First public performance in Birmingham’s newest concert venue this Saturday

A charity performance this Saturday will provide the first opportunity for the public to experience the University of Birmingham’s new 450-seat Bramall Music Building, located in Chancellor’s Court, prior to its official opening in November.

Bramall Music Building

Featuring the Bournville String Orchestra, comprising around thirty current and former local university music students (Grade 7 or above) under the auspices of Birmingham music teacher Lucy Akehurst, the ensemble assembles both for the sheer joy of performance and to raise money for Christian Aid and Save the Children.

Bramall Music Building exterior

Bramall Music Building exterior

As in many previous years (this being the group’s eighth annual concert), the conductor will be local cellist Alpesh Chauhan (former Principal Cellist of the CBSO Youth Orchestra and currently studying at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music), This year’s show, the result of intensive rehearsals over a two-week period will once again offer a varied and, at times, challenging programme comprised of the following works:

  • Mozart – Divertimento in F Major (Salzburg Symphony No. 3)
  • Shostakovich – Piano Concerto No. 1
  • Peteris Vasks – Violin Concerto ‘Distant Light’
  • Dvorak – Serenade No. 1 for strings

Composed in Salzburg when he was just sixteen, Mozart’s Divertimento in F Major showcases both his youthful, exciting writing as well as a deeper, more emotional side. Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 was completed in 1933 and stands as a lighter and more humorous work than much of his overtly political compositions. Yet still it is laced both with moments of darkness and a somewhat irreverent madness. Soloists for this piece will be Birmingham-based Stefan Czepiel (piano) and Eric Brookes (trumpet) a member of the CBSO Youth Orchestra.

Latvian-born Peteris Vasks’ Violin Concerto ‘Distant Light’ will be receiving what is almost certainly its first ever Birmingham performance. Chauhan and Akehurst have a penchant for introducing unfamiliar work, for the benefit of both players and audience, and soloist John Garner, currently studying at the Royal College of Music, will need to be on his mettle for this, at times, demanding and difficult piece.

Serenade No. 1 for strings by Dvorak concludes the entertainment. A staple of the string orchestra music canon it features widely in the repertoire of many such ensembles.

22-year old Alpesh Chauhan began conducting six years ago and made his public debut with the BSO conducting Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. His mentor is Michael Seal, Associate Conductor of the CBSO.

Tickets (£10/£7.50p concessions) will be available on the door.

Bournville String Orchestra,
The Bramall Music Building,
Chancellor’s Court,
University of Birmingham,
Edgbaston Park Road,

Saturday September 8th 2012 19:30

Bramall Music Building information