ISSUED: 25 September 2008
FIRSTNIGHT, TUESDAY 7 OCTOBER, SYMPHONYHALL
As part of a European tour marking its 25th anniversary, the Budapest Festival Orchestra opens the 2008/09 Birmingham International Concert Season at Symphony Hall on Tuesday 7 October. With its founder and conductor Iván Fischer at the helm, the orchestra will play Mahler?s Third Symphony whose gargantuan proportions make performances of this work a rarity. They are joined by the mezzo soprano Birgit Remmert, Ladies of the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus and the City of Birmingham Youth Chorus.
The Birmingham International Concert Season is the largest international classical music series in the UK, outside London. With over 30 concerts at the two iconic venues -Town Hall and Symphony Hall – the flagship series welcomes a host of internationally-renowned artists including The Royal Opera and Antonio Pappano, conductors Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Libor Pe?ek, soloists Mitsuko Uchida and Leif Ove Andsnes, and recitalists and chamber musicians Murray Perahia and the Tokyo Quartet. Visiting orchestras include the St Petersburg Philharmonic and Prague Symphony orchestras.
The centrepiece of the season is a weekend residency by The Royal Opera with music director Antonio Pappano, joined by all-star casts for Britten?s War Requiem and Verdi?s Requiem. A mini-series entitled ?Ultimate Romantics? sees the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski perform Wagner?s Tristan and Isolde Act II, and Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra in Schoenberg?s Gurrelieder.
The important musical anniversaries of Handel, Purcell, Messiaen and Mendelssohn are all marked, the latter with an exploration of the original version of Elijah by Ex Cathedra.
Note to Editors
Town Hall & Symphony Hall Box Office 0121 780 3333
Online booking: www.thsh.co.uk
Town Hall and Symphony Hall Birmingham are managed together, creating synergy across the two venues and ensuring they are run on a complementary basis. Together, they host an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events every year, designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. The registered charity, Symphony Hall Birmingham Limited, which managed Symphony Hall for 16 years, has been re-named Performances Birmingham Limited to reflect its new remit of managing both venues. Birmingham City Council has always generously supported Symphony Hall and has pledged its continuing commitment to support both venues.
Town Hall Birmingham re-opened in October 2007 following a £35m restoration funded by Birmingham City Council, Heritage Lottery Fund and European Regional Development Fund.
Town Hall press comments
?The refurbished Town Hall in Birmingham ? sounds as sumptuous as it looks.? (The Times, Oct 2007)
??this acoustic, so spectacularly improved, affords the orchestra a full, expansive, neat and clear sound? (Birmingham Post, Oct 2007)
?The new interior is stunningly decked out in grey and white, to offset the turquoise and gold of the organ?? (Independent, Oct 2007)?a fantastic venue for chamber music? (Birmingham Post, November 2007)