The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is due to set off on its first coast-to-coast US tour in 24 years on Monday 10 October. Joined by its Principal Guest Conductor (and until recently Music Director) Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and superstar cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the Orchestra will play a distinctive programme including Elgar’s much-loved Cello Concerto (which featured in the CBSO’s inaugural concert in 1920) and Debussy’s La mer.
The orchestra’s own centenary commission – Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel Symphony will be performed at five selected venues during the tour, receiving its West Coast Premiere at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and its New York Premiere at Carnegie Hall. The Orchestra will also be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams with four performances of his atmospheric Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, with the Los Angeles performance falling on his actual birthday. And Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla continues her exploration of the music of Polish composer Mieczysław Weinberg with three performances of his Jewish Rhapsody following the work’s first public performance in Birmingham at the end of September.
The tour, made possible by the generous philanthropic support from former CBSO board member John Osborn CBE, visits The Granada Music Theatre, Santa Barbara (Monday 10 October), Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa (Tuesday 11 October), Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles (Wednesday 12 October), Mondavi Center for the Arts, Davis (Saturday 15 October), Davies Hall, San Francisco (Sunday 16 October), Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan (Wednesday 19 October), The Strathmore, Bethesda, Maryland(Friday 21 October) and Carnegie Hall, New York (Saturday 22 October).
Stephen Maddock, Chief Executive of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, said: ‘We’re extremely excited to be heading off on our first major US tour for over two decades, joined by two of our closest musical friends – Mirga and Sheku. We’re looking forward to sharing some of the music that means the most to us with audiences across America, from Elgar and Debussy to Weinberg and Britten. We hope to see some old friends and make lots of new ones.’