CBSO: Out & About - pop-up performances around Birmingham


This autumn, the CBSO will be popping-up across the city with a wide range of musical events, all of which have been made possible by support from the orchestra’s new principal Season partner HSBC UK and Arts Council England’s Culture Recovery Fund.

Moving out of our usual venue and into one of the UK’s busiest stations, the Orchestra will serenade shoppers and travellers at free performances at Birmingham’s New Street Station between 4pm and 6pm on Friday 15 October. The eclectic mix of much-loved music, from Star Wars to classical showstoppers, will be conducted by Michael Seal. In a very special ‘encore’, members of the public will be able to step onto the conductor’s podium to take the baton and conduct the renowned orchestra. A call out on our social media channels will launch on Monday 11 October.

Four CBSO musicians will perform the first in a new series of informal Symphonic Sessions gigs at Hockley Social Club – the city’s newest neighbourhood hangout, developed by the founders of Digbeth Dining Club – from 6pm on Thursday 21 October. This new collaboration between with the venue will feature music ranging from contemporary and classical to indie, in relaxed and informal setting. The event will also feature DJ sets from Pritt Kalsi, and a selection of street food from Hockley’s most popular vendors. Click here for tickets.

Younger audiences and families will be catered for too with events such as CBSO Musical Storytimes at Sutton Coldfield Library on Saturday 16 October. Taking place from 10.30-11.30am and ideal for children aged 2-6 years old, families are warmly invited to join musicians Helen Edgar (cellist) and Bryony Morrison (violinist) for this free event as they use their instruments to tell the beautiful story of children’s book 'The Way Back Home' by Oliver Jeffers.

Other CBSO musicians will be out and about across the city including CBSO violinist Kirsty Lovie and viola player Adam Römer who formed the Lovie-Romer Duo during the pandemic. Presenting a unique fusion of traditional Scottish and Hungarian music that draws from their own heritage, Kirsty (from Scotland) and Adam (from Hungary) will perform a programme of string duos at the Spotted Dog in Digbeth at 4pm on Sunday 17 October.

This autumn over 10,000 local care home residents will also have the opportunity to experience the CBSO for free, as DVDs of filmed concerts are delivered as a gift from the orchestra to 400 care homes around the city. Specially programmed by CBSO musicians who have been trained in dementia awareness and have direct experience of working in care settings, these filmed concerts enable older people living in care settings anywhere in the UK to have a concert experience from the comfort of their own home.

A number of events will be taking place at Lightwoods Park and House in Bearwood including 'Jazz in the Jungle' and 'Oscar at the Opera' on Saturday 30 October featuring live storytelling, performance and children’s workshops in a partnership with children’s author Joey Walter and illustrator Ning-ning Li. 

Also launched this week the CBSO feature in a brand-new podcast created in partnership with Sutton Arts. Created during lockdown as means of engaging with local creatives, the Sutton Podcast features five Sutton Coldfield-based five members of the CBSO who were interviewed and commissioned to record four brand new works. The works will be performed by the musicians at an event hosted in partnership with Sutton Arts at Oikos Café, Erdington on Friday 15 October from 6.30pm.

HSBC UK has deep roots in the West Midlands, and opened its new head office in the heart of the city centre in July 2018. Ian Stuart, Chief Executive of HSBC UK said: “The CBSO is a keystone of arts and culture in Birmingham and the West Midlands, as well as being one of the world’s top orchestras. As Birmingham’s growth as an attractive hub for business, culture and people continues, we’re delighted to be helping open a world of opportunity and music to people across the region.”

Stephen Maddock, Chief Executive of CBSO said: “The CBSO has always belonged to the people of Birmingham and the West Midlands and it always will.  We truly believe in the power of live music to enrich people’s lives, regardless of age or background and what’s especially wonderful about this new partnership with HSBC UK is that it will enable us to do just that. To reach and engage with even more people and to take the Orchestra to new and unexpected places to connect with them.”

See all upcoming events as part of CBSO: Out & About here.