The CBSO was founded in 1920 by the city's civic leaders, led by Neville Chamberlain. The Orchestra's inaugural concert was conducted by Sir Edward Elgar. Current music director Andris Nelsons is the latest in a line of renowned conductors to hold this post, including Sir Adrian Boult and Sir Simon Rattle. Nelsons leads an outstanding artistic team including principal guest conductor Edward Gardner, associate conductor Michael Seal, and chorus director Simon Halsey.
The Orchestra performs around 130 concerts a year. As well as the Birmingham season, this includes concerts regionally, nationally and internationally, where the CBSO acts as a proud ambassador for Birmingham.
As the resident orchestra of Symphony Hall, Birmingham, the CBSO has a wide reaching programme of music ranging from Beethoven to Bollywood, symphonic and contemporary classical, as well as a lighter series of Friday Night classics, and concerts that the whole family can enjoy. It works with some of the best artists such as Jonas Kaufmann, Mitsuko Uchida and Ian Bostridge, alongside up-and-coming talents and even personalities such as Sue Perkins and Alan Titchmarsh.
The CBSO's learning and participation work reaches over 35,000 people each year in diverse communities across the West Midlands, and ranges from projects bringing music to nurseries in disadvantaged areas of the city, to work developing the next generation of talented young musicians.
The CBSO family also includes the CBSO Chorus; two auditioned choirs for young people, the CBSO Children's and Youth Choruses; two unauditioned community choirs, adult choir CBSO SO Vocal in Selly Oak, and CBSO Young Voices in partnership with Birmingham Music Service; the CBSO Youth Orchestra; and a wide range of chamber ensembles from within the orchestra who perform at CBSO Centre and beyond.
For reference and to view highlights of the year read:
CBSO Reports & Accounts 2011-12