Rebellion and Resistance


- Battleship Potemkin – Eisenstein’s influential 1925 film screening with UK premiere of new film score written and performed by Michael Nyman

- St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra performs Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony to mark 70th anniversary of the Leningrad premiere given by its predecessor. (first date of extensive UK tour)

The 2012/13 Birmingham International Concert Season, one of the UK’s largest international classical music series, opens in September with Rebellion & Resistance, a two-part concert series exploring iconic works in Russian cultural history.

Launching the season on Sunday 30 September is a screening of Sergei Eisenstein’s cinematic masterpiece, Battleship Potemkin. The silent film will be accompanied by a newly commissioned score by Michael Nyman (receiving its UK première) performed live by the Michael Nyman Band. Released in 1925, the post-revolution movie chronicles a pre-revolution event: the 1905 mutiny on board the battleship Potyomkin in which the sailors rebelled against their Tsarist officers. The landmark film contains startling visual language and some unforgettable and much-imitated sequences, not least the famous ‘Odessa Steps’. The concert will also include a selection of Michael Nyman classic film scores including A Zed & Two Noughts, The Draughtsman’s Contract and Prospero’s Books.

Then on Tuesday 2 October, the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra gives a very special performance of Shostakovich’sSeventh Symphony (Leningrad), the first stop in a 17-date UK tour commemorating 70 years since its predecessor – the Leningrad Radio Orchestra – gave the heroic Leningrad première in August 1942. Almost a year into the 900-day siege by the Nazis, the performance was broadcast via public loudspeakers to the city’s starving inhabitants, and became a legendary act of public defiance in the face of extreme adversity.

These two great works are among the most iconic in Russian 20th-century culture. Both have achieved almost mythical status through their connection to remarkable historical events and, although each is an outstanding masterwork of its genre, both raise fascinating questions about the way works of art can be used for political and propaganda purposes.

- Paul Keene, Director of Programming & Projects Town Hall and Symphony Hall

Further information is available from or 0121 780 3333


Notes to Editors

Town Hall & Symphony Hall Box Office 0121 780 3333
Online booking:

Sunday 30 Sepetmber, 7.30pm, Symphony Hall
Battleship Potemkin (certificate PG)
Selection of film music by Michael Nyman
Performed by Michael Nyman Band
6.15pm – pre-concert conversation with Michael Nyman

Tuesday 2 October, 7.30pm, Symphony Hall
St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra
Alexander Dmitriev (conductor)
Peter Donohoe (piano)
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3
Shostakovich: Symphony No 7 Leningrad
6.15pm – pre-concert talk by Stephen Johnson

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a Registered Charity No 1053937. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events a year, designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and almost 12,000 young people and 6,000 adults participate in the thriving Education and Community programme.

Town Hall Birmingham re-opened in October 2007 following a £35m renovation funded by Birmingham City Council (£18.3m), Heritage Lottery Fund (£13.7m), European Regional Development Fund (£3m).

£2.50 fee per transaction is charged on all bookings except purchases made in person at the box office

Fiona Fraser/Lyle Bignon/Abi Barrington
Press & PR Manager/Assistant Press & PR Manager/Press Assistant
T 0121 644 5008/0121 644 6028/0121 644 6078 (Direct)

18 July 2012