UK orchestra offers 5,000 future tickets to health workers

UK orchestra offers 5,000 future tickets to health workers


norman lebrecht

April 22, 2020

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra has allocated 5,000 free tickets to NHS workers once concerts resume.

CBSO Chief Exec Stephen Maddock said: ‘While we’re doing everything we can to keep music alive through online and digital work, we can’t wait to get back to performing for our live audiences once again here in Birmingham. And when we do, we would like to say a huge thank you to NHS workers by offering them tickets to the next concerts in our centenary season and beyond. We hope that they will be able to join us to celebrate their incredible work.’

Members of the CBSO Chorus, one tenth of whom work for the NHS, have released a distances video of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’.

Chorus member Dr Helen Chamberlain says: ‘In normal times an evening of singing is my favourite way to unwind from a busy day in the hospital. The CBSO Chorus is like another family where we share fabulous musical experiences – and a few drinks from time to time! At the moment the NHS is another family too – one that I am seeing a lot of. I am looking forward to many things when this crisis lessens, one of which is the joy of singing with my friends again.’

Chorus member Dr Louise Davis says: ‘Singing with the CBSO Chorus and being amongst supportive friends who all share the same intense love of music can make a difficult day disappear. We focus on singing, on creating the notes, nothing else, and the worries and stress evaporate. I often leave rehearsals full of joy, laughing and smiling and as refreshed as if I had just had a really good sleep!’



  • Marta says:

    Empty gesture, one which exposes their own denial of their likely future. “Here’s a free ticket, ‘health care workers’ – we never noticed or mentioned you before, by the way – to a concert you’re probably not interested in, which may or may not happen in 18 months-to-3 years and very possibly not at all.” Wow, what a way to give back.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Can you effing read? Did you see that 10% of the chorus are NHS workers? Get out of here, ‘Marta’, and don’t come back.

    • Paul says:

      A comment so cynical and churlish that even the usual Slipped Disc cynics cant stomach it.

  • Derek says:

    Well done CBSO.

    Well done CBSO Chorus, you all do an excellent job!