Stephen Maddock has announced that he is to step down as Chief Executive of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) at the end of April 2023, to become principal at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.


‘It has been an immense privilege to lead such a wonderful organisation for more than two decades,' says Stephen, who has spent 23 years in the role. 'I am very proud of everything that the CBSO family has achieved during this time and will watch with interest as they continue to develop and inspire people with great music in the coming years.

'I am hugely excited by my new role at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire – like the CBSO, this is an outstanding Birmingham institution with a global reach, and like CBSO it has superb facilities in which to create and listen to music. I look forward to leading RBC on the next stage of its development, as it continues to open up world-class musical training to the broadest possible range of students’.

Stephen Maddock joined the CBSO as Chief Executive in October 1999, following seven years as administrator of the BBC Proms.

During his 23 years in post, the CBSO has won consistent acclaim for its work with music directors Sakari Oramo, Andris Nelsons and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, and principal guest conductors Edward Gardner and Kazuki Yamada (who becomes chief conductor and artistic advisor in April 2023). In this period, the CBSO and its choruses have undertaken 77 tours to 34 countries in 4 continents, most recently a US tour last month which ended in a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall, New York.

The orchestra has recorded more than 70 CDs across almost every major label, and hundreds of CBSO concerts have been shared on radio, TV and online. It has given world or UK Premieres of more than 160 new works, appeared every year at the BBC Proms and its work has been recognised on multiple occasions at the RPS Music Awards, Gramophone Awards, Sky South Bank Awards and with other international prizes.

The CBSO family has continued to grow in this period, with the addition of the CBSO Youth Orchestra (from 2004), SO Vocal (its free community choir, 2012), and many other initiatives to encourage music participation among local people of all ages. Next year the new Shireland CBSO Academy will open in Sandwell, the first music specialist school of its kind in the world to be designed in partnership with a major orchestra.

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David Burbidge CBE, chair of the board of trustees, says: ‘We have an enormous debt to Stephen for his outstanding leadership of the CBSO over many years and we are sorry to lose him. During his time at the CBSO, the orchestra has enhanced its position as being among the very best in the world.

'We are now starting an international search for a worthy successor to Stephen. Whilst I had been planning to retire from the Board at the end of this year, I will now stay on as Chairman for an extra year to ensure that the transition is successfully achieved. We will continue to build on the very successful foundations that Stephen has laid.’


Pic: Hannah Fathers


Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.