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Anna Melville, Head of Artistic Planning, shares with us what she is most looking forward to in our 2023-24 Season line-up.

A confession: starting a new concert season is always a happily surreal experience for an orchestra programmer. The concerts are planned on paper well over 12-18 months in advance so by the time we get round to actually hearing them in the hall you’ve almost completely forgotten what is in store and it feels like a gift from the past.

There is much to look forward to as we embark on another exciting year of music together. I am of course incredibly biased, but I am proud of the huge line-up of concerts that we’ve curated to enable that very special kind of escape and entertainment that only the buzz of shared live orchestral performance between both players and audiences can bring.

Throughout the year, we will explore a diverse range of musical themes (particularly featuring French and American repertoire) and follow various creative threads such as: Rachmaninoff’s 150th celebration, the 50th anniversary of the CBSO Chorus, and a selection of works (new and old) that speak to what it means to be human. The season showcases the extraordinary talents of our musicians, our choruses, and guest artists from around the world, in wide ranging repertoire from Adams to Zappa, via Bach to Burt Bacharach, and everything in between.

I couldn’t possibly pick “favourites”, but I’ve listed some personal highlights that I’m looking forward to. There are many, many more…

I look forward to seeing you at a concert (or hopefully at many concerts) soon!

Anna Melville
Head of Artistic Planning

Programmer Picks

Kazuki’s season opening Verdi Requiem (14 Sept) for obvious and epic reasons. (Plus a season opening is always an excuse for Prosecco.)

From Mirga with Love (6 Dec) explores lesser-known Eastern European composers, starring many of our own players as soloists, along with Mirga’s sister on the piano too.

There is a lot of buzz around conductor Tabita Berglund so seeing her make her CBSO debut in a programme featuring Grieg’s beloved concerto and Tchaikovsky’s 5th (11 Jan) is going to be one to watch.

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Seeing Sakari conduct Sibelius (28 Feb) live has been a dream ever since first falling in love with his CBSO recordings from Australia years ago.

Our special collaboration with African cellist Abel Selaocoe (28 April) is one I encourage everyone to take a chance on. If you don’t know him – he is one of the most exciting, engaging, and thrilling artists out there today, trust me.

For a varied but full “meal” of a programme I can’t wait for Josh Weilerstein’s concert (15 May) Dvořák’s New World Symphony with evocative works by Haas, Bernstein and Caroline Shaw; this is one of those truly satisfying programmes that will feel like you have been on a journey.

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