Gary Barlow (above) returns to perform at Symphony Hall for the first time in 20 years on June 14 and 15, while Tony Iommi visits the Town Hall on June 23 for an 'In Conversation' presentation. Tony (below) will talk about his life and career with host Gary Newbon. He says: ''I'm really looking forward to being back at the Town Hall again - I had a great time there in 2016 and I'm ready to talk more about my experiences and answer questions."
These are just two of the highlights of the venues' spring/ summer season.
Other big names from the world of music and entertainment due to take centre stage at Symphony Hall include Don Mclean (May 10), David Byrne (June 17) and Sheryl Crow (below, June 19), and, at the Town Hall, Graham Nash (July 26).
For the first time, Birmingham Town Hall is bringing together a 17-piece orchestra to perform the works of Pharrell Williams. The 17-Piece Orchestra Frontin' Pharrell – Live show is on July 27 and features vocals from Call Me Unique and an orchestra comprising a host of local Birmingham talent, with members from groups such as TROPE, Delta Autumn and Gorillabot.
Families can experience the dangers and delights of Dinosaur World at the Town Hall on May 19 and 20. Audiences will meet a host of impressive creatures, including every child's favourite flesh-eating giant, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Triceratops, Giraffatitan, Microraptor and Segnosaurus. Other family highlights at Town Hall include Monski Mouse (June 23) and WNO Family Concert (June 24).
Free Musical Picnics and Midweek Explorer sessions in the Symphony Hall Café Bar continue to introduce children to a world of music, song, storytelling and dance. This season features Sounds of Sanctuary on June 23, which will welcome families from around the world who are new to Birmingham and to Symphony Hall, as part of Refugee Week. Families can celebrate the music and culture of countries such as Syria and Bangladesh, marking Birmingham as a City of Sanctuary.
This year sees the 40th anniversary of the first BBC Young Musician contest, with the final being held at Symphony Hall on May 13. Since the first final in 1978, the competition has developed a reputation for its ability to launch a seriously impressive career. This year's finalists will perform with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mark Wigglesworth. There will also be a performance by the 2016 winner, Decca Classics cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason who, on May 19, will play at the royal wedding. At the end of the evening, the winner of BBC Young Musician 2018 will be announced.