Coronavirus Update


Wednesday 18 March 2020

Following the latest government guidance the CBSO has decided to cancel its concerts at Symphony Hall until at least mid-April. CBSO Centre will also be closed for public events, and all our learning and participation activity is suspended. We will continue to review the situation and regular updates will be made available here. The safety of our audiences, artists, musicians and staff is our utmost priority and we thank you in advance for your understanding.

Cancelled Concerts:

  • Friday 27 March, 7.30pm, 100 Years of Movie Magic
  • Saturday 28 March, 1.30pm & Sunday 29 March, 7pm, Singalong with the CBSO: Verdi’s Requiem
  • Thursday 2 April, 11am, Cuppa Concerts: Dementia Friendly Concerts
  • Thursday 2 April, 7.30pm, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella
  • Friday 3 April, 7.30pm, Elton John: 50 Years of Your Song
  • Thursday 16 April, 1.10pm, Elgar’s Piano Quintet
  • Thursday 16 April, 7.30pm & Saturday 18 April, 7pm, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius

We recognise that these are unprecedented and worrying times and that for many people the primary concern will be the health and livelihood of their loved ones. But many people have already contacted us to express concern about the impact COVID19 is having on the CBSO and other organisations they love.   

The CBSO depends on income from ticket purchases and performance fees for its existence, and for the livelihoods of its musicians and staff. We estimate that COVID-19 has already cost us a significant six-figure sum, and that the cost of cancelling concerts in Birmingham will be at least £20,000 per week.

If you have booked tickets for one of our cancelled concerts, the THSH box office will contact you directly. Please do not contact the box office as they are receiving a large volume of calls and will deal with each concert cancellation in turn.  We will be giving ticket bookers the option to consider donating all or part of their ticket value to us, and there are many other ways that you can help. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Why has the CBSO cancelled upcoming concerts?

The UK Government advised the public to stop non-essential contact with others and to avoid theatres and other such social venues. Read more.

  • Is my performance cancelled?

CBSO concerts at Symphony Hall and CBSO Centre have been cancelled until at least mid-April.  Should further concerts need to be cancelled, we will provide updates on this page, and also be directly in touch with affected ticket bookers.

  • How will I get my refund?

You will receive an email or letter regarding each of the cancelled concerts, which will give you full instructions on your options.  If you have booked for more than one affected concert, this may result in your receiving more than one email or letter, as we are dealing with one concert cancellation at a time – we apologise for any inconvenience, but this is the most accurate way to ensure that all bookers are contacted. Please note that the CBSO cannot compensate for any travel, accommodation or additional expenses.

  • Will there be any change to existing concert package bookers who pay by direct debit?

 For bookers who have paid by direct debit, we will continue with the scheduled payments and then refund the concerts retrospectively. 

  • What are the Box Office opening times?

Please note that the Box Office counter and phone lines are now closed.  The Box Office team are now working from home, and will continue to process a large volume of refunds and contact audiences electronically with updates as soon as they are able to do so.   

  • Can I buy tickets for future CBSO concerts?

Yes, through online booking only as the Box Office phone lines and counter are now closed. All ticket bookers would receive a full refund should a concert be cancelled.

  • Will the orchestra still be paid?

Yes, the orchestra are salaried members of staff. 

Tuesday 17 March 2020

CBSO are urgently assessing our activity following the government advice late yesterday afternoon. Further updates will be made available on our website as soon as possible. Please bear with us - any affected ticket bookers will be contacted in due course.

Friday 13 March 2020

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the restrictions on large-scale events in countries right across Europe, all ten concerts on the CBSO’s European tour this month have been cancelled by the venues we were due to visit.

In line with UK government advice, there are currently no changes planned for the orchestra’s UK concerts.  CBSO Centre will also remain open.  We will of course continue to follow UK government, NHS and WHO advice, and will react to any changing situations as required.

We have also recently been informed that our Music Director, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, has just tested positive for COVID-19. Mirga is recovering in self-isolation at home. The CBSO are following advice from Public Health England and all staff and orchestra members have been informed.  We would like to wish Mirga a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her when she is next with us in May.