CBSO Youth Orchestra Academy

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Saturday 26th July 2014 at 7.00pm

Town Hall, Birmingham 0121 345 0603

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Youth Orchestra Academy

Michael Seal  conductor

Kodály: Dances of Marosszek 12′
Strauss: Metamorphosen 26′
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 (Eroica) 47′
Listen on Spotify

Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony blew classical music sky-high. Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen is a cry of anguish in a world devastated by madness. This is music of extremes: ardent, eloquent, and pulsing with emotion – in other words, perfect for the 50 committed young musicians of the superb CBSO Youth Orchestra Academy. Kodály’s fiery Transylvanian dances light the touchpaper: prepare to be blown away.

“These marvellous young players are invincible”

Please allow extra time to travel to this concert if you are coming by road. The A38 St Chad’s and Queensway tunnels through Birmingham will be completely closed to all traffic from 10pm on Friday 18 July until 6am on Monday 1 September 2014. More information is available from



Review by Norman Stinchcombe, Birmingham Post:

Click here for full review

…     “Michael Seal conducted a strong sinewy performance where details were clear – the slow movement’s plaintive oboe lament and the basses’ stabbing interventions for example – but always suborned to the overall narrative drive.

The players clearly relished Beethoven’s dramatic thrusts and parries but also excelled in the jolly bucolic trio with its virtuoso hunting calls – fine work by the horns – and the skittish dancing finale.

The symphony’s funeral march stalks eerily through the bass line at the close of Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen, his string threnody to the destruction of his beloved Dresden, the tainting of German culture by the Nazis and perhaps his own ill-fated collaboration with them.

The bass section captured perfectly how the music crumbles into dust as Beethoven’s accusatory shade appears.”     …


A First for Brahms

Saturday 4 February 2012 at 7.00pm

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

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andrés Orozco-Estrada  conductor
Akiko Suwanai  violin

Kodály: Dances of Galánta 15′ Listen on Spotify 
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto 34′ Listen on Spotify 
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 45′ 

They called it “Beethoven’s Tenth”, but when you hear the glorious melody that crowns Brahms’s First Symphony, you’ll know that it could only be by one man. That’ll be the stirring finish to this Birmingham debut from the acclaimed young Colombian maestro Andrés Orozco- Estrada, who’s made a major splash in Vienna. First, though, enjoy the gorgeous tunes and show-stopping fireworks of Tchaikovsky’s much-loved Violin Concerto. The superb Japanese virtuoso Akiko Suwanai makes an eagerly-awaited return to Birmingham.

To listen to some of the music in this concert, and explore the rest of the season, using our Spotify playlists, click here.


Review by Maggie Cotton, Birmingham Post (for matinee concert which had Beethoven’s Egmont Overture instead of Kodály)

Click here for full review

…    “Originally deemed impossible to play, Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto held no problems for this violinist, the youngest-ever winner of the international Tchaikovsky Competition.

Intonation was not always perfect, but then this was a performance not a test; a joy to hear with splendid orchestral support: wonderful double-stoppings, sparks flying in passionate interchanges, heart-stopping pianissimos with woodwind and horns. A riveting performance.”     …