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Birmingham Celebrates Two Top Arts Awards

Subscribe to RSS RSSSunday, 21st February, 2010

Two of Birmingham’s most high-profile cultural organisations are celebrating after scooping top awards at the South Bank Show’s annual celebration of the arts.

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra won the Classical Music Award whilst the Birmingham Royal Ballet scooped the Dance Award.

The successes are a major boost to the city as it bids to become the UK’s first City of Culture, in 2013. The shortlist for the final bidding is expected to be announced next month.

In the last ever South Bank Show awards, presented by Lord Bragg and to be broadcast on ITV on Sunday evening, CBSO were the Classical Music Award for its collaboration with the Hallé, when between the two world-class orchestras, all six symphonies from the Danish composer Carl Nielson were performed in both Birmingham and Manchester. 

The project was dubbed “The Inextinguishable” – after Nielson’s best-known Fourth Symphony which the CBSO used to launch the cycle in Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

CBSO Chief Executive Stephen Maddock said: “This is a great honour, and it’s especially pleasing for our ambitious collaboration with the Hallé to be recognised in this way. 

“It’s a tribute to the hard-working musicians of both Orchestras, and a reminder that audiences want to be inspired and challenged as well as entertained.  With Birmingham Royal Ballet and David Bintley taking the Dance Award, these last ever South Bank Show Awards are a terrific boost to Birmingham’s case for winning the City of Culture title.”

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Director David Bintley said he was “thrilled” to win the Dance Award for his ballet E=mc².

Based on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, E=mc² enjoyed its world premiere at Birmingham Hippodrome in September 2009 as part of the triple bill Quantum Leaps and delighted audiences during the Company’s autumn 2009 tour. 

Mr Bintley, who held off other nominees including Britain’s Got Talent winner Diversity, said: “I am delighted to win The South Bank Show dance award for E=mc² in Birmingham Royal Ballet's 20th anniversary year. This award celebrates the company's creative collaborations, the talent of the dancers and highlights my commitment to producing new work that will take Birmingham Royal Ballet forward into another exciting year and decade.” 

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Chief Executive, Christopher Barron said: “This prestigious award comes at a significant time for Birmingham Royal Ballet as the company prepares to celebrate 20 years in the City of Birmingham. The recognition for dance at The South Bank Show Awards not only celebrates the work of David Bintley and Birmingham Royal Ballet but also highlights the strength of the company and the arts in Birmingham as it moves forward in its bid for the City of Culture in 2013.'