mon 20/09/2021

Birmingham

Duran Duran, O2 Institute, Birmingham review – an intimate gig for the local megastars

Incredibly it’s now 40 years since the release of Duran Duran’s debut album. To mark this event, the remaining members of the band’s classic line-up decided to return to Birmingham. Not to the NIA or any similar-sized venue, but for a couple of...

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Remembering Graham Vick (1953-2021) - top colleagues on one of the greatest opera directors

Five weeks have passed since the death of opera director Graham Vick from complications due to Covid-19, shocking even to those of us (un)prepared for the worst, and yet so many of us think about him every day. For the musicians, actors, dancers and...

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CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, BBC Proms review - expectations teased, seldom fulfilled

Nominally, this was a programme of three symphonies. The first, though, sounded like music re-cut and pasted from a very British film and the second was a suite, albeit impressively reworked, from an opera. The real deal, Brahms’s Third, is a very...

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RhineGold, Birmingham Opera Company, Symphony Hall review - music-drama at the highest level

The love of power corrupts, the power of love falters or fails. The essence of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung is also what Graham Vick communicated so stunningly in many of his unforgettable productions with his Birmingham Opera Company (...

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Bostridge, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - large and live

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra believes that its current post-lockdown summer series features the largest orchestra currently performing live in the UK. It’s not an easy claim to verify, and the full string section certainly wasn’t on...

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Kanneh-Mason, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla online review - muted celebrations

“This year was supposed to be so very different” said Stephen Maddock, Chief Executive of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra when he spoke to theartsdesk earlier this year. Talk about an understatement. The CBSO has hardly been alone in...

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CBSO 100th Birthday Celebration online review - top musicians let down by sound and visuals

Let’s start by echoing Simon Rattle’s sense of “how lucky we are”, in our case to be able to share with a 75-piece City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra its centenary to the very day, and celebrate the programme, the performers, the front man too (...

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BCMG, Heinen, Brindleyplace Birmingham review - from the concrete canyons to the stars

Birmingham emerged from musical lockdown with Stockhausen. It couldn’t have been anyone else, really. There’s something about Stockhausen’s fusion of modernity and goofy intergalactic romanticism that clearly strikes a chord in the Second City...

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Album: The Streets - None of Us Are Getting Out of This Life Alive

Given the collaborator list on this album, it should be a bit of a mess. Brit punks IDLES, Aussie woozy pop auteur Tame Impala, pumping bassline house producer Chris Lorenzo turning his hand to drum’n’bass, as well as Ms Banks, Dapz On The Map,...

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Classical music/Opera direct to home 19 – and two before a live audience

It’s begun: very limited access to live music, the chance to sit before one or two players in the same room – as we were doing only three and a half months ago, in some cases thousands of us before an orchestra of up to a hundred musicians. When the...

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'Composing supports children to understand music from the inside': educator Nancy Evans on a revolution in primary schools

Next month (July 2020) marks 20 years since I started work at Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, initially as their first Education Manager and then in my current role as Director of Learning and Participation. So when we were awarded a...

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Rob and Romesh vs Ballet, Sky 1 review - unlikely lads throw themselves in as bait

The odd-couple comedy duo is a time-tested concept, and Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan have discovered a chemistry that works. Rob is the giggling excitable one, while Romesh, aided by a sleepy right eye which conveys a sense of harsh...

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