2021: An Extraordinary Year


2021 has been an unusual year for us all, and as it comes to an end we've taken a look back at everything Birmingham's orchestra has been up to.

Despite the odds, in 2021 we've been able to deliver so much activity - ranging from giving 65 concerts to over 30,000 audience members and record-breaking numbers of schools sessions across the region, to 3 Season Launches, new partnerships with Marquee TV and Hockley Social Club, performances around the city (including a full orchestral pop-up in New Street Station) and a new Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor designate - to name just a few.

See our full 2021 timeline below.

2021:

THE SOUND OF THE FUTURE

 

THE SOUND OF INNOVATION

Throughout January and February 2021

We created lots of digital content to reach our audiences

Including educational resources to support home schooling, digital concerts and digital events to help keep CBSO members connected.

THE SOUND OF POTENTIAL

26 April 2021

Our Youth and Children's Choruses return to live rehearsals for the first time since March 2020.

THE SOUND OF OUR CITY

30 April 2021

School visits resume and we go on to deliver a record-breaking 121 sessions in schools across the region.

Find out more

THE SOUND OF OUR CITY

May 2021

3 concerts live-streamed into schools across the West Midlands, reaching 10,000 children.

THE SOUND OF EXCELLENCE

19 May 2021

The CBSO is back, live in Symphony Hall!

This performance, conducted by Edward Gardner, was the first of 20 live concerts throughout the Summer.

"tonal refinement, heroic sweep and limitless palette of tingling, translucent orchestral colours..." - The Spectator

THE SOUND OF INNOVATION

June 2021

We announced a two-year partnership with Marquee TV announced - giving people around the world the chance to see the CBSO in action.

Explore digital concerts

2 July 2021

Our new CBSO truck arrives!

THE SOUND OF OUR CITY

15 July 2021

SO Vocal - our community choir - meets outdoors for its first rehearsal since 2020.

THE SOUND OF OUR CITY

18 July 2021

The new foyer spaces open at Symphony Hall

As well as performing at the opening, we've gone on to give multiple talks and performances in the new Jennifer Blackwell performance space.

THE SOUND OF EXCELLENCE

31 July 2021

We join Birmingham Opera Company for their production of RhineGold.

THE SOUND OF EXCELLENCE

1 August 2021

We welcome back the wonderful CBSO Chorus to perform for the first time since March 2020.

THE SOUND OF EXCELLENCE

4 August 2021

We launch our Autumn 2021 Season

An amazing 32 live performances between September and December, with a host of world-class soloists and conductors.

THE SOUND OF EXCELLENCE

5 August 2021

The orchestra and Mirga perform live at the BBC Proms

With a programme that included one of the CBSO Centenary Commissions, The Exterminating Angel Symphony by Thomas Adès.

THE SOUND OF OUR CITY

September 2021

The orchestra spends a few intense days recording all the national anthems for the 2022 Commonwealth Games

THE SOUND OF EXCELLENCE

14 September 2021

Kazuki Yamada is named our new Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor from April 2023.

Read more about Kazuki

THE SOUND OF EXCELLENCE

16 September 2021

We open the Autumn Season

An emotional concert which reunited the Chorus and Orchestra, as well as being Kazuki's first concert since his appointment.

The orchestra gave 65 live concerts throughout 2021 - reaching over 30,000 audience members

THE SOUND OF OUR CITY

15 October 2021

The full orchestra and conductor Michael Seal "pop-up" at New Street Station

Where members of the public got the chance to conduct the CBSO (after a quick masterclass with our librarian, Jack)

THE SOUND OF OUR CITY

October

CBSO Out and About sees a month of performances and events around the city (and beyond)

Which included visits to libraries, pubs, art galleries and other community venues, supported by HSBC UK.

THE SOUND OF INNOVATION

21 October 2021

The launch of Symphonic Sessions, our new venture and partnership with Hockley Social Club.

We went on to do a second event in December and there are plans for more in 2022.

THE SOUND OF POTENTIAL

November

We open applications for our new Assistant Conductor Programme

Offering a small group of UK-based emerging conductors a year of professional development with the orchestra.

THE SOUND OF EXCELLENCE

16 November 2021

We announce our exciting January - July 2022 Season

See the full Season

THE SOUND OF EXCELLENCE

21 November 2021

The orchestra go on tour!

Performing Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen in Dortmund, Hamburg and Paris - the first European tour since lock-down began.

"Janáček's natural wonder goes large, in a supercharged concert staging"
- the arts desk

THE SOUND OF INNOVATION

December 2021

We launch our partnership with Tickets for Good - offering free tickets to NHS workers.

THE SOUND OF EXCELLENCE

December 2021

We launch our Schools Appeal

Raising money for our specially tailored schools concerts which will reach around 13,500 young people from across the West Midlands in February 2022.

Help us give the gift of live music

THE SOUND OF EXCELLENCE

16, 17 & 19 December 2021

Our annual Christmas concerts round off an exciting year!

Featuring our orchestra, all our wonderful choruses and presented by Classic FM's Karthi Gnanasegaram.

 


All of this was only possible thanks to the generous support of our principal funders Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and HSBC UK, and our wonderful individual donors, corporate partners, and trusts and foundations who enable us to make music for the people of Birmingham and beyond. Click here to find out more about how you can help to support our work.