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A photo of a performance at the BBC Proms

Together with the orchestra, CBSO Chorus, and CBSO Youth & Children’s Chorus, the massed group performed Orff’s great choral masterpiece, Carmina Burana, under the baton of CBSO Principal Conductor, Kazuki Yamada. It is the seventh time University of Birmingham Voices have been appeared at the festival.

Reviewed by all of the leading print and online news outlets, The Telegraph noted ‘it was inevitably the magnificent chorus that made the most impact. Birmingham’s finest had been massed for the occasion, including youth ensembles and a university choir. Let me just say that they sang their hearts out.’; whilst Bachtrack said ‘the majority of concerts are usually reasonable and straight-faced affairs; Yamada’s Orff was a blend of serious music-making and real fun.’

The entire concert, broadcast originally on Thursday 27 July 2023, is available to listen to again at the BBC Proms BBC Proms website and the BBC Sounds App.



Group photo of the students who performed.

University of Birmingham Voices are one of the foremost choral ensembles in Birmingham and are led by Professor Simon Halsey, Director of Choral Activities, and Julian Wilkins. The choir remain in high demand nationally and at home in Birmingham, with highlights including a performance and recording of Stanford’s Requiem for Hyperion with the CBSO, as well as several critically acclaimed performances with the orchestra at Symphony Hall. In recent years, they have enjoyed a special relationship with CBSO Chorus, collaborating for Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast (2019), Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (2020), and Orff’s Carmina Burana (2023). The choir has also appeared regularly at the BBC Proms, including three performances of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with Sir Simon Rattle and the Vienna Philharmonic, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with Marin Alsop, and John Adams’s Harmonium with Edward Gardner and BBC Proms Youth Choir in 2017.

Choirs are an integral part of University Music in Birmingham, and offer unrivalled opportunities for young singers at any university in the UK. For more information, or if you would like to find out more about choirs at University of Birmingham, please contact Gavin Allsop.