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City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra : Edward Gardner appointed as Principal Guest Conductor from September 2011 (BK)

English National Opera's  Music Director Edward Gardner has been appointed to the position of Principal Guest Conductor with the world-renowned City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from September 2011.

Much acclaimed for his work at ENO, Edward Gardner will conduct three to four weeks of concerts each season with the CBSO as Principal Guest Conductor for a period of three years. This announcement comes at a key time for the CBSO as it celebrates its 90th Birthday, and has been enjoying increased audiences and extensive worldwide critical acclaim with Andris Nelsons, Music Director since 2008.

Edward’s relationship with the CBSO dates back to 2004, when he made his debut in an all-Mozart programme. He has since conducted the orchestra regularly in Birmingham, as well as on visits to Sheffield and to the Aldeburgh Festival, in repertoire ranging from Mahler and Tchaikovsky to Kurtág, Britten, Elgar, Walton and James MacMillan.

Stephen Maddock, CBSO Chief Executive, said: “We have a long-standing tradition of providing the very best, most exciting musical experiences for our audiences along with discovering and nurturing great musical talent. We know that Ed’s performances will complement Andris Nelsons’ strong artistic vision, and together with our long-standing Chorus Director Simon Halsey and Assistant Conductor Michael Seal, this gives the CBSO an artistic team of tremendous range, vitality and experience”.

Andris Nelsons, CBSO Music Director said: “We’re delighted that Edward has agreed to join the CBSO family. He’s been working with us now since 2004 and there’s a special relationship between him and the Orchestra that will, thanks to this appointment, have time to develop and grow to its full potential."

Edward Gardner said: “I'm thrilled to be taking up the position of Principal Guest Conductor with the CBSO at such an exciting time. With Andris's leadership, this world- class orchestra goes from strength to strength, and I look forward immensely to being part of their amazing music-making in the heart of the UK. Growing up as I did in Gloucester, the first orchestra I heard was the CBSO who performed regularly at the Cheltenham Town Hall, so it’s wonderful now to have this relationship.”

The CBSO will perform a programme of Rachmaninov and Lutoslawski titled Paganini Rhapsody with Edward Gardner on 28th September at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Tickets are £9.50 - £39.50 and can be booked by calling Symphony Hall Box Office on 0121 780 3333 or online at:

A pre-concert talk will take place with Conductor Edward Gardner, in conversation with CBSO Chief Executive Stephen Maddock at 6.15pm

Bill Kenny

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