Matthew Barley/Cellist

Music exemplifies nature’s harmony – it balances man and heaven.

Ancient Chinese tract

In the Deep South!

I’ve just arrived in Birmingham, Alabama and had my first rehearsals of The Protecting Veil with the Alabama Symphony, who are absolutely first class. Chief Conductor Justin Brown is doing an amazing job, and there’s a city-wide buzz about the orchestra, who are evidently on a steep upward artistic curve. The Alys Stephens Hall is very good to play in, so I’m really looking forward to the first concert tomorrow night, which starts with an arrangement that Justin and I made for cello and strings of Albinoni’s Adagio.

I guess this is what Birmingham UK felt like 30 years ago when a young Simon Rattle took on the job there and went on to do such extraordinary things. If they get the funding they need, I think something similar will happen here. Watch that Deep Southern space!