David Burbidge’s CV includes periods as a Warwick district councillor, High Sheriff of the West Midlands and most recently as chairman of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, where he led his home city’s successful bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.
“Beyond the more obvious work of an orchestra however, it also does valuable work in developing young musicians and has an education outreach programme in the city".
He holds honorary degrees from the universities of Warwick and Coventry, and in the cultural sphere, has been chairman of Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre, chairman of the Central Campaign for the £113 million transformation of the Royal Shakespeare theatres and slightly further afield, on the board of the Garsington Opera Company in Oxfordshire – to all of which he has made philanthropic donations.
As chairman of Coventry Cathedral Development Trust he was responsible for raising more than £5 million in funds for the Cathedral ministry, which led to his award of an OBE in 1998. This was followed by another trip to Buckingham Palace 18 years later – this time to receive a CBE in recognition of his services to cultural philanthropy in the West Midlands.
“This is a major opportunity for the CBSO to ensure that it is on a secure financial footing for another 100 years and to keep it at the top of its game".
Taking the reins at the CBSO
But it is neighbouring Birmingham which presents Mr. Burbidge’s latest challenge – that of chairman of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), long regarded as one of the world’s leading symphony orchestras.
Mr. Burbidge has already made a £100,000 gift to Birmingham’s orchestra this year – alongside a gift to the city’s Royal Ballet – and is spearheading the CBSO’s centenary fundraising campaign, alongside his role heading up Coventry’s Capital of Culture campaign.