CBSO youth landmark

UK premiere of Turnage’s Passchendaele for CBSO Youth Orchestra 10th Anniversary.

The UK premiere of a powerful new work from one of Britain’s leading living composers will be performed in a special concert to mark the 10th anniversary of the CBSO Youth Orchestra next month.

Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Passchendaele will be performed for the first time in the UK on Sunday, November 2 as part of a First World War themed programme which includes Vaughan Williams’ On Wenlock Edge (sung by tenor John Mark Ainsley) and Holst’s The Planets (plus Colin Matthews’ Pluto, with the CBSO Youth Chorus). CBSO Youth Orchestra alumnus and 2013-14 LA Philharmonic Dudamel Fellow Ben Gernon returns to conduct the concert, which will be his Symphony Hall debut.

Passchendaele was co-commissioned by the CBSO Youth Orchestra alongside the Bruges Concertgebouw and the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra, specifically to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. The 11 minute work is the CBSO Youth Orchestra’s fifth major premiere, following works by Tansy Davies, Luke Bedford, Ben Foskett and Charlotte Bray and takes its inspiration from the battle of the same name, fought on the Western Front in Belgium in 1917.

The CBSO Youth Orchestra was launched by the CBSO in October 2004. Open to all Midlands young musicians aged 14-21, with membership by annual audition and bursaries to assist members with fees, the CBSO Youth Orchestra gives members the opportunity to play challenging music in prestigious venues with leading soloists and top professional conductors.

Richard Bratby, CBSO Senior Education and Ensembles Co-ordinator said: “It’s been an extraordinary decade of achievement – ten years of professional-standard music making with some of the finest young musicians in the UK. New music is at the centre of what the CBSO Youth Orchestra does, so we’re thrilled to celebrate its tenth birthday with this powerful and haunting new work by the CBSO’s former composer in association. And it’s a huge pleasure to welcome back one of our many alumni, Ben Gernon – now one of Britain’s most inspiring young conductors. The whole evening will be a huge vote of confidence in Britain’s young musicians – and the future of classical music in the UK.”

Turnage’s Passchendaele has been commissioned with support from an anonymous donor through the CBSO’s New Music Fund. The UK premiere of the piece can be seen on Sunday 2nd November, 7pm at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. For further information and ticket details visit