Rhinegold Photo credit: Tim Anderson
CBSO chief executive Stephen Maddock with saxophonist Jess Gillam

Melissa Bradshaw

CBSO wins South Bank Sky Arts Award

1:47, 9th July 2019

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra has won a South Bank Sky Arts Award for its 2018 Debussy Festival.

Stephen Maddock, CBSO chief executive, was presented with the award by saxophonist Jess Gillam during the ceremony which took place on Sunday 7 July 2019 at the Savoy Hotel in London. The Debussy Festival, curated by CBSO music director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, was held in March 2018 over two weeks as a major celebration of the composer’s work to mark the centenary of his death.

Maddock said:This was a unique project for CBSO’s amazing team of orchestral players, choruses and staff, as well as our many partners, and we are delighted to have received this award.  For ten days last year Birmingham was taken over by the exotic, beautiful sounds of Claude Debussy’s music – not just in the four concert halls involved, but also with pianos at New Street Station and on the tram to Wolverhampton.

‘Marking the centenary of one of music’s great originals in this way was a great preparation for our own centenary celebrations over the next two seasons, and demonstrated once again the power of great music to bring people together.’

Gražinytė-Tyla added: ‘We are altogether thrilled to win the South Bank Sky Arts award for Classical Music, for our Debussy Festival. It was a great gift and wonderful experience to work on this festival, to prepare it, and then to celebrate the music and spirit of Claude Debussy. But much more than only his music and mind – we had a lot of context and dialogue with other composers, as well as collaboration with other arts organisations in Birmingham.’


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