Resident at Symphony hall, Birmingham the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is the flagship of musical life in Birmingham and the West Midlands.
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra performs over 130 concerts each year in Birmingham, the UK and around the world, playing music that ranges from classics to contemporary, film music and even symphonic disco. With a far-reaching community programme and a family of world-class choruses and youth ensembles, it is involved in every aspect of music-making in the region. As it approaches its centenary in 2020, the CBSO, more than ever, remains the heart of musical life in the UK’s Second City.
The earliest orchestral concerts known to have taken place in Birmingham were those organised by Barnabas Gunn at the Moor Street Theatre in 1740, and more than 20 separate orchestras are recorded as having existed in the city between that date and the foundation of what is now the CBSO in 1920.
Sir Edward Elgar conducted the Orchestra’s first symphonic concert in 1920. However it was under the leadership of the then-young British conductor Simon Rattle in 1980 that the CBSO became internationally famous. In 2016, the CBSO appointed the brilliant 29-year-old Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla as their first female Music Director.
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