chorus projecting its impeccable Russian with such presence in this wafty acoustic, Nadezhda Serdiuk the compassionate, sorrowing mezzo soloist, and the CBSO delivering this vibrant score with verve, aplomb, and brilliant control over its massive paragraphs.

 And Andris Nelsons? The huge applause from an audience which has probably never had the chance to experience what a miracle he is said it all.”
Review of this programme at the Proms, by Mark Berry, SeenandHeard:
…     “It is only fair to say that the CBSO’s orchestral performance was very fine: slower material sounded undeniably gorgeous, with glowing strings. Solos were exquisitely taken, for instance by leader Zoë Beyers and principal oboist, Rainer Gibbons, the latter’s line beautifully spun in musical and narrative terms. What the performance lacked was either a Kempe-like symphonic integrity or some attempt to deconstruct the hero as in Boulez’s fascinating Chicago recording of Also sprach Zarathustra. Nelsons’s Strauss appeared to be an irony-free zone.”     …

Sir Anthony Hopkins – in Concert

Saturday 23 July 2011 at 7.30pm

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

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Sir Anthony Hopkins CBE
Michael Seal conductor

Spend an evening with one of the world’s greatest living screen actors, as Sir Anthony Hopkins joins the CBSO on stage to introduce his own original music and scores from his best known films.

In recent years, the Oscar-winning actor has returned to his first love – music – and regularly composes at the piano. This concert will feature some of his beautiful original music for orchestra, including his scores for his own films Slipstream and August, and music written especially for this evening. You’ll also be treated to music from some of Hopkins’s best known films, such as Shadowlands, Silence of the Lambs and Remains of the Day. Throughout the concert Hopkins will talk about his music and his film roles. Don’t miss this unique experience going beyond the screen to find out more about the man and his music. www.cbso.co.uk

 ThumbnailSounds Interesting

 pre-concert talk at 6.15pm
Tommy Pearson in conversation with Alex Heffes, composer of The Rite, and Stephen Barton, orchestrator to Hopkins.

Hopkins: Orpheus
Shore: The Silence of the Lambs
Doyle: Thor – Suite (Concert premiere)
Hopkins: Stella
Hopkins: Evesham Fair
Heffes: The Rite – Suite (Concert premiere)
Hopkins: And The Waltz Goes On


Goldenthal: Titus – Suite (Concert premiere)
Hopkins: Amerika
Robbins: The Remains of the Day
Fenton: Shadowlands
Hopkins: Margam
Hopkins: 1947 – Circus. Bracken Road. The Plaza.
Encore: Hopkins The Plaza

Sir Anthony Hopkins’ music inspired by Margam childhood:


Sir Anthony Hopkins to showcase talent as a composer:


Sir Anthony Hopkins gives Birmingham a thumbs up at the CBSO Film Music Festival:

Read More http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2011/07/25/sir-anthony-hopkins-gives-birmingham-a-thumbs-up-at-the-cbso-film-music-festival-97319-29112434/#ixzz1T8DcFQhi

Hollywood star Anthony Hopkins to host music festival in Birmingham:

Read More http://www.birminghampost.net/news/west-midlands-news/2011/02/25/hollywood-star-anthony-hopkins-to-host-music-festival-in-birmingham-65233-28231638/#ixzz1T8DyPtB0

Hidden talents of Anthony Hopkins to premiere in Birmingham:

Read More http://www.birminghampost.net/life-leisure-birmingham-guide/birmingham-culture/music-in-birmingham/2011/07/15/unknown-65233-29046714/#ixzz1T8EPEOi8

Review: CBSO Film Music Festival, by Elmley de la Cour, Birmingham Post:




Anthony Hopkins CD – “Composer” released 16th January 2012

Evesham Fair
Bracken Road
The Plaza
And the Waltz Goes On

Available online at http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/CFM/CFMD22

Review by Ben Hogwood, MusicOMH:

Click here for full review

…     “On one hand Hopkins was extremely lucky, for few contemporary composers get to jump in feet first with an orchestra as good as the CBSO. Yet on the other hand the music fully merits its status, for Hopkins writes with considerable flair and confidence. The feel is very much that of a man who loves making music, who writes instinctively from the heart. With that instinct comes a strong grasp of structure for shorter, more cinematic works, rather than complex symphonic forms – yet within these numbers Hopkins develops his work subtly and never settles for mere repetition.”      …


Sir Anthony Hopkins talks with Jessica Duchen, Independent:

Click here for full article

…     “In spirit, his music turns out to be rather similar to his paintings: vividly coloured, drifting from the literal to the dreamlike and sometimes betraying a dark, haunted intensity. The opening track, “Orpheus”, is positively sinister. But there’s a variety. One tender number featuring a rhapsodic cello solo is dedicated to Stella; some pay tribute to the visceral excitement of cinema, while “And The Waltz Goes On” – a full-blooded, slightly lurid take on the Viennese waltz tradition – has been championed by André Rieu, who orchestrated it and gave its first performances with his Johann Strauss Orchestra.”     …


Review by Keith Bruce, HeraldScotland:

Click here for full review

…     “Without naming names, there are writers of music with successful careers whose work is less interesting and varied than this selection of Sir Anthony’s.”     …

Review by Simon Gage, Express:

Click here for full review

…     “It’s lush and unsurprisingly cinematic. Talk about having a second string to your bow.”

Article (with extracts of music) ClassicFM:

Click here for full article

…     On July 23rd 2011, world-renowned actor Sir Anthony joined the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on stage at Birmingham Symphony Hall to introduce a performance of his original compositions and scores from some of his best-known films. ‘Composer’ is the live recording of Sir Anthony’s original works from that evening, including pieces composed for two films that he not only scored but also directed and starred in (‘Slipstream’ and ‘August’).”     …

Review by Staff, SeenIt:

Click here for full review

…     “Of the nine tracks, our favourite is ‘Braken Road’ – it’s the perfect sound to unwind to after a hard day’s work. ”     …

Selection from article with Emma Pomfret, The Times – at Gramilano:

Click here for full Gramilano article

…     “When I heard the orches­tra I did think, my God, this is my music! It takes your breath away … Let’s say I’m pleas­antly moved.”     …

John Williams Blockbusters

Friday 22 July 2011 at 7.30pm

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

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Michael Seal conductor

Including music from: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark • Close Encounters of the Third Kind •Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban • Schindler’s List • Munich •Star Wars • The Witches of Eastwick • JFK • Jaws • Saving Private Ryan •E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial •The Lost World: Jurassic Park •Superman

No-one writes a big film theme like John Williams – no wonder he’s today’s most popular living composer. And if you think his music is thrilling on the big screen, just wait until you hear it live at Symphony Hall – as the CBSO plays a blockbuster concert of John Williams’ very greatest themes. www.cbso.co.uk

Sounds Interesting pre-concert talk at 6.15pm
Tommy Pearson interviews conductor Mike Seal about the art of conducting film music in concert.

John Williams:

Raiders of the Lost Ark – Raiders March
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Suite
Schindler’s List – Theme
Munich – A Prayer for Peace
Close Encounters of the Third Kind – excerpts
Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope – Suite


The Witches of Eastwick – Devil’s Dance
JFK – Theme
Jaws – Shark Theme
Saving Private Ryan – Hymn to the Fallen
The Lost World: Jurassic Park – Theme
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial – Adventures on Earth
Superman: The Movie – Superman March
Encore Star Wars

Tim Burden’s report from Birmingham’s recent Film Music Festival, featuring Sir Anthony Hopkins, John Williams and the superb CBSO live in concert:


21st Century Soundtracks

Tuesday 19 July 2011 at 7.30pm

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

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Dirk Brossé conductor

Including music from:Slumdog Millionaire •Lord of the Rings •Pirates of the Caribbean • Atonement • Paul •Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire • Lagaan •The King’s Speech • Chicken Run • Love Actually •Pride and Prejudice • There Will Be Blood

Gandalf defying the Balrog… dazzling Bollywood dance routines… plasticine chickens with goofy grins… the sparkle in Captain Jack Sparrow’s eye. Let the truly sensational music that accompanied these unforgettable moments bring them flooding back. In this spectacular opening concert of our Soundtrack to your Summer festival, we celebrate the very latest classics of the silver screen, many of which are featured in Classic FM’s movie music chart. From soaring romance to white-knuckle thrills, these are the soundtracks to all our lives – performed with passion in the glittering surroundings of Symphony Hall. The adventure starts here!

Williams: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone– Suite
Shore: Theme from Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring
Marianelli: Pride and Prejudice – Suite
Greenwood: Music from There Will Be Blood
Rahman: Slumdog Millionaire – Suite
Gregson-Williams: Chronicles of Narnia – Royal Coronation


Zimmer: Finale from Pirates of the Caribbean Suite
Desplat: The King’s Speech  – Suite (Premiere)
Rahman: Theme from Lagaan
Marianelli: Excerpts from Atonement
Arnold: ‘Goodbye (It’s a little awkward)’ from Paul (Premiere)
Armstrong: ‘Glasgow Love Theme’ from Love Actually / ‘Cello Theme’ from World Trade Center
Powell / Gregson-Williams: ‘Escape to Paradise’ from Chicken Run
Encore reprise Zimmer: Pirates of the Caribbean

“Musical scores for silent films unearthed in Birmingham” :
www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2011/jul/14/musical-scores-silent-films-birmingham …
“Some of the tunes will be heard for the first time in 80 years next Tuesday – not even the librarians have heard them yet – at the launch of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s film music festival, when they will be performed at a free pre-concert event by Ben Dawson, the CBSO’s pianist.”

‘Cinematic treasures’ of the silent movie: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9543000/9543271.stm

Friday Night Classics: Puttin’ on the Ritz

Friday 1 July 2011 at 7.30pm

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

City of Birmingham Symphony Orhcestra

John Wilson conductor
Kim Criswell vocalist
Gary Williams vocalist

Youmans/Kahn/Eliscu: Flying Down to Rio
Berlin: Top Hat
Berlin: Cheek To Cheek
Kern/Fields: Pick Yourself Up
Kern/Fields: A Fine Romance
Kern/Dougall: I’ll Be Hard To Handle
Kern/Fields: The Way You Look Tonight
Berlin: Puttin’ On The Ritzv Conrad/Magidson: The Continentalv Gershwin: Walking The Dog
Gershwin/Gershwin: Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off
Gershwin/Gershwin: Slap That Bass
Gershwin/Gershwin: They All Laughed
Gershwin/Gershwin: Shall We Dance?


Berlin: Steppin’ Out With My Baby
Berlin: It Only Happens When I Dance With You
Berlin:A Couple of Swells
Lane/Lerner: You’re All The World To Me
Lane/Lerner: Too Late Now
Lane/Lerner: How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I’ve Been A Liar All My Life?
Schwartz/Dietz: Dancing In The Dark
Gershwin/Gershwin: They Can’t Take That Away From Me
Gershwin/Gershwin: Let’s Kiss and Make Up
Gershwin/Gershwin: Clap Yo Hands

Encore Schwartz/Dietz: That’s Entertainment

Pick yourself up and dust yourself off at the end of the week, and indulge in an evening of great music from the golden age of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Conductor John Wilson has a real passion for these songs, and it’s easy to see why, with hit after hit by George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern – brought to you by star vocalists Kim Criswell and Gary Williams. Top hat, white tie and tails are optional, but expect smooth glamour and tuneful exuberance perfect for an uplifting summer’s night. That’s entertainment! www.cbso.co.uk