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SUMMER FESTIVAL OF MUSIC

A highlight of the academic year for musicians at the University of Birmingham, the annual Summer Festival Of Music this year includes contributions from the university folk band and string orchestra, electro-acoustic student compositions, and a performance of Shostakovich’s fifth symphony by the Summer Festival Orchestra. 

New music by student Oliver Beck and a performance by Jessie Lewis - the winner of the annual Society Soloist Competition - also feature. The festival opens with a reunion event for the university’s popular brass band. 

various locations including the Elgar Concert Hall, The Bramall, The University of Birmingham, until Friday 21 June

Summer Festival Of Music


EX CATHEDRA: SUMMER MUSIC BY CANDLELIGHT

Jeffrey Skidmore once again picks up the baton to conduct Birmingham’s highly rated early music ensemble, on this occasion in a concert that Ex Cathedra confidently predict will see people heading for home singing of summertime. The programmes for these annual get-togethers, presented by candlelight as dusk falls, move seamlessly from seasonal favourites to popular gems and accessible new music.  

Hereford Cathedral, Wednesday 12 June; St Peter’s Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton, Thursday 13 June; St Chad’s Church, Shrewsbury, Friday 14 June; St Paul’s Church, Birmingham, Tuesday 18 June

Summer Music by Candlelight


RBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Acclaimed conductor Martyn Brabbins joins forces with the RBC (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) Symphony Orchestra for what’s being described as ‘a spectacular end-of-year celebration’. 
The two-hour concert features three works: Busoni’s Piano Concerto in C - a bewilderingly difficult composition, here being wrestled with by the RBC’s immensely talented Emanuil Ivanov (pictured); Respighi’s Pines Of Rome, a work of ‘dazzling orchestral colour’ and a perfect showcase for the whole orchestra; and the world premiere of The Lily, a new work by RBC composition student Kinna Whitehead, who features as vocalist.   

The Bradshaw Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Friday 14 June

RBC Symphony Orchestra


CITY OF BIRMINGHAM CHOIR

An evening of moving and inspiring 20th-century French choral and organ music is in prospect when the City of Birmingham Choir make a welcome return to Tewkesbury Abbey this month. 
With Adrian Lucas once again taking on the conducting duties, the choir has teamed up for the concert with Midlands-born organist David Briggs. As well as accompanying the choral pieces, David will also be playing two contrasting solos on the Abbey’s historic Milton organ.

Tewkesbury Abbey, Saturday 15 June

City of Birmingham Choir


AN EVENING WITH ANNA LAPWOOD

With more than one million followers on social media, it’s fair to say that Anna Lapwood is bringing the magic of the organ to the masses. Hailed by Gramophone as ‘the dream ambassador for classical music’, Anna is here performing a mix of her favourite traditional classical and contemporary music. Featured works include Hans Zimmer’s Interstellar, The Da Vinci Code and Inception, Philip Glass’ Mad Rush, Alan Menken’s Hunchback Of Notre Dame and Claude Debussy’s Clair de lune.

Birmingham Town Hall, Thursday 20 June

An Evening With Anna Lapwood


NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

North Staffordshire Symphony Orchestra here marks its 120th birthday with one of four major symphony concerts it will be presenting during 2024. The programme for the evening features Bruckner’s Overture in G minor, Bruch’s Violin Concerto and Brahms’ fourth symphony.

St. John Fisher Catholic College, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Saturday 22 June

North Staffordshire Symphony Orchestra


COVENTRY CATHEDRAL CHORUS: FESTAL CHORAL EVENSONG

Fresh from celebrating their 60th anniversary, Coventry Cathedral Chorus make a welcome return with a concert that includes performances of Charles Wood’s Hail Gladdening Light, Matthew Martin’s Responses, Hubert Parrys Blest Pair Of Sirens and Edward Elgar’s Te Deum. 
Three works by Charles Villiers Stanford - Psalm 150, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in A - also feature.

Coventry Cathedral, Saturday 22 June

Coventry Cathedral Chorus: Festal Choral Evensong


UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS: FINALE!

University of Warwick Symphony Orchestra & Chorus end the season with a concert which features not only orchestral music by Tchaikovsky and Vaughan Williams but also Haydn’s Nelson Mass. One of the final six masses the composer wrote, the piece is widely considered to be a culmination of the best of his liturgical work. 

Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Sunday 23 June

University of Warwick Symphony Orchestra & Chorus: Finale!


ARMONICO CONSORT: THE FAIRY QUEEN

Founded by organist & conductor Christopher Monks in 2001, Armonico are one of the largest organisations of their kind in the UK. Making excellent use of authentic period instruments, the baroque consort regularly perform with some of the best solo musicians in the world. 

This latest concert sees them returning to the output of Henry Purcell, having previously earned rave reviews for their inimitable version of his Dido & Aeneas. This time out, they’re turning their attention to his famous semi-opera, The Fairy Queen - a work based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream...

Armonico are promising that their version will be ‘a modern-day retelling of both of these incredible works in one joyous evening!’  

Royal Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa, Thursday 27 June; Malvern Theatres, Saturday 29 June

Armonico Consort: The Fairy Queen


MADAM BUTTERFLY WITH CBSO & KAZUKI YAMADA

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s (CBSO) chief conductor & artistic advisor, Kazuki Yamada, is the man at the helm for this sure-to-be-impressive performance of a composition close to his heart. 
Telling the story of a geisha girl who marries an American naval officer, only to find that he soon returns home and marries another, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly has become one of the most popular operas of all time... The CBSO is joined for the concert performance by highly rated Japanese soprano Maki Mori (pictured).

Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Saturday 29 June

Madam Butterfly With CBSO & Kazuki Yamada


SHREWSBURY FESTIVAL CHORUS & SINFONIA: THE DREAM OF GERONTIUS

Shrewsbury Cantata Choir and Shrewsbury Choral here come together - as Shrewsbury Festival Chorus - with Shrewsbury Sinfonia to perform Edward Elgar’s The Dream Of Gerontius. Premiered at Birmingham Town Hall in 1900 - and widely considered to be the Worcestershire-born composer’s finest choral masterpiece - the work is based on the same-named 1865 poem by John Henry Newman and recounts the journey of a pious  man’s soul after death. 
The performance is conducted by Cantata Musical Director Anthony Coupe. 

Shrewsbury Abbey, Saturday 29 June

Shrewsbury Festival Chorus & Sinfonia


BIRMINGHAM BACH CHOIR

One of the city’s oldest and most distinguished musical groups, Birmingham Bach Choir here presents a summer concert featuring four very different works. 

As well as David Bednall’s The Dear Bargain, which was originally performed by the choir during its centenary, the programme also features Elgar’s dramatic Give Unto The Lord and Leonard Bernstein’s ever-popular Chichester Psalms. 

The final piece is Sound The Invisible Trumps, a work composed by the choir’s conductor, Paul Spicer, in memory of much-loved chairperson Pauline Round. 

St Mary’s Church, Warwick, Saturday 29 June; St Alban’s Church, Conybere, Birmingham, Saturday 6 July

Birmingham Bach Choir


STAFFORD SINFONIA

“Our orchestra is comprised of talented musicians from across the Midlands,” explains the Stafford Sinfonia website, “and our concerts are a great way to experience the beauty of classical music. We believe in making music accessible to everyone and strive to ensure that our performances are enjoyable for all. “We hope you will join us at one of our concerts soon...”

A couple of opportunities for music lovers to do just that are available this very month, with the orchestra first performing on the 22nd, at Rising Brook Community Church, and then visiting Holy Trinity Church with this last-day-of-June offering. The concert programme features Emilie Mayer’s Faust Overture, Grieg’s Holberg Suite and Beethoven’s fifth symphony.

Eccleshall, Holy Trinity Church, Eccleshall, Stafford, Sunday 30 June

Stafford Sinfonia