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  • Hear two concerts from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo, including a performance of Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture

  • Enjoy private recitals from our Tour Director, organist Nicholas Wearne, in Birmingham Oratory and at St George’s, Worcester, where Elgar was organist

  • Explore the fascinating cultural history to be found in and around the city of Birmingham, with visits to the Cadbury Research Library, Arton hall and the workshop of pipe organ builders Nicholson & Co Ltd

“Fabulous tour in every way. Really enjoyed it!”

- ACE customer on a previous Elgar, Birmingham & Worcester tour with Nicholas Wearne

On this tour we will savour the rich and varied classical musical scene to be found in the city of Birmingham, and spend time exploring Elgar country in nearby Worcester and the Malvern Hills. We will enjoy private recitals alongside two outstanding performances at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, widely considered to be one of the best concert spaces in the world.


Our tour opens with an opportunity to experience the remarkable sounds of the organ in the historical surroundings of Birmingham’s Town Hall, where we will take our seats for a lunchtime recital with organist Thomas Trotter. Awarded the 2020 Queen’s Medal for Music, Trotter is one of the world’s top-ranking virtuoso organists and has held the post of Birmingham City Organist since 1983.


Our itinerary continues with a privileged opportunity to go behind the scenes at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, where our Tour Director, Nicholas Wearne, holds the position of Junior Fellow. Here, we will enjoy a guided tour of parts of the new building and hear a private recital, followed by a visit to the archive of Elgar documents at the Cadbury Research Library. 


We look forward to two performances conducted by Finnish maestro Sakari Oramo, who spent a decade as the music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Hall and returns to conduct the CBSO. For our first concert, featuring Sibelius’s The Tempest and Symphony No 7, Oramo is also joined by his wife, soprano Anu Komsi, in Strauss’s Four Last Songs. We also look forward to supporting the CBSO Benevolent Fund Concert, featuring award-winning violinist Daishin Kashimoto. The programme will feature Elgar’s lively and colourful portrait of Edwardian London, the Cockaigne Overture, alongside Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 5 and Sibelius’s Symphony No 5.  


Turning to the surrounding region, we will explore the rich cultural life of the area including a visit to St George’s Church in Worcester, where Elgar and his father were organists. Here, we will enjoy a performance of Elgar’s beautiful Vesper Voluntaries given by our Tour Director on the organ, from seats in the composer’s choir stalls. We will also experience a recital of Elgar's Organ Sonata in G major at Birmingham Oratory. 


Wider cultural visits in and around Birmingham will include St Chad’s Cathedral and St Mary’s Convent in Handsworth, as well as Aston Hall, a Grade I listed Jacobean prodigy house filled with furnishings and artworks from the historical collections of the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. We also look forward to visiting the workshops of Nicholson & Co Ltd in Malvern, a renowned firm of pipe organ builders established in 1841.


Our base throughout this tour will be the four-star Hyatt Regency Birmingham Hotel, located in central Birmingham opposite the Symphony Hall.
This tour will be led by Nicholas Wearne, BA, MPhil, a former ACE Bursary student and a previous organist at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square. Nicholas lives in Birmingham, and has in-depth knowledge of the city. In addition to leading music tours for ACE, he works as a Senior Tutor at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Having led this tour several times, he is looking forward to introducing a new group to Birmingham’s music and musical connections in 2024.


To listen to an extract of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra perform Elgar's Cello Concerto with featured cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, watch the video below:


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