Tim Walton celebrates 2000 concerts at the Birmingham Symphony Hall!
If there were a more avid concertgoer than Tim Walton, a regular visitor to the MusicWeb site, our News pages would like to hear about them. Certainly as far as the Birmingham Symphony Hall is concerned, there isn’t. Tim clocked up his 2000th classical concert there on Feb 9th this year, the first person to do so, a truly phenomenal accomplishment. It was appropriate that Tim should achieve this milestone during the first half of 2012, whilst the Birmingham Symphony Hall is celebrating something of its own – 21 years as a concert venue. Tim’s statistics average out at two visits per week, an attendance record that Tim meticulously logs in his personal archives.
To immediate public and critical acclaim, the Birmingham Symphony Hall opened on 15th April 1991 and naturally Tim was there. Such was the eager anticipation of West Midland music-lovers that the day was split into two separate concerts. Tim went to the first part, a complete performance of Stravinsky’s Firebird from the CBSO under Simon Rattle. Since then, judging by his catalogued documentation, Tim has seen and heard the great and the good. In the period concerned the CBSO has had three resident conductors – Rattle, Sakari Oramo and Andris Nelsons; respectively Tim has heard them 147, 167 and 65 times. Likewise 21 years of visiting artists as diverse as Alfred Brendel, Kiri Te Kanawa and Oliver Knussen have enabled him to witness all genres of the classic repertoire. The occasions have also allowed him to pursue another of Tim’s absorbing passions – autograph collecting; he has some 3000 scribbled entries in books, on photographs, programmes and scores. His favourite composer of all is Mahler having heard 201 live performances of the 11 symphonies, of which 111 have been in the Birmingham Symphony Hall.