News Story

We are delighted to welcome Emma Stenning as the new Chief Executive of the CBSO, starting in her new role on Monday 3 April 2023.

Emma joins the CBSO from her most recent role in the arts as Executive Director of Soulpepper Theatre in Toronto, the renowned Canadian company, much loved for its popular concert series. Emma will be relocating to the Birmingham area and will join the CBSO, where she will initially spend two days a week, before starting her full-time role from mid-July.

Emma Stenning, Chief Executive-designate, says: “I owe my love of classical music to the musicians, artists and educators who brought the repertoire to me in new and accessible ways, and held my hand as I discovered each piece for the first time. Those magical experiences left me with the abiding passion that I might work to help others on the same life-enriching journey of musical discovery. What better place to do that, than in Birmingham.

"I have been entirely captivated by CBSO’s exquisite artistry, pioneering spirit and sense of adventure. The company’s mission that ‘every life be enriched by music’ echoes my own, and is evident in all it does, held tightly by players and staff alike. I am thrilled to lead us onwards, ever thankful for Stephen Maddock’s remarkable tenure, and looking forward to developing my own collaboration with Kazuki Yamada and the creative leadership that will come to define the future of this extraordinary orchestra.”

Her previous roles include Chief Executive of Bristol Old Vic, where she produced the Bristol Proms and Executive Director of Battersea Arts Centre, which was then home of BAC Opera. She was also Head of Theatre at Arts Council England and Cultural Programme Advisor at the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. Emma was Head of Producing for the 2009 Manchester International Festival, where she delivered a number of world premieres including Rufus Wainwright’s opera Prima Donna, Antony and the Johnsons with the Manchester Camerata and the London transfer of Damon Albarn’s Monkey.

Emma joins us at an exciting time, as we prepare to launch our 2023-24 season and welcome our new Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor Kazuki Yamada. Alongside the Board and Kazuki, Emma will work closely with a strong artistic team to ensure the continuation of the CBSO’s world-renowned artistic and musical excellence.

She succeeds Stephen Maddock, who leaves the CBSO after nearly 24 years to take up the role of Principal at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Read the full press release here