Since 1919, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions have featured the most talented young soloists from across Illinois. Now known as the CSO Young Artists Competition, this newly reimagined concerto competition will identify one outstanding young performer to be featured in a CSO School Concert during the 2017/18 season. All finalists will play onstage in Orchestra Hall, accompanied by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in the final, public round.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 competition. The 2017 competition is open to violin, viola cello and double bass.

Please read the instructions below. All applications and fees must be submitted by Friday, December 2, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. If you have any questions or encounter any issues during the application process, please contact James Hall at 312-294-3803.


  1. Click here to fill out an online application.
  2. Submit a nonrefundable application fee of $50, payable by check to “Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association” to CSO Young Artists Competition, 220 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60604.
  3. Your online application and application fee must be submitted by Friday, December 2, 2016, at 11:59 p.m.

A limited amount of financial assistance is available for any applicant who can demonstrate that such assistance is required. Assistance may include a waiver of the registration fee and/or assistance with accompanist fees. To apply for assistance, please submit your request via email to, explaining the need for financial aid.


Applicants must be at least 13 years old by the preliminary round in order to be eligible. They may not have completed their junior year of high school by the time of the preliminary round.

All applicants must be legal residents of the state of Illinois. Students are not eligible for competition if they are past CSO Youth Auditions winners or are under professional management.


  • Applicants must be prepared to perform one entire movement of a concerto from the repertoire list. Due to limited time, the preliminary round judges may request that the performer stop or skip sections.
  • Applicants are required to perform from memory.
  • All applicants must provide their own accompanist and perform with that person during the preliminary round.
  •  Applicants selected as finalists must be available on Thursday, March 9, 2:00-6:00 p.m. to rehearse their selected repertoire with the Civic Orchestra, as well as from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on March 11 for a sound check. Each finalist will be given 45 minutes of rehearsal time with the Civic Orchestra on March 9 and 25 minutes for the sound check on March 11.
  • Applicants must provide two copies of their solo part for the judges.


The preliminary round of the CSO Young Artists Competition will take place on Tuesday, February 14 and Wednesday, February 15, 2017 in Buntrock Hall at Symphony Center. It will be held before a panel of three judges and is closed to the general public. At the judges’ discretion, up to four finalists may be selected for the final competition.


The final round of the competition will take place on Saturday, March 11, 2017, on Armour Stage in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Finalists will be accompanied by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. The performance order for the final round will be determined by the judges in consultation with CSOA staff.

The finals will be open to the public. After the competition, there will be a reception and awards ceremony, during which the winner will be announced. Once a winner is chose, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association administration, in conference with the designated guest conductor, reserves the right to determine the repertoire, length and date of the competition winner’s performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a CSO School Concert.


  • One winning finalist will be selected to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on a School Concert during the 2017/18 concert season.
  • Finalists will perform on stage with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago during the final round of competition.
  • All finalists will receive a one-hour lesson with a musician of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
  • One or more qualified applicants, chosen on the basis of artistic merit and financial need, will receive up to $1,000 in financial assistance to attend a summer music camp or festival of their choosing during the summer of 2017. Applicants will be required to submit a short essay with their online application in order to be eligible for this assistance.


All applicants must perform one complete movement from a piece that appears on the following list. Requests to perform repertoire not included in this list must be submitted via email to Each request will be considered on an individual basis.


BEETHOVEN Concerto in D Major, Op. 61
BRAHMS Concerto in D Major. Op. 77
BRUCH Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26
DVORAK Concerto in A Minor, Op. 53
GLAZUNOV Violin Concerto, Op. 82
KORNGOLD Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35
LALO Symphonie espagnole
MENDELSSOHN Concerto in E Minor
Concerto No. 1 in D Major
Concerto No. 2 in B Minor
PROKOFIEV Concerto No. 2 in G Minor
RAVEL Tzigane
SIBELIUS Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 47
Introduction and Rondo capriccioso
Concerto No. 3 in B Minor
TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35
VIEUXTEMPS Concerto No. 4, Op. 31
WIENIAWSKI Concerto No. 2 in D Minor 



BARTOK Concerto
HINDEMITH Der Schwanendreher
STAMITZ Viola Concerto in D Major
WALTON Concerto
WEBER Andante and Rondo ongarese, Op. 35



BOCCHERINI Concerto in B flat Major, G. 482
DVORAK Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104 B. 191
Concerto in C Major, Hob. Viib: 1
Concerto in D Major, Hob. Viib: 2
LALO Concerto in D Minor
SAINT-SAENS Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33
SHOSTAKOVICH Concerto No. 1, Op. 107
TCHAIKOVSKY Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33



BOTTESINI Concerto No. 2 in B Minor
Concerto No. 1
Concerto No. 2
KOUSSEVITZKY Concerto for Double Bass, Op. 3
VANHAL Concerto in D Major

The Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition is presented by the League of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and the Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.