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BICS Season highlights from Team THSH

Next Sunday, 30 September, the 2012/13 Birmingham International Concert Season begins with the UK premiere of Michael Nyman’s soundtrack to iconic silentmovie Battleship Potemkin, performed by Nyman and his band.

This years BICS season is as wide-ranging as ever, featuring works from Rachmaninov to Reich, Poulenc to Purcell, and Brahms to Billy Joel. Throughout the season there is the chance to hear all of Beethoven’s symphonies and piano concertos in the Birmingham Beethoven Cycle, and in January we will be joining with the CBSO and Ex Cathedra to celebrate the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth in A Boy Was Born.

Over the next couple of months keep an eye out for some season highlights, picked by THSH staff, appearing here on the blog – the first few are below. And if you can’t wait for the season to start, you can listen to our BICS 2012/13 playlist on Spotify right now!

The Leningrad Symphony on 2nd October has to be the highlight of the season for me. It’s big and brassy (appealing to a former hornplayer!) but more than anything it’s the story of the first performances that I find so inspirational. The fact that the music was smuggled out of a city under siege to be premiered, and then the musicians in Leningrad had to be given extra rations to have the strength to play this epic work, is humbling and moving, rather like the piece itself.
Sarah – Interim Director of Marketing, Press & PR

My season highlight would be Danielle De Niese. Her voice is so pure and this clip, in particular, is fascinating to me and shows how she works with her voice, the music and the orchestra. She is referred to as the ‘coolest soprano’ and these two words really sum her up as an artist.
Vicki – Marketing Intern

My 2 highlights (amongst others) are book-ending the season, starting with Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony on 2nd Oct 2012. Shostakovich is one of my favourite composers, and to hear his music played by St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra is a treat indeed. The other highlight is The Planets on 15th June 2013. This was the first piece of music I ever heard in Symphony Hall, during my first visit back in 2005, so to get the chance to hear it again in Symphony Hall will be something that I won’t miss. For me, the big orchestral concerts are the highlights of the season, as they really show off Symphony Hall’s world-class acoustics to the extreme.
Chris – Programme Co-ordinator

Danielle de Niese is one of my favorite operatic sopranos, and I can’t wait to hear her live for the first time in the intimate space of Town Hall at the end of September. De Niese is incredibly engaging on stage and has a silky quality that means you can listen to her voice for hours without it starting to grate! If you fancy spicing up a September Sunday afternoon with a bit of glitz, glamour and allure this is just the thing!
Annie – Project Manager (Children and Young People)