tue 31/05/2016

Birmingham

BCMG, Galbreath, Adrian Boult Hall Birmingham

So this is the end of the Adrian Boult Hall, due to be demolished in a matter of weeks. And to be honest, all but the most nostalgic of Birmingham concertgoers will find it hard to mourn. It’s no architectural masterpiece – nothing like John Madin’s...

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Lill, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, Kogan, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Behemoth Dances. Who dances? You know, Behemoth, the huge demonic black cat who cakewalks through Stalin’s Moscow in Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita spreading mayhem and magic; the spirit – as quoted by Bulgakov, and taken by Stephen Johnson as...

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Coote, CBSO, Wilson, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Can it be true? Was this really the CBSO’s first performance of Bax’s The Garden of Fand? OK, Bax is hardly mainstream repertoire, and if Oramo or Rattle had conducted it, someone would have remembered. Further back in the orchestra’s 96-year...

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Peaky Blinders, Series 3, BBC Two

Sometimes compared to Boardwalk Empire or The Wire, and raved over by the likes of Brad Pitt, Snoop Dogg and even Jose Mourinho, Peaky Blinders opened its third series by becoming positively Godfather-esque. Writer Steven Knight whisked us away from...

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Tharaud, CBSO, Volkov, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Left, alone, Hans Abrahamsen’s new piano concerto for the left hand, swirls out of the darkness to a jagged motor rhythm. Piano and orchestra clash and interlock; you’re reminded of Prokofiev and Ravel. Then something happens. A piano plays, but the...

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Preview: International Dance Festival Birmingham 2016

International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB) is one of the unsung heroes not just of dance in Britain, but of festivals. It treats anyone within striking distance of the West Midlands to an exciting range of performers and public dance events over...

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Vassallo, CBSO, Chauhan, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Funny thing, musical fashion. Most listeners would call Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances a popular classic – yet before tonight, I doubt they’d had a professional performance in Birmingham this century. Then there’s the case of Osvaldo Golijov. Remember...

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Feldman and Cage, Cross-Currents Festival, Birmingham

One strain of American music sprang up one evening early in 1950 from a chance encounter at Carnegie Hall, where the New York Philharmonic had played Webern’s Symphony to an audience of all-too-predictably restless patrons. Both bewitched by the...

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White smoke at the CBSO: Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla for Music Director

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's appointment of the Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla as its new Music Director won’t have surprised many concertgoers in Birmingham – or indeed regular readers of theartsdesk. The post has been...

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Rana, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham

As pianist Beatrice Rana ran up the final bars of Schumann’s Piano Concerto, the conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla turned to her soloist and simply beamed. As well she might. Rana is an artist whose advance publicity belies the seriousness and...

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Ex Cathedra, St Paul's Church Birmingham

Is it possible for a carol concert to have a cult following? Ex Cathedra's annual Christmas Music by Candlelight performances in St Paul’s Church have quietly grown into a Birmingham institution. The audience has evolved its own rituals: camping out...

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Sudbin, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall Birmingham

You can read a lot into the first two chords of Beethoven’s "Eroica" Symphony. Classical portico or violent detonation? Majestic assertion of E flat major, or the first shocking glimpse of a drama that’s already under way? Michael Seal, conducting...

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