Driving rhythms and wide-screen sounds – the music that made America!

You’ve already heard of Danny Elfman: the film composer behind The Simpsons, Batman and Edward Scissorhands. But tonight, discover another side of his genius, as Colin Currie (as one critic put it, “the world’s finest and most daring percussionist) plays Elfman’s Percussion Concerto. Electrifying stuff: and conductor Fabien Gabel will raise the voltage even higher with symphonic showstoppers from Bernstein’s Candide and West Side Story.

About Bernstein & Elfman

Join us for a FREE percussion ensemble performance from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire before the main event! The performance will take place in the Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space from 6:30pm to 7:10pm.

In this pre-concert performance, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire percussionists chart a journey through minimalist-inspired works by Glass, Caroline Shaw and Swiss jazz-drummer Julian Sartorius.

Philip Glass Madeira River
Caroline Shaw Limestone & Felt
Danny Elfman Percussion Quartet

An introduction to Bernstein & Elfman by Colin Currie, Percussion

Where Have I Heard it Before?

Steven Spielberg's West Side Story was nominated for 7 Academy Awards in 2022. Bernstein's spectacular score for the film has been condensed into a beautiful suite (or medley) called West Side Story: Symphonic Dances.

West Side Story: Symphonic Dances Bernstein

Full programme

  • Bernstein, Candide: Overture  (5mins)
  • Elfman, Percussion Concerto  (31mins)
  • Weill, Lady in the Dark: Symphonic Nocturne  (17mins)
  • Bernstein, West Side Story: Symphonic Dances  (24mins)


  • Headshot of Fabien Gabel

    Fabien Gabel

  • Photograph of Colin Currie

    Colin Currie