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Birmingham Symphony Hall

A trip to Birmingham simply wouldn’t be complete without visiting Birmingham Symphony Hall.

Situated in the heart of the UK’s vibrant second city, it sits amongst art galleries, museums, shops, restaurants and bars – the perfect place to go to round off a day of exploring what the city has to offer.

A little history

Birmingham has a long musical history, with many famous musicians playing in the city over the centuries, from Sibelius to Mendelssohn. A plan for Birmingham to have its own concert venue was in the works from the early 1900s, but it wasn’t until 1991 that Birmingham Symphony Hall was finally opened by the Queen, thanks in part to the global reputation of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.<o:p></o:p>

Incredible architecture

Birmingham Symphony Hall is considered by many to be one of the finest in the world, created though the close collaboration of architects and acousticians. Built in a traditional ‘shoebox’ design that’s been used since the 19th century, the amazing space can be adapted to change the acoustics to suit the music being performed.<o:p></o:p>

The beautiful ‘acoustic canopy’ can be lowered to create a more intimate sound for smaller groups of musicians and a series of enormous concrete doors (weighing one tonne each!) can be opened and closed to create echo according to what’s playing. From the seat covers to the pillars, no detail was overlooked. 

The biggest and best

In 2001, an incredible 6000-pipe, hand crafted organ was installed, taking the title of being the biggest mechanical organ in the UK. Then in 2016, a concert hall expert declared that the Birmingham Symphony Hall is the best in the UK and the 7th best in the world. The wonderful hall just keeps making records.

What’s on

Birmingham Symphony Hall hosts about 300 shows a year, so there’s plenty to see. As well as concerts by the city’s own symphony orchestra, you’ll find opera, recitals by up and coming classical musicians and performances by philharmonic orchestras from across the globe. If classical isn’t your thing, there are gigs by some of the world’s biggest musicians as well as dance shows, comedy, jazz nights, poetry readings and speaking events held by the likes of Nick Cave.<o:p></o:p>

Where to stay

Got tickets to a show? No need to rush home, we have plenty of hotels near Birmingham Symphony Hall to choose from.

Our chic ibis Styles Birmingham Centre is just a 10-minute walk away, so you don’t have to worry about a long journey back after the curtain call. Book into our Irving Street spot and take a picturesque walk along the canal to get to the venue or, if you’re travelling by train, why not stay at ibis Birmingham New Street Station? It’s just a 10-minute cab ride from the symphony hall.

With so much incredible architecture to experience and so many performers to see, a visit to Birmingham Symphony Hall is a must. 


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