Introducing our first full concert Season in over two years: a Season filled with hope and excitement, debuts and reunions, and – most importantly – wonderful music for everyone!Our new Season explores important themes and celebrates new music, including performances of the remaining CBSO Centenary Commissions. There will be a showcase of our very own musicians as soloists, a host of world-class guest artists and conductors, and a celebration of the genius of Vaughan Williams, 150 years after his birth.
Alongside showstopping symphonies and choral masterpieces, we have the return of our series of popular classics, concerts for the whole family and the CBSO singalong is back! And, as always, the Orchestra continues its mission to reach new audiences across the West Midlands and beyond, with new projects including an Orchestral Qawwali collaboration and our first ever video games concert.
Kazuki Yamada and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla continue their journeys with the us as joint Principal Guest Conductors, before we officially welcome Kazuki as Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor in April 2023.
See full 22-23 Season
"I am delighted to be able to announce our first full concert Season in over two years: a Season filled with hope and excitement, debuts and reunions, and – most importantly –wonderful music for all ages and tastes. This Season sees us exploring a variety of important themes, throwing the spotlight on some of our own incredible musicians as soloists, showcasing new music a celebration of the genius of Vaughan Williams at 150 and much, much more."
In one key thread, we explore the fascination that many composers have with the world around us, drawing together music old and new in programmes inspired by the beauty, power and fragility of nature – and human nature.
Works exploring the theme of nature and regeneration include great pillars from the orchestral tradition such as Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Debussy’s La mer, Holst’s The Planets, and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Violinist Pekka Kuusisto pushes the boundaries and embraces spontaneity, with a programme filled with the sound of birds, including works by Sibelius, Tarrodi, Rautavaara and Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending.
Reaffirming our longstanding commitment to developing the future of orchestral music, we will complete our most ambitious commissioning programme to date as we perform the last of our CBSO Centenary Commissions in the 22-23 Season.
These include a number of World and UK Premieres, including Thomas Larcher’s depiction of Austrian mountain peaks, A Line Above the Sky, In This Brief Moment – an ‘evolution cantata’ by Brett Dean for double chorus and orchestra inspired by Darwin, and works by Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir, Freya Waley-Cohen and Dani Howard.
Vaughan Williams at 150
We are proud to champion great British composers, and this year we mark the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ birth with a celebratory series of concerts showcasing a wide-ranging selection of his works. Presenting Vaughan Williams the explorer, the CBSO and conductor Martyn Brabbins together with soprano Katie Trethewey and the CBSO Youth Chorus, play the score live for a rare showing of the 1948 film Scott of the Antarctic. The CBSO Chorus perform in four concerts throughout the Season and join the celebrations, performing Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs with baritone Roderick Williams and conductor Michael Seal. The CBSO also welcomes the City of Birmingham Choir and conductor Adrian Lucas for a Centenary programme featuring Vaughan Williams’ much-loved choral work, A Sea Symphony.
From guest artists making their CBSO debuts to the return of old friends, and the chance for our own musicians to step into the spotlight, we have a huge range of hugely exciting soloists and conductors this Season.
CBSO debuts this season include trumpeter Simon Höfele, conductor Roderick Cox, pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, and conductor and violinist Julian Rachlin. CBSO musicians taking the spotlight as soloists include CBSO leader Eugene Tzikindelean, clarinettist Oliver Janes, horn section leader Elspeth Dutch and flautist Marie-Christine Zupancic. Returning guest soloists and conductors include Nicola Benedetti, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Sir Andrew Davis, Alison Balsom, Roderick Williams, Vilde Frang and Benjamin Grosvenor and more!