The University of Birmingham’s much-loved Barber Concerts series celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. To mark this special occasion, organisers are calling for people to send in their memories of Barber Concerts, which will be collated into a special archive to be shared online and on social media.

The Barber Concerts series began in 1945, as the UK was emerging from the dark days of the Second World War. Held in the famous, Grade I-listed art deco Barber concert hall, the internationally-acclaimed Barber Evening Concerts are presented alongside regular free Friday lunchtime concerts, offering a mixture of chamber music, orchestral works and jazz, with guest performers from around the world.

Anyone who has attended, or even performed, at the Barber Concerts is asked to share their memories either in words or by sharing a short video. This may include favourite concerts and performances, thoughts about the Barber Concert Hall itself or personal anecdotes from the last 75 years of music-making.

Jo Sweet from the University of Birmingham explains: “Autumn 2020 is particularly notable for Barber Concerts as it is the 75th anniversary of the series officially starting. We would love to hear about some of your favourite performances or experiences in the hall from over the years. This year has been so difficult and we’re all so keen to get back to live music, so we want to share positive stories and make a real celebration of this milestone moment.”

Professor Colin Timms, who was Peyton and Barber Professor of Music at the University of Birmingham from 1992 until 2012, adds: “It was always a pleasure to promote concerts by young artists who went on to forge an illustrious international career. Two violinists spring immediately to mind – the Canadian James Ehnes and the Russian Alina Ibragimova. When they made their début at the Barber, several years apart, both of them, I think, were on their first visit to the UK.”

Barber Concerts have moved online during the Covid pandemic, and four performances are planned for the autumn: Samuele Telari, Oxford Lieder, Randall Goosby and Hermes Experiment will all perform virtually on the Barber’s social media pages.

Anyone who has memories of Barber Concerts series should email them to Emma Margetson at E.M.Margetson@bham.ac.uk or by tweeting @BarberConcertsusing #BarberConcerts75.

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