On Friday evening over 100 refugees will be welcomed into one of the world’s greatest concert halls to hear the music of their homeland in their new home city.


Town Hall Symphony Hall has been working alongside Refugee Action to provide communities with 100 free tickets for the upcoming performance of Hespèrion XXI – Ode to Syria, a performance which will unite music across eras, and across religious and cultural divides.

Under direction from Jordi Savall, Hespèrion XXI has never limited itself to western baroque music. On Friday, in their Birmingham debut, they will collaborate with virtuosos from Syria and the Middle East to play music of vibrant, life-giving beauty in the iconic setting of the Town Hall.

Head of Artistic Programming Richard Hawley said;

“Town Hall and Symphony Hall are striving to ensure that Birmingham’s musical ecology is vibrant, relevant and accessible to all. As a part of Birmingham Classical we are delighted to be in a position to welcome members of Birmingham’s refugee community to Town Hall this Friday for what will be a fantastic celebration for the music of Syria (and the dialogue between Christian, Sephardic, Ottoman and Arab-Andalusian music from around the Mediterranean). Birmingham is an incredibly diverse city and we are thrilled to be working within one of the city’s newest communities to offer them a chance to experience this venue”.

Refugee Action helps refugees who’ve survived some of the world’s worst regimes, by providing the basic support they need to live again with dignity. 

The charity’s vision is that refugees and people seeking asylum will be welcome in the UK. They will get justice, live free of poverty and be able to successfully rebuild their lives.

Faye Jeffery, West Midlands regional resettlement manager at Refugee Action, said: 

“We’re delighted that so many people from the refugee community in Birmingham, including many Syrian families we support, have the chance to attend this performance. Refugees feel welcome in Birmingham. This is a wonderful opportunity to bring together communities and celebrate the city’s vibrant culture.”  


Ahmad Al Kadi, who fled the violent conflict in Syria with his family, arrived in Birmingham last year from a refugee camp in Lebanon. He said:

“I’m proud there is a concert about the people and music of Syria. I feel it will bring back memories both good and bad.”  


Hespèrion XXI - Ode to Syria is at Birmingham Town Hall on Friday 29th June at 7:30pm. Tickets are priced £12.50 - £43 including £3 ticket commission. 

There is a pre-concert conversation at 6:15pm with Jordi Savall and musicians from Hespèrion XXI. This conversation will be signed by a British Sign Language interpreter.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased via the THSH website, by calling 0121 780 3333 or at Symphony Hall box office.


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