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City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

About this Artist

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is the flagship of musical life in Birmingham and the West Midlands, and one of the world’s great orchestras.

Resident at Symphony Hall in Birmingham, the orchestra performs over 150 concerts each year in Birmingham, the UK and around the world, playing music that ranges from classics to contemporary, film music to symphonic disco, and everything in between. With a far-reaching community programme and a family of choruses and ensembles, it is involved in every aspect of music-making in the Midlands. But at its centre is a team of 90 superb professional musicians, and a 100-year tradition of making great music in the heart of Birmingham.

That local tradition started with the orchestra’s very first symphonic concert in 1920 – conducted by Sir Edward Elgar. Ever since then, through war, recessions, social change and civic renewal, the CBSO has been proud to be Birmingham’s orchestra. Under principal conductors including Adrian Boult, George Weldon, Andrzej Panufnik and Louis Frémaux, the CBSO won an artistic reputation that spread far beyond the Midlands. But it was when it discovered the young British conductor Simon Rattle in 1980 that the CBSO became internationally famous – and showed how the arts can help give a new sense of direction to a whole city.

Rattle’s successors Sakari Oramo and Andris Nelsons helped cement that global reputation and continued to build on the CBSO’s tradition of flying the flag for Birmingham. And under the dynamic leadership of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, the CBSO continued to do what it does best – playing great music for the people of Birmingham, the Midlands, and beyond. In September of last year, the Orchestra announced that Japanese conductor Kazuki Yamada had been appointed as its Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor with effect from 1 April 2023 - having been the Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor since October 2018.