Symphony Hall turns 21


“The hall, which opened in April 1991, remains the UK’s finest, with a perfect acoustic admired around the world” – The Observer #sh21

BIRMINGHAM, UK: World-class concert venue Symphony Hall, officially opened by HM The Queen in 1991, turned twenty-one on Tuesday 12 June.

The milestone was marked with a special evening concert from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Andris Nelsons and Simon Halsey, and featuring baritone Bryn Terfel and mezzo-soprano Christine Rice. The performance, which included Elgar’s The Music Makers and Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe suite, was repeated on Wednesday 13 June. Both performances were generously sponsored by the University of Birmingham.

Other Symphony Hall 21st Anniversary Festival events still to come include Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, a massed promenade-style performance featuring over 600 city schoolchildren entitled Sing A Song For 21, intimate and rare UK performances from musical heavyweights Tony Bennett and George Benson, and Die Walküre from an outstanding Opera North line-up before the Festival is brought to a close in style on 20 July with New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

“The audiences in Birmingham are exceptionally warm and welcoming and they are so fortunate to have this beautiful Symphony Hall right in their home town…one of my favourite places to perform.” – Tony Bennett

Artists from across the musical spectrum, audience members, supporters and partners have been paying tribute to Symphony Hall’s on-going contribution to the cultural and social fabric of the City of Birmingham, as well as nationally and internationally. Messages can be left on the hall’s website, via Twitter using the hashtag #sh21, Facebook and on a display stand in the venue’s foyer.

In 21 years, Symphony Hall has welcomed over 10 million visitors, presented in excess of 7,500 events and claimed its place on the global music map.

Widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest concert halls, the 2,262 seat venue opened in Birmingham to critical acclaim in 1991. Since then, artists including Bruce Springsteen, Yehudi Menuhin, Liza Minnelli, Jean Michel Jarre, Lang Lang, Morrissey, Grace Jones, Ravi Shankar and many of the world’s greatest soloists and orchestras have graced its stage.

“Having grown up in Birmingham, I feel really proud that this city has one of the finest concert halls in the UK. It’s always a highlight to play to the audiences in this wonderful theatre.” – Joan Armatrading

A seven-month long 21st Anniversary Festival has featured thrilling performances from artists, entertainers, orchestras and soloists including the Royal Opera, Billy Connolly, Kailash Kher, Elvis Costello, John Malkovich, Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet amongst others.

“This concert venue is so beautiful you could listen to a recital of the yellow pages (there) and still enjoy it. Sumptuous and has aged so well” – Englandman13 via Trip Advisor #sh21