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The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is a British orchestra based in Birmingham, England. It is the resident orchestra at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, which has been its principal performance venue since 1991. Its administrative and rehearsal base is at the nearby CBSO Centre, where it also presents chamber concerts by members of the orchestra and guest performers.

Each year the orchestra performs more than 130 concerts to audiences totalling over 200,000 people. Another 72,000 people each year take part in its learning, participation and outreach events, and 750 local musicians are engaged in its six choirs and the CBSO Youth Orchestra.

The CBSO's current Music Director is the Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, who took up her initial three year appointment in September 2016 at the age of 29. The CBSO's current chief executive, appointed in 1999, is Stephen Maddock.

Chief conductors afterwards included the composer Andrzej Panufnik, Boult in an emergency return for a season after Panufnik's sudden resignation, Hugo Rignold and Louis Frémaux. During this time, the orchestra made recordings and gave regular concerts.

The CBSO began to gain greater international renown after Simon Rattle became chief conductor in 1980. Under him, the orchestra increased its recording profile and became one of the leading ensembles in Europe, and gained a name for its interpretations 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 home venue, Symphony Hall, inside Birmingham's International Convention Centre. The nearby CBSO Centre, a converted factory, houses management offices, rehearsal facilities, and is a concert venue in its own right, for more intimate performances. The CBSO Youth Orchestra has been affiliated with the CBSO since 2004.

Rattle was named music director of the CBSO in 1990. That same year, the post of Radcliffe Composer in Association was created, with Mark-Anthony Turnage filling the role. In 1995 Judith Weir became Fairbairn Composer in Association, followed in 2001 by Julian Anderson.

Following Rattle's departure, Sakari Oramo became chief conductor in 1998, and music director in 1999. His CBSO work included the Floof! festival of contemporary music. He also championed the music of John Foulds in concerts and recordings. In 2001, the players rejected a contract that would have stopped extra payments for broadcasts and recordings, in the context of financial crisis at the CBSO.[138] In addition, other controversy arose from the CBSO's demands from the Arts Council for a greater share of the Council's stabilisation fund, because of its reputation compared to other British orchestras. In 2008, Oramo stood down as music director and took the title of principal guest conductor for the 2008-2009 season.

In October 2007, the CBSO named Andris Nelsons as its next music director after Oramo, effective with the 2008–2009 season. Nelsons' initial contract was for 3 years. The appointment was unusual in that Nelsons had not conducted the CBSO publicly prior to his appointment, but only in a private concert and in a recording session. In July 2009, the orchestra extended Nelsons' contract for another 3 years, through the 2013–2014 season. In August 2012, the CBSO announced the further extension of Nelsons' contract formally through the 2014-2015 season, and then for subsequent seasons on the basis of an annual rolling renewal. In October 2013, the CBSO announced the conclusion of Nelsons' tenure as music director after the conclusion of the 2014-2015 season.
Chief Conductors and Music Directors
Appleby Matthews(1920-1924)
Adrian Boult(1924-1930)
Leslie Heward(1930-1943)
George Weldon(1944-1951)
Rudolf Schwarz (1951–1957)
Andrzej Panufnik (1957–1959)
Adrian Boult(1959-1960)
Hugo Rignold(1960-1969)
Louis Frémaux (1969–1978)
Simon Rattle(1980-1998)
Sakari Oramo(1998-2008)
Andris Nelsons(2008-2015)
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (2016–present)

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