Citizen Musician Initiative

The Institute

Citizen Musician Initiative

How to Get Involved


with artists, organizations and listeners.


with communities in moments of celebration and sorrow.


about experiences and best practices.


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For more information about the Negaunee Music Institute, please call 312-294-3410 or

“I am a human being first, a musician second, and cellist third.”
– Pablo Casals

About the Citizen Musician Initiative

Yo-Yo Ma has described his concept of citizen musicianship in terms of three values:

  1. “As a musician, you are always working toward something larger than yourself.”

  2. Musicians balance in mind both the biggest conceivable picture of the world and the most minute sensitivity to their present position in it.

  3. Musicians strive to communicate. Whether as performers, composers or teachers, their work can’t be done alone, and isn’t done until their music lives in someone else.


The Citizen Musician Initiative explores these values through new work undertaken by musicians and staff of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Civic Orchestra of Chicago, as well as by partners in this initiative, whether they are right here in Chicago or from all over the world. To learn more, please visit

Check out The Citizen Musician Quarterly, which shares stories of Citizen Musicianship at the CSO and across the nation.

Summer 2014 Edition >
Spring 2014 Edition >
Winter 2013 Edition >

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