Strings from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
The Innovation Chamber Ensembles was formed in 2002 by the principal string players of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to make a unique ensemble who strive for performances of the highest calibre in venues that would be impossible for the ensemble’s bigger cousin. The C.B.S.O. is of course known around the globe and its younger cousin brings the experience of working with the likes of Sakari Oramo and Sir Simon Rattle to a new smaller field with a group of superb players who have worked together in many different guises for many years.
I.C.E. was launched to the world in September 02 with concerts firstly in its orchestral home of the West Midlands and then at the Wigmore Hall in London. The Independent newspaper commented at the time that this was one of the top events to happen nationally in the U.K (second only to Wagner’s Siegfried!). The concert in Birmingham also created major press and radio coverage and prompted Blue Rhythm Records to approach I.C.E. about recording the event live for immediate release. The recording called ‘ICE ON FIRE’ is now available with distribution to all major outlets and shops through Nova via Pinnacle, through the Britannia Music magazine and at www.bluerhythm.co.uk .The profile of the Ensemble has also been subsequently raised by significant coverage by both of the nations Classical radio channels. Classic F.M. have featured the groups events with various interviews and previews whilst the group was featured ‘Live’ on B.B.C. Radio 3. ‘ICE on Fire’ was also featured on Classic FM as CD of the week. An articleabout I.C.E. appeared in the November issue of Classical Music Magazine. Recent concerts have included events in Birmingham and Derby, Suffolk and London with future bookings set to include CBSO Centre, Birmingham, Stafford, Woverhampton, Canterbury and Wigmore Hall, London. PTO
The group’s repertoire is hugely diverse and includes standards by Bach and Vivaldi and encapsulates the great Romantic masters as well as the 20th Century giants of Bartok, Britten, Stravinsky and Schönberg. I.C.E. is also firmly committed to the works of living composers. The two launch concerts featured works by the Worcester based composer Paul da Vinci alongside the Canadian, Robert Farnon, who is probably best remembered for his work with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. Further premieres have included Colin Twig’s Echoes of Eternity
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