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Tag Archives: Symphony Hall

Friday Night Classics: Abba Symphonic Spectacular – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Stephen Bell Reviewer: Selwyn Knight The 1970s: the decade that taste forgot as we are reminded by Conductor Stephen Bell as he stands in front of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) with many players resplendent in seventies gear. It’s also the decade that brought us Glam Rock, Punk, the first woman Prime Minister, and, of course, some ...

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Friday Night Classics: Star Wars – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

A star scape

Conductor: Michael Seal Reviewer: Selwyn Knight One can’t help wondering if John Williams realised how big the Star Wars behemoth was to be when approached by George Lucas to score the original 1977 film. We do know that Lucas was clear in his brief that, although the film was to be a space opera, fantastic in scope, he wanted traditional ...

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Friday Night Classics: Classic FM Smooth Classics – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Presenter: John Brunning Conductor: Michael Seal Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Once again, The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), in its guise as Classic FM’s Orchestra in the Midlands, presents an evening of light classics, this time inspired by ‘smooth classics’ as broadcast by tonight’s presenter, John Brunning in his daily Smooth Classics at Seven programme. So what is a ‘smooth ...

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Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 in Concert – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Tony Bennett smiling with hands held out

Reviewer: John Kennedy ‘Of all the contemporary artists I know, she has the most natural jazz voice, but I'm worried about her and I'm praying for her.’ Tony Bennett’s concerns for Amy Whitehouse following their collaborative duets were sadly apposite. His admiration and kindness drew him the appreciation and affection of yet another generation of fans. Many here tonight weren’t ...

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Space Spectacular: Star Wars and Beyond – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

A spacescape including an orchestra and choir

Conductor: Anthony Inglis Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Raymond Gubbay Ltd has long been producing concerts of popular classical music using its in-house orchestras, including tonight’s orchestra, the London Concert Orchestra. This is advertised as a Space Spectacular, comprised of music inspired by space. And it certainly is a spectacle. With over seventy musicians on stage, even Symphony Hall’s stage looks full ...

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Idina Menzel – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer:  Clare White Just last week, Idina Menzel was introduced on ITV’s Loose Women as ‘the star of Disney’s Frozen’. Indeed, as the voice of Princess Elsa in the 2013 animated film, she was propelled to global stardom and became a household name, but Frozen is just the tip of the iceberg - Idina was a stage and screen superstar ...

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RLPO and the Bootleg Beatles Celebrate Sgt Pepper and the Summer of Love – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer:  David Robinson A genuine mix of nostalgia and excitement buzzes circuitously around Birmingham’s stylish Symphony Hall in readiness for a Merseyside merger, that of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and The Bootleg Beatles - seemingly strange bed fellows but in fact joyous allies for the night. The welcome coming together is to celebrate the golden anniversary of the Beatles ...

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Russell Watson and his Orchestra – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer:  Selwyn Knight Russell Watson was famously discovered singing Presley covers in northern Working Men’s clubs. When a club secretary suggested he have a go at Nessun Dorma and, despite Watson not having had any classical singing training, a career was born. And since then Watson has ruled supreme in the classical crossover arena, equally at home crooning or singing ...

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