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Good news may be thin on the ground these days but one cause for joy comes in the shape of Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, which celebrates its 21st birthday today (June 12). Opened by no less a dignitary than Her Majesty The Queen in 1991, the Symphony Hall has attracted over 10 million visitors since it first opened its doors.
Tonight’s birthday celebrations will see a special concert from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Andris Nelsons and Simon Halsey and featuring baritone Bryn Terfel and mezzo-soprano Christine Rice. The performance, which includes Elgar’s The Music Makers and Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe suite, will be repeated on Wednesday June 13.
Further Symphony Hall 21st Anniversary Festival celebrations are scheduled over the next month and include Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, a massed promenade-style performance featuring over 600 city schoolchildren entitled Sing a Song for 21, rare UK performances from Tony Bennett and George Benson, and Die Walküre from Opera North. The Festival is brought to a close on July 20 with New York's Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.
Having attracted many critical garlands over its 21 years, the Symphony Hall has hosted events by artists as diverse as Ravi Shankar, Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet as well many orchestras and soloists.
Here’s to another 21 years!