The Sound of the Future

Our campaign for musical life in the West Midlands

"In our centenary year we all agreed it was important to celebrate, but maybe even more important is to use this moment for re-thinking, re-questioning and re-discussing: ‘Who are we? Who do we want to be? What future do we imagine for the orchestra in this city?'" 
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Osborn Music Director

2020 marked our centenary. To celebrate, we launced this five-year, £12.5 million fundraising campaign, of which £5 million has already been raised, to ensure the orchestra’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, and to redefine our future for the benefit of everyone across Birmingham and the West Midlands. During the campaign we also aim to secure 250 new legacy pledges to ensure the orchestra's longer-term future.

The campaign is structured in two phases:

  • The Recovery phase will ensure that we can deliver Covid-compliant concerts and life-enhancing work in the community as quickly as possible. It will also help us to use the current situation to innovate and experiment with new ways of working.  And it will minimise the risk that we are forced to follow so many other cultural organisations in significantly diminishing our work.  To make this possible we urgently need your help to raise a further £1.75 million by April 2022
  • Building on the Recovery phase, our Renewal phase will reinvigorate the way we work so that we can make an even bigger contribution to West Midlands cultural life in our second century.

"I’m so immensely proud of all the CBSO has achieved, and will continue to achieve over the life of this campaign. It’s in even better shape now than when I left! I’m in awe of your ambitious plans for the future and look forward to watching the CBSO offer inspiration and opportunity to everyone across Birmingham and the West Midlands." 
Sir Simon Rattle OM CBE, Former Music Director

Both phases of the campaign are structured around four key priorities. Our plans to realise them will continue to be refined as the Covid situation becomes clearer:

Prior to Covid-19 we intended to launch an ambitious centenary plan to enhance the vital role the orchestra plays in the cultural life of the West Midlands.  A commitment to ensuring our work is accessible and relevant to as many people as possible sat at its heart.

Covid-19 has pushed us to reshape and accelerate these initiatives. The crisis has highlighted the many challenges facing society – such as inequality of opportunity – and the need for organisations like ours to renew the way we work to address them. But it has also represented the most difficult period in our history.  We haven’t been able to play for you since March, and we’ve lost earned income of over £3 million.