The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) has announced its 2022-23 season at Symphony Hall, Birmingham – its first full season in over two years.

The new season will explore important themes and celebrate new music, including performances of the remaining CBSO Centenary Commissions.

There will be a showcase of the CBSO’s own musicians as soloists, a host of world-class guest soloists and conductors, and a celebration of the genius of Vaughan Williams, 150 years after his birth. And, as always, the Orchestra continues its mission to reach new audiences across the West Midlands and beyond, with new projects including an Orchestral Qawwali collaboration and the Orchestra’s first ever video games concert.

The season sees the CBSO explore the fascination that many composers have with the world around us, drawing together music old and new in programmes inspired by the beauty, power and fragility of nature – and human nature. Works exploring the theme of nature and regeneration include great pillars from the orchestral tradition such as Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Debussy’s La mer, Holst’s The Planets, and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.

Violinist Pekka Kuusisto pushes the boundaries and embraces spontaneity, with a programme filled with the sound of birds, including works by Sibelius, Tarrodi, Rautavaara and Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending. Reaffirming the Orchestra’s longstanding commitment to developing the future of orchestral music, the CBSO explores the new with a number of UK Premieres, including Thomas Larcher’s depiction of Austrian mountain peaks, A Line Above the Sky. Guest conductor Nicholas Collon conducts two colossal choruses in a CBSO Centenary Commission, In This Brief Moment – an ‘evolution cantata’ by Brett Dean for double chorus and orchestra inspired by Darwin.

The orchestra also presents a rare live performance of Vaughan Williams’ Scott of the Antarctic. In his fifth season as Principal Guest Conductor, Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor-designate Kazuki Yamada opens the 22-23 Season with a concert celebrating the music of Dvořák, together with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto performed by Nicola Benedetti.

Further highlights of Yamada’s season include: Holst’s The Planets; Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with no fewer than three Birmingham choirs; Rimsky-Korsakov’s beautiful and magical Scheherazade; Rachmaninoff’s rapturous and romantic Second Symphony; and Elgar’s First Symphony.

Mirga returns for her seventh Season with the CBSO and leads the orchestra in six concerts, including Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C with Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Debussy’s La mer, Elgar’s Violin Concerto with Vilde Frang & Schumann’s playful First Symphony. Further highlights include Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, and Mahler’s Tenth Symphony.

The CBSO is proud of its long-standing championing of great British composers, and this year it marks the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ birth with a celebratory series of concerts celebrating a wide-ranging selection of his works.

Presenting Vaughan Williams the explorer, the CBSO and conductor Martyn Brabbins together with soprano Katie Trethewey and the CBSO Youth Chorus, play the score live for a rare showing of the 1948 film Scott of the Antarctic. The CBSO Chorus perform in four concerts throughout the Season and join the celebrations, performing Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs with baritone Roderick Williams and conductor Michael Seal.

The CBSO also welcomes the City of Birmingham Choir and conductor Adrian Lucas for a Centenary programme featuring Vaughan Williams’ much-loved choral work, A Sea Symphony. In addition to the old, the CBSO welcomes the new with concert programmes designed to inspire new audiences and people who may never have seen a full orchestra before.

This strand of programming is complimented by the CBSO’s ‘Starter for £10’ ticket scheme whereby those who have not previously attended a CBSO concert can see the orchestra perform for just £10. The CBSO also continues to offer its hugely popular £5 tickets for students and £10 for those aged 18-30. For more information, visit: