Discover our Centenary commission Forward by Richard Bratby

Richard Bratby on Forward: Beer, sweat and jockstraps: the real history of the CBSO

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Over a century of history, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra has taken different names and forms. It has weathered war, recession and social change, evolving from a part-time municipal ensemble into a symphony orchestra with a worldwide reputation. But throughout it all, the CBSO has been Birmingham's orchestra - the musical embodiment of one of the world's great cities, in all its ambition, complexity and diversity. In its centenary year, Forward: 100 Years of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra celebrates a truly pioneering institution, at home and abroad.