“There is more than one great orchestra/conductor partnership in Birmingham.  Michael Seal has been principal conductor of the Sinfonia of Birmingham since 2002 and they've grown together.  To hear them is to experience something that's rare even with professional orchestras: a conductor who knows exactly how to get the best from his orchestra and a band that knows exactly how to respond.  We've heard things from this team at Sutton Coldfield that, for pure musicality and communicative power, have far outstripped certain big-name concerts at Symphony Hall.
Those thoughts followed naturally from a performance of Nielsen's Four Temperaments Symphony that seemed to make every one of those points: taut, powerful and ebullient, yet with moments both of lyrical sweetness and real danger.  Seal found space for detail and to let his players sing while maintaining the long line of the symphony's architecture and propelling the music forward ...
... and Sibelius' Finlandia grew as if in one single phrase from snarling opening to defiant finish.  The last time we heard it done so convincingly, the conductor was Sakari Oramo.”

Richard Bratby, Birmingham Post 2016

"An unusually daring programme tantalised and intrigued the audience at this fine venue [Ruddock Performing Arts Centre, Birmingham], ...
Firstly, Ravel's four movement Le Tombeau de Couperin (1914) charmed with lilting wood winds, harp threads and bucolic solo oboe plus numerous elegantly creative strands, all beautifully played.
Conductor Michael seal was, as ever, reassuringly clear, supportive and imaginative for William Walton's early Viola Concerto, performed with total commitment by Steve Doman.  The soloist's lovely dark texture was, at times, a little overwhelmed by a slightly anxious full orchestra, but eventually all culminated in a feverishly exciting second movement, leading to a neat, smiling build-up with clear-cut directions from the rostrum ending mind-teasing Walton third-movement mysteries.
Sibelius Symphonies no 6 and 7 certainly stretched everyone's capacity for playing and listening.  Some splendidly noble scales, very hectic Scandinavian passages and tidy, hair-raising finger work for strings, wood-wind tremolos."

Maggie Cotton 2016

Joe Roberts (cello) - Sinfonia of Birmingham
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