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City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra facts for kids

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City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO)
CBSO Symphony Hall.jpg
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Former name City of Birmingham Orchestra
Founded 1920
Concert hall Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Music director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is one of the leading British orchestras. It is based in the Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England. It became particularly famous during the years when it was conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

The orchestra was founded in 1920 by Neville Chamberlain, the man who later became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. At that time it was called City of Birmingham Orchestra. Appleby Matthews conducted its first concert. In November of the same year the composer Edward Elgar conducted the orchestra in a programme of his own music in Birmingham Town Hall. Adrian Boult was chief conductor from 1924 to 1930.


The CBO became a full-time organisation in 1944. It changed its name to the "City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra" (CBSO) in 1948. Chief conductors since then included Rudolf Schwarz and the composer Andrzej Panufnik.

The CBSO became internationally famous when Simon Rattle became chief conductor in 1980. The orchestra became known for their playing of late romantic and 20th century works, especially those of Sibelius and Gustav Mahler. During this period, the orchestra moved from Birmingham Town Hall to a new concert hall: the Symphony Hall, which was inside Birmingham's International Convention Centre.

Rattle was named music director of the CBSO in 1990. That same year, a new job was created for a composer who would be associated with the orchestra. It was called "Radcliffe Composer in Association", and the first person to have this post was Mark-Anthony Turnage. In 1995 Judith Weir became Fairbairn Composer in Association, followed in 2001 by Julian Anderson.

After Rattle gave up his job with the CBSO in 1998 and the Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo became chief conductor that year, and music director in 1999.

In October 2007, the orchestra named the Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons as the CBSO's 12th music director, starting with the 2008-2009 season.

The CBSO has made many recordings for EMI Classics and Warner Classics, as well as smaller labels. The Orchestra's chief executive is Stephen Maddock.

Conductors of the CBSO

  • 1920-1924 Appleby Matthews
  • 1924-1930 Adrian Boult
  • 1930-1943 Leslie Heward
  • 1944-1951 George Weldon
  • 1951-1957 Rudolf Schwarz
  • 1957-1959 Andrzej Panufnik

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Orquesta Sinfónica de la Ciudad de Birmingham para niños

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