As part of their shared commitment to opening up a world of opportunity, the CBSO and HSBC UK are offering members of the public the chance to try their hand at conducting a live 80-piece orchestra as they serenade shoppers and travellers at free performances at Birmingham’s New Street Station at 4pm and 5.30pm on Friday 15 October.

Moving out of their usual venue, Symphony Hall, and into one of the UK’s busiest stations, Birmingham’s world-class orchestra will perform an eclectic mix of much-loved music from the theme from Star Wars to classical showstoppers with conductor Michael Seal.  A very special ‘encore’ will see members of the public stepping onto the conductor’s podium to take the baton and conduct the renowned orchestra.  A call out on CBSO’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels launches on Monday 11 October inviting members of the public – of all and any musical abilities – to become CBSO’s maestro of the moment and try their hand at conducting.

The event is part of a wide-ranging programme of musical events across the city this autumn which have been made possible by support from the orchestra’s new principal Season partner HSBC UK and Arts Council England’s Culture Recovery Fund.

CBSO musicians will also perform the first in a new series of informal Symphonic Sessions gigs at Hockley Social Club – the city’s newest neighbourhood hangout, developed by the founders of Digbeth Dining Club – from 6pm on Thursday 21 October.  This new collaboration between the venue and the Orchestra will see CBSO musicians performing a mixture of music from contemporary, classical, indie – and everything in between – in relaxed and informal setting. The event will also feature DJ sets from DJ Pritt Kalsi, and a selection of street food from Hockley’s most popular vendors.

Younger audiences and families will be catered for too with events such as CBSO Musical Storytimes at Sutton Coldfield Library on Saturday 16 October. Taking place from 10.30-11.30am and ideal for children aged 2-6 years old, families are warmly invited to join musicians Helen Edgar (CBSO Cellist) and Bryony Morrison (CBSO Violinist) for this free event as they use their instruments to tell the beautiful story of children’s book The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers.

Other CBSO musicians will be out and about across the city including CBSO violinist Kirsty Lovie and viola player Adam Römer who formed the Lovie-Romer Duo during the pandemic. Presenting a unique fusion of traditional Scottish and Hungarian music that draws from their own heritage, Kirsty (from Scotland) and Adam (from Hungary) will perform a programme of string duos at the Spotted Dog in Digbeth at 4pm on Sunday 17 October.

This autumn over 10,000 local care home residents will have the opportunity to experience the CBSO for free as DVDs of filmed concerts are delivered as a gift from the orchestra to 400 care homes around the city. Specially programmed by CBSO musicians who have been trained in dementia awareness and have direct experience of working in care settings, these filmed concerts enable older people living in care settings anywhere in the UK to have a concert experience from the comfort of their own home.

A number of events will also take place at Lightwoods Park and House in Bearwood including  Jazz in the Jungle and Oscar at the Opera on Saturday 30 October featuring live storytelling, performance and children’s workshops in a partnership with children’s author Joey Walter and illustrator Ning Ning Lee.

Also launched this week the CBSO feature in a brand-new podcast created in partnership with Sutton Arts. Created during lockdown as means of engaging with local creatives, the Sutton Podcast features five Sutton Coldfield-based five members of the CBSO who were interviewed and commissioned to record four brand new works. The works will be performed by the musicians at an event hosted in partnership with Sutton Arts at Oikos Café, Erdington on Friday 15 October from 6.30pm.

HSBC UK has deep roots in the West Midlands, and opened its new head office in the heart of the city centre in July 2018.

Ian Stuart, Chief Executive of HSBC UK said: “The CBSO is a keystone of arts and culture in Birmingham and the West Midlands, as well as being one of the world’s top orchestras. As Birmingham’s growth as an attractive hub for business, culture and people continues, we’re delighted to be helping open a world of opportunity and music to people across the region.”

Stephen Maddock, Chief Executive of CBSO said: “The CBSO has always belonged to the people of Birmingham and the West Midlands and it always will.  We truly believe in the power of live music to enrich people’s lives, regardless of age or background and what’s especially wonderful about this new partnership with HSBC UK is that it will enable us to do just that. To reach and engage with even more people and to take the Orchestra to new and unexpected places to connect with them.”

Storytimes at Sutton Coldfield Library on Saturday 16 October is a free event, no pre-booking required, simply turn up on the day. Further details of these events can be found here.

For more information on all other events visit cbso.co.uk/out-and-about