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28th August 2019

Orchestra of the Swan to open its 2019-2020 Birmingham season at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

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  • Season begins on 9 October with Tales of the City, a unique repertoire evoking the sounds of the metropolis
  • Season includes BBC Young Musician of the Year 2018 Lauren Zhang; a concert dedicated to the great visionaries Beethoven and David Bowie; and a celebration of Sibelius
  • Conservatoire students participate in an extensive programme of work including taking music to care homes that specialise in dementia

Orchestra of the Swan begins its 2019-2020 Birmingham season on Wednesday 9 October with Tales of the City at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Taking inspiration from the sounds of the metropolis, the repertoire of Rossini, Gershwin, Copland and Mozart promises a unique and eclectic concert that takes us from Seville to New York and Prague.

The season continues with Upon a Midnight Clear on 11 December, a breath-taking musical journey through the heart of winter that features vocal quintet Papagena.

Intimate Voices on 22 January 2020 explores the musical and personal landscape of the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, with Tamsin Waley-Cohen on violin, conducted by Tom Hammond.

Lauren Zhang, winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2018 and a student at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, makes her debut with Orchestra of the Swan in Immortal Beloved on 26 February where she plays Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5.

Rebel Rebel – Beethoven & Bowie on 6 May is a unique concert that examines the lasting impact of two visionaries, Ludwig van Beethoven and David Bowie. OOTS Artistic Director David Le Page and composer Philip Sheppard present a new arrangement of songs by Bowie, performed alongside Beethoven’s Symphony No.5.

The season concludes with A Celebration of New Talent on 10 June, with Hyungi Lee, winner of the Bromsgrove International Musicians’ Competition 2019.

Orchestra of the Swan is the resident orchestra at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. As well as its rich programme of public performances, OOTS works hard to be part of the life of the Conservatoire and the wider community.

Each concert includes the premiere of a new work by a composition student, young performers are given unique opportunities to rehearse side-by-side with OOTS professional musicians, conductors and guest soloists, and every year one talented musician is chosen to perform a concerto with the orchestra in the Conservatoire Concerto Prize. Students shadow professional musicians as they take music into Birmingham care homes that specialise in dementia, where they perform music that is familiar or of the era of the residents.

In a new initiative for 2019-2020, Burning Swan will see five students work alongside OOTS players to create new improvised materials, culminating in a series of pop-up performances around the city next summer.

David Le Page, Artistic Director of Orchestra of the Swan, comments: “Orchestra of the Swan thinks of itself as a ‘living orchestra’ – an orchestra at the heart of the community that it works in. Our residency at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is an exciting opportunity to not only perform in their wonderful concert hall, but work closely with the extraordinarily talented young musicians and offer them vital insights into the work of professional musicians.”


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