On 4 March 2020 I went to Symphony Hall, Birmingham to hear the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the CBSO Chorus give a fine performance of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem conducted by the orchestra’s charismatic Osborn Music Director, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (review). Though the Coronavirus alarm bells were ringing ever more loudly by that point, little did I imagine that this would be the last time that I would be able to hear the CBSO during their 2019/20 season. I had plans to review several more of their concerts, most notably their planned performance of Britten’s War Requiem on 20 June. Not long after that Brahms concert, though, the UK was put into lockdown and the orchestra was obliged to cancel future concerts on an incremental basis, including a 12-concert tour of Germany and Austria. Eventually, on 30 April, they bowed to the inevitable and cancelled the remainder of the season.
United Kingdom Mozart, Brahms: Camilla Tilling (soprano), Florian Boesch (baritone); CBSO Chorus; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (conductor). Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 4.3.2020. (JQ)
United Kingdom Mahler: Soloists, CBSO Chorus, CBSO Youth Chorus, CBSO Children’s Chorus, University of Birmingham Voices, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (conductor). Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 18.1.2020. (JQ)
United States R. Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier: Soloists, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Metropolitan Opera Chorus (chorus master: Donald Palumbo), Metropolitan Opera Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle (conductor). Metropolitan Opera House, New York, 23.12.2019. (JQ)
United Kingdom Mendelssohn, Elijah Op.70: Keri Fuge (soprano), Karen Cargill (mezzo-soprano), Robert Murray (tenor); Matthew Brook (baritone), CBSO Chorus, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Kazuki Yamada (conductor), Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 7.11.2019. (JQ)
United Kingdom Britten, Tippett. Talise Trevigne (soprano), Dame Felicity Palmer (mezzo-soprano), Joshua Stewart (tenor), Brindley Sherratt (bass), CBSO Chorus; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (conductor), Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 26.9.2019. (JQ)
United Kingdom Three Choirs Festival  – David Matthews, Holst, Beethoven: Ilona Domnich (soprano), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (alto), Andrew Staples (tenor), David Stout (baritone). Three Choirs Festival Chorus, Philharmonia Orchestra / Adrian Partington (conductor). Gloucester Cathedral, 3.8.2019. (JQ)
United Kingdom Three Choirs Festival  – Stanford, Vaughan Williams: Katherine Broderick (soprano), Roderick Williams (baritone), Three Choirs Festival Chorus, Philharmonia Orchestra / Geraint Bowen (conductor). Gloucester Cathedral, 2.8.2019. (JQ)