Birmingham Contemporary Music Group seeks new Chair

Retiring head pays tribute to group’s work.

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group is seeks a new Chair as Stephen Saltaire is set to retire after 15 years. Stephen’s tenure has left BCMG in an invigorated position despite the current difficult financial climate for arts organisations, with income diversification and private philanthropy a major focus.

Mr Saltaire’s retirement coincides with enhanced moves to develop investment links between BCMG and Birmingham’s business community. He said: “When Birmingham Contemporary Music Group was founded in 1987 it was a golden age for culture in the city. The region was investing heavily in the arts, Simon Rattle was at the helm of a resurgent City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from which BCMG sprang and plans for a new world class concert hall were coming to fruition.

“Through visionary thought and astute investment, the foundations were laid for a thriving arts scene that has remained bouyant, even in choppy – and recently downright stormy – financial waters.

“Over the last fifteen years of my Chairmanship, the financial landscape has vastly altered. In order to sustain BCMG’s pioneering work, we have worked hard to diversify our income streams – we raise twice the national average amount of private philanthropic income, measured as a percentage of total income.

“Whoever succeeds me as Chair of BCMG will start on a sure footing and can continue the excellent progress that has been made. However there is still a great deal of work to be done, particularly in securing greater diversity of income in the future. I firmly believe that the city’s arts organisations can and should work with our business community; by working together we can strengthen Birmingham’s reputation as a great place to live, work and invest.”

An event on 14th May hosted by Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co will give business leaders and other influential individuals the opportunity to listen to Anthony Bolton, the well-known investment fund manager, and Judith Weir CBE, Master of the Queen’s Music. Hosted by Stephen Saltaire, Jonathan Chamberlain (BCMG Trustee and partner at Wragge) and Stephen Newbould (BCMG Artistic Director), the reception will celebrate BCMG’s long-term contribution to Birmingham’s cultural and civic life and showcase the opportunities and benefits of investing further in the arts.