Head of Artistic Planning


Circa £40,000 Pro rata

Application deadline
Interviews: First Round
Interviews: First Round
Interviews: Second Round
Interviews: Second Round

Job description

The world-renowned City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is seeking a Head of Artistic Planning to drive forward the artistic planning for the orchestra, associated ensembles and choruses, working closely with the Chief Executive, Music Director alongside the planning team and associated artistic working groups. 

Despite the restrictions of Covid-19 the orchestra has bold plans to continue making music, in person and digitally in order to fulfil its mission of bringing music to the widest possible audience. 

How to apply

To apply, please send a CV of no more than two pages together with the names of two referees and a succinct covering letter explaining why you think you are our ideal candidate to: 

HR Manager 
CBSO Centre 
Berkley Street 
Birmingham B1 2LF 

If you have any queries relating to the application process, please contact Hollie Dunster, HR Manager, on 0121 616 6515. 

If you would like to know more about the CBSO or the job itself, please feel free to contact Jenny Nicholls, on jnicholls@cbso.co.uk to arrange a confidential conversation. 

The CBSO is an equal opportunity organisation; we value diversity in our organisation and welcome applications from everyone. 

Essential skills

  1. Together with the Music Director, Chorus Director, Director of Learning and Engagement and Chief Executive you will play a key role in planning and co ordinating the artistic planning of the Orchestra and Choruses. 
  2. Alongside the Chief Executive you will drive the planning of an aspirational, world class artistic programme for our regular Symphony Hall promotions, containing repertoire which makes full use of the CBSO’s family of ensembles and choruses, as well as extended partnerships with BCMG, Ex Cathedra and other local arts organisations. 
  3. With support from the Planning & Tours Manager and Chief Executive you will be responsible for seeking UK Engagements and international touring, managing the overall process and the budget for activity, being responsible for securing the appropriate fees and managing the earned income, while sharing information as appropriate with colleagues. 
  4. To line manage the Planning Team in the engagement of all associated artists (such as Assistant Conductor and Composer in Residence) and visiting artists, including all negotiated fees, programmes, rehearsals and logistics. 
  5. To be responsible for researching artists and building new and existing partnerships, keeping CBSO at the cutting edge of orchestral music worldwide. 
  6. To develop the CBSO digital activity – in discussion with the Chief Executive and other SMT members as appropriate - to make full use of the CBSO’s musical resources and to increase income to the CBSO. 
  7. In collaboration with the Director of Learning and Engagement and Head of Orchestra Management, to take practical steps to make the CBSO an ever more inclusive organisation. 
  8. To work closely with the Head of Orchestra Management to ensure the effective delivery of the orchestra scheduling and smooth operation of the overall Concerts Team. 
  9. To line manage the Planning Manager(s),and support the management of the Assistant Planning Manager. 
  10. To act as Duty Manager at CBSO concerts and events on a rotational basis with colleagues, including concerts around the UK and overseas. 
  11. To prepare regular reports for the CBSO Board of Trustees, and to attend Board meetings as requested. 
  12. To represent the Chief Executive (when required) and the CBSO both internally and externally, and to be a visible ambassador for the CBSO within the orchestral sector and with other stakeholders in Birmingham as well as further 

Desirable skills

Person Specification 

  • You will be a natural leader with a passion for classical music 
  • You will have an in-depth knowledge of classical music and repertoire. 
  • You will be familiar with the daily operational requirements of a symphony orchestra and its musicians 
  • You will have a strong interest in living composers and contemporary repertoire 
  • You will have a good understanding of the market for orchestral music in the UK and internationally with experience in negotiating artist contracts and liaising with a wide variety of artist agents and promoters 
  • You will have demonstrable management experience, with excellent people management and communication skills and at least 5 years’ of artistic planning experience. 
  • You will be a creative individual and strategic thinker with good ideas and a proven ability to put them into practice 
  • You will have plenty of experience in managing significant budgets and developing systems for monitoring expenditure, and in general possess the financial skills appropriate to a job at this level 
  • You will be a highly articulate communicator with strong inter-personal skills, who is capable of building the confidence of colleagues and partners at all levels internally and externally 
  • You will be a hard worker who can work well under pressure, with the energy and enthusiasm to build teams, motivate colleagues and manage their performance 


Hollie Dunster, HR Manager




0121 616 6515


Terms and conditions 

  • Member of CBSO staff, based at CBSO’s purpose-built rehearsal and administrative home, CBSO Centre, in central Birmingham, however there will be a regular requirement for travel with the orchestra to locations in Birmingham, the UK and overseas when appropriate. 
  • This role is full time however part time applications will be considered 
  • CBSO staff are entitled to 25 days annual leave pro rata plus Public Holidays 
  • There will be a regular requirement for attendance at evening events (e.g. concerts) and for work at weekends. There is some provision for flexible working. 
  • This post is subject to a 6 month probationary period 
  • Membership of the Company’s Stakeholder Pension plan 
  • All CBSO employees are expected to adhere to all the CBSO’s policies

The CBSO is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity.