• Major soloists and conductors feature in the season including Federico Colli, Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, Wayne Marshall, Gabriela Montero, Vasily Petrenko and Ryan Bancroft.
  • Symphony Hall’s Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space continues to host the ECHO Rising Stars hour-long recitals on Sunday mornings.

B:Music is delighted to announce its 2024/25 Birmingham Classical Series at Symphony Hall, packed with superb orchestras, world class soloists and unmissable programmes.

The new season will showcase some of the pinnacles of orchestral music as well as newer discoveries. There will be a host of world class soloists, orchestras and conductors taking to the iconic Symphony Hall stage and, as always, B:Music continues its mission to reach new audiences across the West Midlands and beyond by offering tickets at £15 for every single concert, and extending its £5 ticket offer to include mature students in addition to the many offers for children, families and others. The popular Sunday morning concerts with coffee and cake will also continue to bring the freshest young talent to the Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space.

Nick Reed, Chief Executive said, “Our new Birmingham Classical season brings a world tour of the finest orchestras- from South America, across Europe and to Japan- along with stellar soloists and exciting Rising Stars, right here to Birmingham. It has been over 25 years since any Japanese orchestra played in Symphony Hall, so the visit by the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo will be a particularly special one. There are orchestral ambassadors, too, from Buenos Aries, Prague, and Hungary, all offering a rare chance to hear truly authentic performances of music from their own countries.

The electric partnership between Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has been making waves, and we look forward to the return of ever-popular musicians Gabriela Montero, James Ehnes, and Wayne Marshall, as well as much anticipated newcomers including Jeneba Kanneh-Mason and Federico Colli. There’s nothing like the experience of live music and with some of the great names in classical music performing in Birmingham this season, the B:Music team looks forward to welcoming audiences to Symphony Hall soon.”

A wide array of leading soloists will perform in the new season including the internationally renowned cellist and one of the all-time great performers of Brahms’ music, Jiří Bárta, who will perform with the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine [8 October]. Established in 1902, the Orchestra make their first visit to Birmingham with the American conductor Theodore Kuchar, whose own roots lie in Ukraine. As Chief Conductor since 2022, Kuchar has been flying the flag for Ukrainian music-making with international tours and important collaborative projects in Poland and Germany.

Benjamin Kruithof [6 October] hails from Luxemburg and, with major victories including the 2022 George Enescu International competition and a host of concerto appearances with European orchestras, it’s hardly surprising he has been recognised as “a name to watch” by Bachtrack and selected as a Rising Star by ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation). He will play in the Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space in the first of six ECHO Rising Stars concerts. His programme is themed around musical influences and friendships and starts with Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, a spin-off from his ballet music Pulcinella that gives Baroque music a new lease of life. The six ECHO Rising Stars Sunday recitals feature outstanding artists handpicked by the directors of Europe’s most prestigious venues. Each musician or group embarks on an international concert tour of halls in the ECHO network, and B:Music venues Symphony Hall and Town Hall have been there since the series began in 1995. The other superb musicians and groups who feature in the series are Quatuor Agate [26 January], Sào Soulez Larivière [9 February], Matilda Lloyd [2 March], Carlos Ferreira [6 April] and Lukas Sternath [4 May].

A Symphony Hall season highlight will be the electric partnership between the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Vasily Petrenko in Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet and Prokofiev’s blistering Fifth Symphony [29 March]. Completing the stellar line up is award-winning violinist Esther Yoo, who joins them for Bruch’s romantic Violin Concerto, one of the most popular in the repertoire.

The Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo make a welcome return to Symphony Hall after more than 30 years with a programme including Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Rachmaninov’s exuberant Second Symphony [23 October]. With Principal Conductor Sebastian Weigle, their concert of blockbusters begins with deliciously seductive music from the 1948 ballet Salome by pre-eminent Japanese composer Akira Ifukube (best known for his film scores for the Godzilla series). The outstanding and charismatic pianist Federico Colli joins the master musicians of the Nuremburg Symphony Orchestra to perform Beethoven’s pivotal Emperor concerto [17 November], the work which won Colli first prize in the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition. Audiences can expect a spirited and fresh performance of a work whose nobility and grandeur never fail to impress.

Symphony Hall is thrilled to welcome the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra [30 November] who celebrated their 80th anniversary in 2023 and appointed Riccardo Frizza as Chief Conductor in the same season. Frizza leads the orchestra on tour with the captivating pianist Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, a new star of the famous musical family, following in the footsteps of her celebrated elder siblings Isata and Sheku. Wayne Marshall conducts the superb musicians of the German National Orchestra- the official partner of the world’s most famous orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic- when they return to Symphony Hall [16 January]. Their concert of showstoppers includes Holst’s ever popular suite The Planets and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, with Marshall as piano soloist.

Other highlights of the 2024/25 season include a performance by the Prague Symphony Orchestra [7 February] with the dazzling Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero. They open their sumptuous programme with Smetana’s mercurial overture to The Bartered Bride – a high-speed showstopper- and close with Dvořák’s moody and dramatic Seventh Symphony, which for many is undoubtedly his greatest symphony. 

Tickets for concerts in the Birmingham Classical season are priced from £15 and are available from www.bmusic.co.uk/bclassical