The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is delighted to announce that Herefordshire-based CBSO trustee and philanthropist John Osborn has offered a £250,000 gift to support the position of Music Director over the five years leading up to the orchestra’s centenary in 2020.
Mr Osborn is making the gift in celebration of the recent appointment of Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla as the CBSO’s 12th Music Director. Gražinytė-Tyla joins the orchestra for an initial three-year period from September 2016.
This £250,000 gift follows Mr Osborn’s £100,000 gift in 2015 to create an endowment for the CBSO’s chamber music programme. The position of Music Director will be retitled ‘Osborn Music Director’ for five years in recognition of Mr Osborn’s exceptional support
Mr Osborn grew up in Birmingham and has been attending CBSO concerts for nearly 60 years. He has served on the CBSO Board since 2012, and has a long history of supporting music and charities in the Midlands and elsewhere. He endowed a Director of Music position at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, is a major donor at King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and recently contributed towards the construction of a Bereavement Centre at his local hospice in Herefordshire.
Mr Osborn explains his motivation behind the gift: ‘The excitement generated by Mirga’s appointment exemplifies a venerable institution like the CBSO, which is 5 years shy of its centenary, constantly reinventing itself in order to remain fresh, relevant and top drawer. As a lifelong supporter of the CBSO I wished to make a gift that reflected my support for this ethos. I encourage all those who are in a position to support the orchestra to do so as generously as they can.’
CBSO Chief Executive Stephen Maddock comments: ‘We are delighted that John Osborn has chosen to celebrate Mirga’s appointment by making this major gift. We have ambitious plans under Mirga’s leadership – but having absorbed a 32% real-terms reduction in public funding since 2010 we will only be able to make them possible with support from private donors and funders like John. We shall be expanding our family of supporters still further in the run-up to our centenary, and we are grateful for John’s leadership at this important moment in the orchestra’s history.’
Source: CBSO website