Youth takeover for City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Jaume Santonja Espinós © Kevin de Borger

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) has given 13 Youth Ambassadors the unique opportunity to curate, programme and promote the first evening concert of the orchestra’s 2020 centenary year.

All aspects of CBSO: A Vision of the Future at Symphony Hall, Birmingham will be in the hands of the Youth Ambassadors, aged between 16 and 21. The Ambassadors have programmed a concert featuring works by Mason Bates, Debussy, Gershwin, Marquez, Anna Meredith, Piazzolla and Shostakovich. They will also present parts of the concert and give a pre-concert talk about their experience of taking over a symphony orchestra.

In preparation for the concert, the Ambassadors have been involved in a series of facilitated workshops exploring areas including programming, presentation, marketing and development, as well as discussing repertoire choices and themes with CBSO musicians.

According to the CBSO, the orchestra’s new Youth Ambassadors programme is aimed at young people who want to share their curiosity and discoveries around live orchestral music. The one-year volunteer programme coincides with the orchestra’s 100th anniversary in 2020 and offers the 13 Youth Ambassadors the opportunity to work creatively, develop a reflective approach, build leadership skills, and develop proficiency in media, communications, advocacy and presenting.

Stephen Maddock OBE, Chief Executive of CBSO, said:

‘Throughout its 100 years, the CBSO has thrived on the energy, imagination and uncompromising commitment of Birmingham’s young people. Through our new Youth Ambassadors programme we want to open our doors, welcome new ideas and harness their skills and passion. This is the first time we have handed over control of a full orchestral concert in this way and I can’t wait to see the results!’

Header photo: Jaume Santonja Espinós, CBSO assistant conductor

CBSO: A Vision of the Future – Thursday 9 January, 7:30pm: Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Pre-concert talk by Youth Ambassadors – 6pm

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