Chicago Sympohny Orchestra Chicago Sympohny Orchestra Chicago Sympohny Orchestra

During the 2012/13 season, we turn a lens on music that explores how rivers—forever intertwined with our past, present and future—reflect the full spectrum of the human experience.

Rivers have been linked with humanity from the dawn of time. They have flowed through our lives and our imagination.

Rivers function as boundaries, separating one nation from another and preventing migration. They are highways of communication, joining one nation to another, encouraging trade and the transportation of goods and ideas from one part of the globe to another.

Rivers provide food and a means of life: fish, animals, crops and, above all, water.

Civilizations grow up alongside rivers. Rivers become sacred or symbolic, embodying tribes, nations and entire cultures.

Rivers lead to exploration and discovery. Rivers overflow and create terrifying disasters. Rivers are enjoyed for play, sport, pleasure. Rivers ripple, creating sounds which have inspired musicians throughout history and civilizations.

The CSO's Rivers Festival is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.