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The British Paraorchestra at Birmingham Symphony Hall

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
Event:
Second City debut for ensemble of disabled musicians
The British Paraorchestra makes its Birmingham debut at the city's Symphony Hall on February 18, 2017, alongside players from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

The programme, part of the THSH Birmingham Classical Season, will be conducted by British Paraorchestra co-founder and artistic director Charles Hazlewood. The performance will include Towards Harmony and Circuiting for Solo Clarinet, works by clarinettist-composer and Birmingham Conservatoire graduate Lloyd Coleman, Heinrich Baermann's Adagio for Clarinet and Strings and Corelli's La Folia.

British Paraorchestra, Charles Hazelwood, Lloyd Coleman, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Classical Music, Concert Preview, Disabled


The British Paraorchestra is the world's first large-scale professional ensemble for disabled musicians. It made its memorable world debut with rock superstars Coldplay in front of an international TV audience of millions at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

In June 2016 the Paraorchestra formed part of the first classical orchestra to headline a stage at the Glastonbury Festival, with Charles Hazlewood conducting Philip Glass' Heroes Symphony, the event's major celebration of the late David Bowie.

British Paraorchestra, Charles Hazelwood, Lloyd Coleman, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Classical Music, Concert Preview, Disabled


At a Paraorchestra concert, you won't find ranks of brass and strings, or the conductor standing on a podium. The orchestra is more interested in performing music that captivates audiences, working with an array of collaborators to push the art form forward and prove beyond a doubt that disability is no barrier to talent.

Charles Hazlewood has worked with the likes of Nigel Kennedy, Professor Green and Wyclef Jean and has composed the music for theatre productions The South African Mysteries and Dead Dog in a Suitcase.

He says: ''We are immensely excited to play a fulsome part in Birmingham Symphony Hall's programme. Including The British Paraorchestra in an internationally recognised season of classical music at a premium concert hall sends out a clear message - having a disability in no way precludes you from making world class music.''

British Paraorchestra, Charles Hazelwood, Lloyd Coleman, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Classical Music, Concert Preview, Disabled


Richard Hawley, head of artistic programming for Town Hall/ Symphony Hall Birmingham, adds: ''We are incredibly proud to be welcoming The British Paraorchestra for their Birmingham debut under the baton of their inspirational founder and conductor Charles Hazlewood. This orchestra, with their unwavering and pioneering commitment to recognising and showcasing disabled musicians with extraordinary abilities, should be on every stage around the world. Including them as part of Birmingham Classical, and especially pairing them with members of our resident orchestra, the CBSO, unquestionably makes sense and continues to place ability, excellence and profound music-making at our season's heart.

''Classical music in Birmingham is positively evolving. Birmingham Classical fulfils our joint aims of making classical music more accessible to a broader more diverse audience, whilst maintaining Birmingham's position as a world-leading destination for bringing to the city some of the world's most sought after performers and top orchestras. We would encourage all audiences, be they seasoned concert goers or first-time attendees, to not miss this opportunity to hear these extraordinary musicians perform.''

When booking tickets for the February 18 concert use the discount code PARA50 to receive 50 percent off the top two price bands.

British Paraorchestra, Charles Hazelwood, Lloyd Coleman, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Classical Music, Concert Preview, Disabled
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Why? Incredible music performed by extraordinary musicians
When: February 18, 2017
Phone: 0121 780 3333
Where: Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Cost: £12.50 - £31. 50% off top two price bands with code PARA50
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