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Christopher Morley's classical preview: CBSO Youth Orchestra's debut.

Byline: Christopher Morley

Though there was much sadness attached to the announcement earlier this year that the season current then would be the last in the Midland Youth Orchestra's near half-century of high-quality musicmaking, the promise that a phoenix would later arise from the ashes was some consolation.

And that phoenix flutters its wings for the first time on Sunday, when the fledgling CBSO Youth Orchestra makes its appearance. Auditions held over the summer involved both staff and members of the MYO, and Anthony Bradbury, music director of the MYO (only the fourth to hold the position) at its demise, conducts the first half of this Adrian Boult Hall concert.

He begins with excerpts from Khachaturian's ballet Spartacus (spot the theme tune from BBC TV's much-loved The Onedin Line) and continues with Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations, with CBSO co-principal cello Eduardo Vassallo as soloist.

The second half sees the CBSO music director himself, Sakari Oramo take over the baton for the Second Symphony by his great Finnish compatriot Sibelius (7.30pm, details on 0121 780 3333).

The CBSO itself on Wednesday afternoon hosts the return to Symphony Hall of a guest conductor who never fails to set interval chit-chat wagging. Marc Minkowski directs the orchestra in Beethoven (the consoling Pastoral Symphony and the comparatively rarely-played Overture Leonore no.2 - we generally hear the third of these efforts discarded from the opera Fidelio) and Mendelssohn, where Christian Tetzlaff is soloist in that composer's perennial Violin Concerto (2.15pm, details on 0121 780 3333).

Wednesday also sees the first in this season's offerings in Bromsgrove Concerts' spinoff contemporary music series 'Mixing Music', now well into its second decade. Chamber Domaine bring an attractive programme of Thomas Ades, Arvo Part, Judith Bingham, Erika Fox and Piers Hellawell to the Guesten Hall at the town's Avoncroft Museum (8pm, details on 01527 874163).

A few miles up the road, meanwhile, Wednesday is the opening night of Rostov State Opera's short sojourn at Wolverhampton's Grand Theatre (01902 429212), when this illustrious, classy company tours two of Puccini's (and therefore the world's) best-loved operas. La Boheme is performed on Wednesday and Thursday, Madam Butterfly onFriday and Saturday; whatever the Russian for 'handkerchief' is, bring plenty.

To stay on the operatic field in conclusion, Midland Music Makers, another local organisation with a proud history stretching back many decades, presents a Mozart rarity at Birmingham's comfortable Crescent Theatre next week, when it stages La Clemenza di Tito from Tuesday to Saturday (no performance Thursday). The show starts at 7.30pm, with details on 0121 643 5858.


Anthony Bradbury; Sakari Oramo
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 29, 2004
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