Key Facts

The CBSO’s Impact

    • The CBSO is the only full-time professional symphony orchestra between Bournemouth and Manchester. It brings musical experiences to a significant proportion of the British population
    • By staging over 150 concerts per year it brings world-class music to over 200,000 concertgoers
    • Its regular audience members boost the city’s visitor economy by travelling from 30 counties
    • As one of the world’s finest orchestras it serves as a global ambassador for the city: a world tour to the most prestigious venues of Europe, America and Asia is planned over its centenary period in 2020-21
    • Its Learning & Engagement programme had over 83,000 attendances last year, and (in partnership with Birmingham Music Education Hub) it offers every year 7 child in Birmingham a free ticket to one of its 30 annual concerts for young people, as well as offering free Relaxed Concerts for Birmingham special school pupils 
    • It nurtures the city’s most talented young musicians through its Youth Orchestra and Project Remix training orchestra, its Children's and Youth Choruses, and partnerships with Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the University of Birmingham
    • It enriches people's lives throughout the community through its extensive Learning & Engagement programme, which includes work in dozens of local schools, a community choir, activities with people living with dementia in care settings, work with young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and concerts in community venues including Sutton Park and New Street Station
    • Its Chorus, made up of 200 local people, is widely recognised as one of the best symphonic choruses in the world
    • Its 90 world-class professional musicians form the heart of Birmingham’s musical life, teaching at local schools and universities and performing with other ensembles

Faithful Journey.

The CBSO’s Finances

The CBSO’s public funding from Birmingham City Council has already been cut by 65% – over £1.3 million per year – in real terms since 2010. The CBSO and its audience members and supporters have done all they can to maintain the excellence and breadth of its work in this context:

    • the CBSO's earned income from ticket sales is the highest of any British orchestra
    • annual private sector fundraising has increased from £450,000 to £1.6 million between 2010 and 2018
    • the CBSO Development Trust has raised an initial £2.5 million for its private Endowment fund, income from which provides ongoing support for the orchestra's work
    • staff and musicians have received pay freezes or sub-inflationary pay increases for a decade


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