Adventures in Symphony

The CBSO are premiering a new family show.

Tim and Tom’s Symphonic Adventure
Symphony Hall, Sunday, February 12th 2017 2:30pm

A magical adventure for children and adults to kick off the half term holiday.

This family show features brothers Tim and Tom Redmond (conductor and presenter respectively), discovering an old suitcase of musical treasures. With the help of the CBSO they set out on a musical adventure. Ahead of the concert Tim Redmond talked to the Birmingham Press about the show and the music it features.

How did the idea for the show arise?

“Tom and I have worked together many times over the years and it’s always fun to find new ways to introduce music to a young audience. We often call each other up at random to bounce ideas around. We both think in similar ways which means that ideas can develop very quickly: this programme grew out of a conversation we were having about musical adventures – and before we knew it a whole show had developed. We’ve created this concert especially for the CBSO, so the Symphony Hall audience will be the first to see it.”

How is the story realised on stage?

“Our story starts up in the attic, where we discover an old chest full of mysterious objects. Each one seems to inspire a different piece of music and over the course of the concert we end up going on several unexpected adventures!”

The music is played against the backdrop of a story. Tell me about the story and the choice of music.

“Music and storytelling are very closely linked. Some music already has a very clear narrative, but when there’s not a ready-made story attached, children are perfectly capable of conjuring one up. So we’ve chosen pieces that get everyone’s imaginations working overtime: there’s Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Overture and Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, there are pieces by Debussy and de Falla, we’re playing excerpts from the fifth symphonies of Beethoven and Sibelius plus there’s music from Star Wars and the William Tell Overture. We’re also doing a piece called Headbanger by the contemporary Australian composer Matthew Hindson.”

Matthew Hindson’s piece is the least known. It sounds like part of the score to a television drama series of a film…why this piece?

“I’ve been a fan of Matthew Hindson’s music for a long time. It’s high-energy and great fun to listen to as well as to play. I always try and include some contemporary music in family concerts when I can and I’ve programmed Headbanger on several occasions. It’s a rollercoaster of a piece with lots of driving rhythms and fantastic orchestral colours. It’s good to remember that at family concerts children are often hearing all the music in the programme for the first time – and so they are as happy to listen to Hindson as they are Sibelius. Luckily in this concert they get to hear both!”

Sounds like there could be lots of noise and audience participation perhaps?

“Absolutely – lots of both….but you’ll have to come to the concert to find out exactly what!”

What age group is the show aimed at?

“The show is aimed at families, rather than a specific age group. Whereas education concerts tend to be pitched at particular age groups, for example Key Stage 1 or A-level students, family concerts by their very nature have to appeal to a wide audience. So we have it in mind to keep the five-year-olds entertained as much as their grandparents.

One of the things I’ve noticed when conducting in different countries around the world is how highly-regarded the UK’s family and education concerts are. It’s so important for the next generation of musicians and concert-goers to feel as at home in the concert hall as they do in the cinema or theatre. The CBSO is brilliant at doing this and we’re delighted to be working with the orchestra on this project.

For ticket details click here