City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus announce August performances at Symphony Hall

Two firsts in one week as the CBSO Chorus returns for its first public performance since the pandemic and audiences are invited to the World Premiere of Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel Symphony

Following its recent series of socially distanced concerts coming to a close this week, the CBSO is delighted to announce two additional performances in their home city ahead of announcing their Autumn/Winter programme on 4 August.

Audiences in Birmingham will have the opportunity to hear the CBSO Chorus for the first time in over 16 months when they perform a selection of British choral music on Sunday 1 August at Symphony Hall, a B:Music venue. Conducted by their director Simon Halsey, the Chorus will perform a programme of British choral music ranging from Handel’s Zadok the Priest and Parry’s I Was Glad to works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Judith Weir and Kenneth Leighton.

They will be joined by organist Julian Wilkins who will also give a solo performance of Florence Price’s Air and Toccato from Suite No.1 for Organ.

Ahead of the CBSO’s appearance at the BBC Proms, audiences in the Midlands are also invited to attend Symphony Hall on Wednesday 4 August for a special preview of the programme they will perform at the world-renowned festival. Together with Music Director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, the orchestra will give the world premiere of Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel Symphony  (a CBSO Centenary Commission) and will champion the music of a too-long neglected composer, Ruth Gipps, who started her career as an oboist with what was then the City of Birmingham Orchestra in 1944, before becoming established as a composer. Following the performance, the orchestra will travel to London – their first live performance outside of Birmingham since March 2020 – on Thursday 5 August to perform the programme at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall as part of the 2021 BBC Proms. This performance will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and recorded for television as part of the BBC’s coverage of the event.

Tickets will go on sale to CBSO Members at 10am on Thursday 15 July and on general sale on Friday 16 July at 10am. Full details of ticket prices and seating arrangements for these concerts will be announced shortly.

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
CBSO Chorus.
CBSO Chorus.

Details of the CBSO’s September to December programme of performances and events will be announced on 4 August.


A Choral Celebration 

Sunday 1 August, 3pm
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
CBSO Chorus
Simon Halsey conductor
Julian Wilkins organ

Handel: Zadok The Priest 
Bainton: And I Saw a New Heaven 
Wallen: Peace on Earth 
Price: Air and Toccato, from Suite No.1 for Organ 
Weir: My Guardian Angel 
Ireland: Greater Love Hath No Man 
Coleridge-Taylor: Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis 
Leighton: Ite, Missa Est, from Missa de Gloria, Op.82 
Balfour Gardiner: Evening Hymn
Parry: I Was Glad 

Mirga conducts Brahms and Adès

Wednesday, 4 August, 8pm
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Gipps: Symphony No. 2
Adès: The Exterminating Angel Symphony (World Premiere)
Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major

The World Premier of Adès: The Exterminating Angel Symphony has been rescheduled from its original scheduled performance at Symphony Hall Birmingham on Wednesday 16 June.