City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is swapping the Midlands for Mexico, with the Chorus scheduled to play two concerts there this September. Alongside the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a Mexican chorus the group will perform Mahler’s Second Symphony at Palacio de Belles Artes and Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City.
The concert on 17 September is part of the 2015 Dual Year of the UK and Mexico, which has so far included a production of Mexican history play The Heresy of Love at the Globe Theatre, a UK tour by celebrated Mexican guitarist Morgan Szymanski and a number of other cultural and culinary exchange events.
‘This is simply an outstanding opportunity for us to share our excellence that has been made over 40 years of choral tradition in Birmingham,’ said CBSO choral director Simon Halsey.
In total 24 members of CBSO chorus are travelling to Mexico where, in addition to the concerts, they will share their expertise with the Palacio de Belles Artes choir. ‘[We] are thrilled that we have been invited to work with our Mexican counterparts as part of these concerts to celebrate this special year of working together,’ said CBSO director of learning and engagement Lucy Galliard.
Founded in 1973, CBSO Chorus won a Gramophone Record of the Year award in 1988 for its recording of the aforementioned Second Symphony conducted on that occasion by Simon Rattle. The chorus is made up of amateur singers but is considered one of the world’s best, with Halsey at its helm for 30 years.