Brum gets big gift

Amazing the surprises that spring from announcing a new music director.

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra has just announced a half-million pound ($700,00) gift, one of the largest in its history.

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press release:

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra has received one of the largest single gifts in its history from the Rachel Baker Memorial Charity.

The funding of up to £500,000 over five years will enable the CBSO to build on its tradition of world-class excellence in the run-up to its centenary in 2020.  It will enable the Orchestra to present major concerts which would not otherwise be possible, and will also support initiatives to build the next generation of audiences for classical music.

Simon Fairclough, CBSO Director of Development, said: “We are extremely grateful to have received this important gift from the Rachel Baker Memorial Charity.  It will help us to continue to present the best possible concerts for our audience members, and to ensure that more people experience the thrill of live classical music in the Midlands.

“Having recently appointed Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla as our Music Director we are at an exciting moment in our history.  But we receive 51% less funding from Birmingham City Council in real terms than we did six years ago, and to achieve our ambitious plans with Mirga we will have to raise well over £1 million per year from the private sector.  Now more than ever, private funders like the Rachel Baker Memorial Charity play a vital role in maintaining the international excellence of the CBSO’s work on the concert platform, in our local community and around the world.”

Robin Daniels, trustee of the Rachel Baker Memorial Charity, said: “My fellow trustees and I are delighted to be able to support the CBSO in this way.  The Rachel Baker Memorial Charity seeks to support organisations with a reputation for excellence in classical music and a commitment to broadening audiences and nurturing talent.  Few organisations achieve these objectives as fully as the CBSO.  We look forward to seeing the Orchestra thrive in the period leading up to its centenary in 2020”. 

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    • And they work incredibly hard for it. £100k per year is still only a drop in the ocean, though: just 10% of what they need to make per year in donor income.

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