Announcing BCMG’s new concert programme celebrating the blossoming of spring

  • The BCMG in Bloom series of concerts take place February – May 2023
  • A celebration of nature and music, with concerts in Birmingham and Bristol
  • Plus special performances by BCMG NEXT and workshops for young musicians

As winter departs, BCMG present a series of concerts that celebrate the changing of the seasons and blossoming of spring. BCMG in Bloom 2023 includes four concerts inspired by the natural world, taking place in Birmingham and Bristol between February and May 2023, with a special focus on Japanese composers, plus a world premiere performance of Christian Mason’s commission The Singing Tree.

February sees the return of BCMG’s Cherry Blossom Concerts in Birmingham (2 April) and Bristol (18 Feb), in association with Ikon Gallery and Arnolfini Gallery. Inspired by hanami, the famous cherry blossom festivals of Japan, the Birmingham concert takes place in the open air under a canopy of pink cherry blossom outside Ikon Gallery in Brindleyplace. This hour-long afternoon concert is free to attend. Meanwhile in Bristol, visitors can soak up the music within the Arnolfini gallery, surrounded by contemporary art. Both concerts included works by Japanese composer Dai Fujikura, as well as pieces by György Ligeti, Charlotte Bray and Hollie Harding.  

On 29 April, BCMG welcomes Kazuki Yamada to his new role as Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor for CBSO, with Blossoming in Birmingham – a concert conducted by Kazuki and inspired by the natural world. The ensemble will perform immersive and dramatic music inspired by nature, including Lisa Illean’s Januaries and Toshio Hosokawa’s Blossoming.

BCMG in Bloom reaches its finale in May with the eagerly anticipated T R E E concert. Originally planned for 2020, this performance in Birmingham Town Hall explores the connections between nature and humankind in an enchanting musical programme. Christian Mason’s new commission The Singing Tree receives its world premiere, plus BCMG perform the seminal Concertini for ensemble by Helmut Lachenmann.

Alongside the concert, multiple activities and workshops are taking place for young musicians inspired by T R E E, including digital resources and artworks. BCMG also joined Birmingham Trees for Life for real-life tree planting, with more activities planned for later in the year.

Stephan Meier, Artistic Director of BCMG, explains, “BCMG in Bloom 2023 is a celebration of nature and music, connectivity with other cultures, and a reminder to us all to appreciate the natural world around us. Trees have been honoured since the beginning of time, and today composers continue to refer to them as roots in their life and music. This series of concerts captures the sound world of trees and of blossom, as we mark the turning of the seasons and the blossoming of spring.”

In addition to BCMG in Bloom, this spring sees a series of performances by BCMG NEXT, the ensemble of early career musicians who are training at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Watch these talented young performers at Symphony Hall, Coventry Cathedral, Birmingham Town Hall and CBSO Centre between February and May.

Young musicians can also benefit from free workshops throughout the spring, including Music Maze for children aged 7-11, and BCMG Young Composers for children aged 11-14. These fun sessions encourage young people to develop their musical knowledge and talent alongside professional performers and composers. For more details visit the BCMG website.

Tickets and more information at

Listings Information:

Blossoming in Bristol

Sat 18th February

15:00 – pop-up performance (free)

16.00 – concert hall performance (ticketed)

Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol

Join us in Arnolfini Gallery for music with strings and clarinet inspired by nature, surrounded by a backdrop of art.

Dai Fujikura (1977)Sakana (2007, 10’)

Hollie Harding motion (2018, 6’)

Charlotte Bray (1982)In Black Light (2018, 8’), Beyond (2013, 4’)

Dai Fujikura (1977)Rubi(c)on (2006, 1’), Perpetual Spring (2017, 10‘)

Toshio Hosokawa (1955), Blossoming (2007, 15’)

György Ligeti (1923 – 2006)string quartet No. 2 (1968, 20’)

Cherry Blossom Concert

Sun 2nd April, 15:00

Oozells Square, Brindleyplace


An hour-long, free, and sensory event for all ages, outside Ikon Gallery.

Charlotte Bray Beyond (2013, 4’), In Black Light (2018, 8’)

Hollie Harding, motion (2018, 6’)

Dai Fujikura (1977) Sakana (2007, 10’), Perpetual Spring (2017, 10‘)

György Ligeti (1923 – 2006) string quartet No. 2 (1968, 20’)

Blossoming in Birmingham

Conducted by Kazuki Yamada

Sat 29th April, 19:00

CBSO Centre

Welcoming Kazuki Yamada to his new role as Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor for CBSO, and in keeping with BCMG in Bloom, we present music inspired by the natural world. Experience immersive and dramatic music inspired by nature. Expect to hear strings and feel the wind around you. 

Lisa Illean (1983) Januaries (2017, 11’)

Dai Fujikura (1977) Perpetual Spring (2017, 10‘), Secret Forest (2008, 17’)

György Ligeti (1923 – 2006) String Quartet No. 2 (1968, 20’)

Toshio Hosokawa (1955) Blossoming (2007, 15’)

T R E E Concert

Fri 12th May, 19:00

Birmingham Town Hall, B:Music

Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart

Children’s Choir

Michael Wendeberg Conductor

Helmut Lachenmann b. 1935, Concertini (2005) 33’

Christian Mason b. 1984, The Singing Tree (2020, 30’) World Premiere, Sound Investment

This commission was generously funded by Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, PRS Foundation, and The Radcliffe Trust.


Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire join forces yearly to offer a unique training programme for music students and professional musicians looking for a career as performers of contemporary music.


Sat 29th January 16:15

Symphony Hall Birmingham, Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space

Free to Sounds New ticket holders

Join BCMG NEXT for a performance to bring in the new year, featuring works by Benjamin Graves, Rebecca Saunders, Aileen Sweeney, Bethan Morgan Williams and more. This concert is available to CBSO Sounds New ticket holders and takes place directly afterwards.

This concert is supported by The John Feeney Charitable Trust



Fri 24th March, 19:00

Coventry Cathedral

BCMG NEXT are returning to the beautiful surroundings of Coventry Cathedral for a performance of works by Tristan Murail, Brian Ferneyhough, Anton Webern, Christian Mason and more. Performing music that addresses the metaphysical and spiritual. 

Blossoming with BCMG NEXT

Sat 29th April, 20:45

CBSO Centre

After Blossoming in Birmingham our NEXT early-career musicians will be playing pieces by Dai Fujikura, Toshio Hosokawa, Lisa Illean and more.


Fri 12th May, 18:00

Birmingham Town Hall, B:Music

Free to ticket holders of T R E E Concert

Hear pieces by Helmut Lachenmann, and Christian Mason performed by our BCMG NEXT early-career musicians. Support the generation of contemporary musicians as a starter to our T R E E Concert.

Free Workshops for Young People

Music Maze

Music Maze is a series of fun, creative, participatory workshops for children aged 7 – 11. Workshops are linked to performances by BCMG. Children do not need to play a musical instrument to take part.  

22 January, 10am – CBSO Centre

26 February, 10am – CBSO Centre

26 March, 10am –  CBSO Centre

14 May, 10am – Justham Family Room & Jane How Room, B:Music

BCMG Young Composers – Spring

A series of 4 Composing Workshops for ages 11 – 14. BCMG Young Composers is an exciting project for budding composers where they will get the opportunity to compose for BCMG musicians guided by a professional composer.

29th January, 10am

26th February, 10am

5th March, 10am

26th March, 10am

CBSO Centre

You must be able to attend all workshops

Creative Composing Lab

5 March, 10am – 6pm

CBSO Centre

Creative Composing Lab is an exciting opportunity for young people ages 14 – 18 to compose guided by professional composer and BCMG musicians.

If you love creating music or need ideas for your GCSE, BTEC or A-level composition, Creative Composing Lab is for you. Participants need some music notation skills. At the end of the workshop day, there will be a performance of all the compositions created by the participants.

For details on all concerts, workshops and events, visit