CBSO announce 2024-25 season

Week-long festival of free performances amongst the highlights.

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is to give more than 100 performances at diverse venues including the Bullring and New Street Station in it 2024-25 season.

The programming will range from the orchestral masterpieces to fun-filled interactive concerts for all the family and new music from today’s most important composers.

Heading up the new season’s announcements, Kazuki Yamada has taken up the new title of music director, which reflects his ever-deepening relationship with the orchestra. He will lead 22 concerts with the CBSO in Birmingham from landmark classical works to appearances with the CBSO Youth Orchestra and at Hockley Social Club. Former principal guest conductor Sir Mark Elder will also make a welcome return after more than twenty years.

The new season’s highlights will include CBSO in the City, a new week-long festival of free performances across Birmingham in libraries, community centres, museums and parks, as well as at the Bullring, Grand Central, New Street Station and The Hawthorns (August 26th-31st).

The season will also include five premieres including the world premiere of Héloïse Werner’s work for orchestra and soprano, which she will perform herself (January 11th). The Werner concert will form part of a new CBSO Explores series of concerts involving the orchestra presenting music in new ways through staging, movement and lighting, narrative and context.

The cultural make-up of Birmingham will also be reflected in collaborations with non-classical genres including Soweto Kinch’s White Juju, which fuses electronic hip-hop, jazz and rap, and was inspired by a year of turbulent racial politics, culture wars and the pandemic (October 20).

Meanwhile singer and kora-player Seckou Keita will put his instrument in the spotlight in a performance of African Rhapsodies on November 27th. Birmingham legends ELO are celebrated in a concert conducted by Richard Balcome and featuring the CBSO Chorus on March 8th, and in the same month Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis will be given a new twist by local saxophonist Xhosa Cole (March 20th).

The CBSO has also appointed two creative associates – Professor Nate Holder and production company MishMash – in a year-long collaboration with the aim of encouraging new thinking around the CBSO’s work to attract young audiences and support the orchestra’s ambition of further developing an anti-racist approach to work.

CBSO chief executive Emma Stenning said: “I’m so proud of this season. It speaks to the future of this remarkable orchestra, puts the brilliant Kazuki Yamada at the heart of our music making, and solidifies our commitment to being an ensemble that truly explores both the creative potential of our glorious city, and the opportunity of creating work in new ways, that will speak to more people.”

As a response to the challenging financial times the city is facing, the CBSO’s season will also feature offers and discounts for specifically Birmingham residents. This scheme will be launched before the season opens in September.

For a full 2024-25 season brochure, click on

One thought on “CBSO announce 2024-25 season

  1. “….. developing an anti-racist approach to work”. Fair enough, if the organisation was in need of such medicine, but I struggle to see how the CBSO is racist. Sounds like a solution in search of a problem?

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