Issued: Friday 12 June
1 OCTOBER – 9 DECEMBER 2009
SPECIALSERIES OF EVENTSCELEBRATESUNIQUEHERITAGE
- 175TH Birthday Concert: Handel’s Messiah
- Series highlights include Birthday Carnival Open Day, Birthday Bhangra Bash, The Destroyers, Paul Robeson Re-Explored, Elgar?s The Dream of Gerontius, 175TH Birthday Salsa Ball and a reading of Charles Dickens? A Christmas Carol
- Talks on Town Hall?s architectural, musical and wartime history
- 175TH anniversary www.thsh.co.uk/175th
Town Hall Birmingham is one of the oldest concert halls in the world. At the centre of British musical life since the day it opened in October 1834, the much-loved venue marks its milestone 175TH anniversary with a special series of events including concerts, talks, dances, films and more. Tickets are now on sale for the series, which runs from October to December.
The 175TH anniversary celebrates Town Hall?s unique and continuing heritage with seventeen events from traditional to contemporary, reflecting the wide range of performance the hall has always presented. From Tea Dances to talks, Salsa to Silent Movie, A Christmas Carol to a Carnival Open Day, there?s sure to be something for everyone.
The official Birthday Concert on Saturday 3 October is a performance of Handel?s Messiah, a cornerstone of Town Hall?s programming since the hall opened in 1834. Harry Christophers conducts The Sixteen with a classic line-up of British soloists. Elgar?s The Dream of Gerontius – premiered in Town Hall in 1900 – receives two performances by Ex Cathedra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and acclaimed baritone Willard White is joined by the Town Hall Gospel Choir to mark Paul Robeson?s four appearances at Town Hall.
175 Today! A Carnival Open Day marks the birthday itself (4 October), with a free, fun packed day of music and dance for all the family and a truly carnival atmosphere.
One of many famous names to have spoken on Town Hall?s stage was the author and social commentator Charles Dickens who visited Birmingham many times. Clive Francis recreates the occasion in December 1853 when Dickens gave his reading of A Christmas Carol at Town Hall, Birmingham.
Three of Birmingham?s best-loved bands, The Old Dance School, The Toy Hearts and The Destroyers join together for a night of eclectic and pan-global musical bohemia as part of the 175TH series. Award winning experimental music and art promoters Capsule celebrate their own 10th anniversary with a December concert. Another group marking an enduring relationship is the folk group Steeleye Span who visit Town Hall on their 40th anniversary tour.
Dance has always been part of the Town Hall picture and the anniversary events include the ever-popular Tea Dances, with the Garry Allcock All-Stars Band. There?s a Birthday Bhangra Bash with Alaap, Heera and Mona, pioneers of British bhangra, and a 175TH Birthday Salsa Ball with the legendary Grupo X All-Stars in a tribute to Tito Puente.
The Town Hall organ is as old as the hall, a magnificent instrument built by William Hill and still one of England?s finest. The 175TH Birthday Organ Concert by City Organist Thomas Trotter will include works particularly associated with the building, including music by his predecessor as City Organist, Sir George Thalben-Ball, and Felix Mendelssohn who played the organ on his visits to Town Hall. For Halloween, cinema organist Nigel Ogden improvises an accompaniment to the 1925 film classic Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney.
Four talks complete the 175TH anniversary series. In A Hall for All Seasons, Lyndon Jenkins and Beresford King-Smith explore Town Hall?s rich classical music legacy, illustrated with historical recordings and rare film footage. The building?s architectural history and recent renaissance is the subject of a talk by Project Architect Barry Adams and Project Historian Anthony Peers. Professor Carl Chinn considers Birmingham?s, and Town Hall?s, role in World War II history with live music provided by Garry Allcock and his All-Stars Band. And eminent biologist Professor Steve Jones celebrates Charles Darwin?s bicentenary asking Is Human Evolution Over?
Tickets for Town Hall 175TH anniversary series are available from the box office on 0121 780 3333 or on-line at www.thsh.co.uk. Further information from www.thsh.co.uk/175th.
Note to Editors
Tickets for the Town Hall 175TH anniversary series went on sale at 10am on Thursday 18 June from the Box Office 0121 780 3333 or on-line at www.thsh.co.uk
Web link to Town Hall 175th anniversary page: www.thsh.co.uk/175th
Thu 1 Oct, 11.30am & 3pm
TOWNHALLDANCES with the Garry Allcock All-Stars Band
Sat 3 Oct, 7pm
TOWNHALL 175TH BIRTHDAYCONCERT: HANDEL?S MESSIAH
Harry Christophers conducts The Sixteen
Sun 4 Oct, 11am-4pm
175 TODAY! BIRTHDAYCARNIVALOPENDAY
Mon 5 Oct, 7.30pm
175TH BIRTHDAYORGANCONCERT: THOMASTROTTER
Sun 11 Oct, 7pm
THEOLDDANCESCHOOL, THETOYHEARTS & THEDESTROYERS
Mon 12 Oct, 3.30pm
A HALLFORALLSEASONS: 175 YEARS OF CLASSICALMUSIC
Illustrated talk by Lyndon Jenkins and Beresford King-Smith
Wed 21 Oct, 7.30pm
A HANSOMBUILDING: TOWNHALL, ANCIENTANDMODERN
Talk by Barry Adams and Anthony Peers
Sat 24 Oct, 7pm-2am
175TH BIRTHDAYSALSABALL: GRUPO X ALL-STARS IN A TRIBUTE TO TITOPUENTE
Compere Rohan Brown
Sat 31 Oct, 7.30pm
HALLOWEENSILENTMOVIESPECIAL: PHANTOM OF THEOPERA (1925)
Improvised organ accompaniment by Nigel Ogden
Mon 2 Nov, 2.30pm & 6.30pm
TOWNHALL, BIRMINGHAMANDWORLDWAR II
Talk by Professor Carl Chinn with live music from Garry Allcock and his All-Stars Band
Sun 15 Nov, 3pm
CELEBRATINGDARWIN: IS HUMANEVOLUTIONOVER?
Talk by Professor Steve Jones
Sat 21 Nov, 7.30pm (doors open 7pm)
ALAAP, HEERAANDMONA: 175TH BIRTHDAYBHANGRABASH
Fri 27 Nov, 8pm
STEELEYESPAN – 40TH ANNIVERSARYTOUR
Sat 28 Nov, 7.30pm
Sun 29 Nov, 4pm
ELGAR?S THEDREAM OF GERONTIUS
With Ex Cathedra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Wed 2 Dec, 7.30pm
CAPSULE 10TH BIRTHDAYCONCERT
Mon 7 Dec, 7.30pm
A CHRISTMASCAROL BY CHARLESDICKENS, PERFORMED BY CLIVEFRANCIS
Wed 9 Dec, 7.30-m
SIRWILLARDWHITE: ROBESON RE-EXPLORED
Sponsored by Jamaica National Building Society
Town Hall: http://www.thsh.co.uk/page/town-hall-birmingham/
Town Hall history: http://www.thsh.co.uk/page/town-hall-birmingham/history/
Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a registered charity. 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 a thriving education/community department reaches a further 20,000 people of all ages.
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).
TOWNHALLSYMPHONYHALLBOXOFFICE 0121 780 3333
(£2 fee per transaction is charged on all bookings except purchases
made in person at THSH Box Office)
Fiona Fraser/Lyle Bignon
Press & PR Manager/Asst Press & PR Manager
T 0121 644 5008 / 0121 644 6028