The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is delighted to announce that it has received a gift of £250,000 from CBSO Development Trust trustee and former board member John Osborn to support its centenary celebrations. The donation follows Mr Osborn’s previous gifts worth almost £500,000 to the orchestra in recent years, including a five-year gift made in celebration of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s appointment which supports her position as ‘Osborn Music Director’.
Mr Osborn, from Herefordshire, says: “I am a lifelong supporter of the CBSO having been a fan ever since I attended my first concert in the Town Hall over 60 years ago. It is an institution which enriches hundreds of thousands of people’s lives each year, provides countless opportunities for young musicians, and helps Birmingham punch well above its weight on the international stage. I am currently working with CBSO chairman David Burbidge and the team on plans for a major fundraising campaign for the orchestra’s second century. To get things started I have decided to make this £250,000 gift to support the centenary celebrations and, in particular, a landmark international tour which I hope will be possible. The buzz I get from spending time with the musicians and seeing the enjoyment of other audience members at concerts is priceless. Public arts funding continues to decline and if institutions like the CBSO are to continue to thrive, those of us who love them need to give as generously as we can.”
Chief Executive Stephen Maddock OBE adds: “John Osborn is one of the most important supporters in the CBSO’s history. This latest gift – a huge vote of confidence in our plans as we begin to celebrate the orchestra’s centenary – follows his extraordinary contributions supporting Mirga’s position as Music Director and also our chamber music programme. We couldn’t be more grateful for his support.”
The CBSO has recently announced its 2019-20 Concert Season at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. The season launches the orchestra’s centenary celebrations by taking inspiration from its past and looking forward to the future of classical music with a series of special events, premieres and concerts. Forthcoming highlights include 40 centenary commissions, a focus on choral masterpieces, a ‘Youth Takeover’ with 12 youth ambassadors given the opportunity to curate a main evening concert, and a new book about the orchestra’s history by Richard Bratby.