Orchestra Librarian


c.£27,000 per annum (depending on experience)

Application Deadline
First round interview

Job description

The world-renowned City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is seeking an Orchestra Librarian who will play a crucial operational role within the Concerts Department, managing the orchestra’s music library, ensuring that the orchestra is supplied at the right time and the right place with the correct music. The role will work closely with the Orchestra players in addition to the Planning and Operational departments of the Concerts Team. 

There will be two rounds of interviews; the date of the second is TBC

How 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:

Hollie Dunster, HR Manager
CBSO Centre, Berkley Street, Birmingham, B1 2LF

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

If you would like to know more about the CBSO, or the job itself, please feel free to contact Jenny Chadwick (Director of Concerts) jchadwick@cbso.co.uk to arrange a confidential conversation.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Manage the CBSO’s music library, ensuring that the orchestra is supplied at the right time and the right place with the correct music.
  • To ensure that music is available to players in advance of the relevant work; to respond to any music requests and keep a record of the music distributed.
  • To liaise with the Music Director, visiting conductors and artists, the orchestra’s management team and the musicians to ensure that the required material is annotated appropriately for distribution to the orchestra in time for the first rehearsal.
  • To liaise with members of the Concerts department to ensure that the library services are maintained to the required standard.
  • To liaise with music publishers, libraries, other orchestras, conductors and artists or their agents, to ensure timely availability and delivery of music of the correct edition and of legible quality, as determined by the programme and the conductor’s requirements.  
  • To ensure the music material is collected, checked, packed and returned at the appropriate time.
  • To maintain designated sets of parts for the Music Director when required.
  • To be available, when necessary, at all CBSO concerts, rehearsals and recording sessions and supervise or personally put out the music on the musicians’ music stands and the scores for the conductor in consultation with the Orchestra Manager and the Platform Manager.
  • Where it is not possible to perform the music with the performing forces available to the programme to liaise with the conductor and members of the CBSO staff and musicians to find alternative means to make the performance possible.
  • To be responsible for the cataloguing and maintenance of the orchestra’s stock of music ensuring that it is recorded and stored appropriately.
  • To be responsible for the instrumentation and the programme details recorded in the OPAS software system and to keep accurate records of instrumentations used in CBSO performances.
  • To be responsible for the internal library catalogues and database systems ensuring that they are accurate and up to date.
  • To be responsible for managing and supervising the Library Assistant.
  • In collaboration with the Director of Concerts and Director of Finance, contribute to the setting of the budgets for music hire and purchase and to be responsible for ensuring that costs are managed within, or where possible, below the budget required (ie getting the best deal).
  • To be responsible for the raising of purchase orders and authorisation of invoice payments for music supplied to the orchestra.
  • To ensure the Director of Finance is advised of the value of the library stock for insurance purposes. To maintain a record of library stock updating this on at least a quarterly basis to reflect any purchases and/or disposal and changes in stock value. Provide a copy of this information to the Director of Finance for insurance/other purposes as and when requested.
  • Make and file, for reference purposes, photocopies of hire string parts and other relevant performing materials.
  • When required, to supply parts for players, including freelance musicians, and students attending rehearsals for training purposes for personal practice.
  • To prepare audition material as and when required.
  • Generally, to advise the management team on library issues and participate in the management of the Company’s business.
  • Undertake additional duties and/or represent the Department and the CBSO, within the job remit, as and when the needs of the business require it, at the direction of the Director of Concerts.

Essential skills

  • You will have excellent music preparation skills with at least 2 years’ experience of working within an arts organisation in a similar role
  • You will have detailed knowledge of orchestral repertoire, with a passion for Classical music, and be familiar with the daily operational requirements of a symphony orchestra
  • Ability to score-read
  • Ability to transpose and write out orchestral parts
  • You will possess excellent organisational skills, with strong attention to detail
  • You will be a hard worker who can work well under pressure, and think on your feet.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and ability to liaise with a wide variety of people at all levels
  • Ability to work on own initiative and to be self-motivated 
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Willingness to work irregular and unsocial hours including evenings and weekends, as required by the orchestra schedule
  • Willingness to travel within the UK and internationally as required by the orchestra schedule.
  • Degree in Music (or equivalent)

Desirable skills

  • Strong Computer Skills including Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and Sibelius are essential
  • A knowledge of OPAS
  • Full, clean driving license


Jenny Chadwick, Director of Concerts




0121 616 6504


  • Full-time member of CBSO staff, based at CBSO’s purpose-built rehearsal and administrative home, CBSO Centre, in central Birmingham.
  • Salary will be circa £27,000 per annum pro rata depending on experience
  • CBSO staff are entitled to 25 days annual leave plus Public Holidays per year. This holiday will be pro rata.
  • Working hours will be determined by the needs of the role, and will not be less than 40 hours per week.  The basic working week runs Monday to Friday, but there will also requirement for attendance at evening events (e.g. rehearsals) and for work at weekends. There is some provision for flexible working.
  • This post is subject to six months probationary period.
  • On the successful completion of the probationary period CBSO staff are entitled to become a member of the company pension scheme.
  • All CBSO employees are expected to adhere to all the CBSO’s policies.

The CBSO is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity.