“I am very happy for the founding of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s African American Network. I look forward to its ongoing development and to seeing its members often at CSO concerts at Symphony Center. I highly welcome you, and you have my very best wishes and support.”— Riccardo Muti, Zell Music Director

Established in 2016, the African American Network (AAN) has grown to include more than 3,000 members and presents an annual series of curated and hosted programs to create connections and conversation through music.

The mission of the CSOA’s African American Network aims to engage Chicago’s culturally rich African American community through the sharing and exchanging of unforgettable musical experiences while building relationships for generations to come.

The AAN seeks to serve and encourage individuals and families; educators and students; musicians and composers; and businesses to discover and experience the timeless beauty of music.

To learn more how you can be involved, contact Sheila Jones, Director Community Stewardship, African American Network or call 312-294-3000.

FEATURED EVENTS

Ticket prices for AAN curated pre-concert events are $25. Patrons attending AAN events on October 25, January 24, February 25, February 29, March 14, April 9, May 16 and June 13, 2020, can also purchase CSO concert tickets for a specially-discounted price.

***Additional AAN events for the 2019/20 season to be announced at a later date. **

SPECIAL AAN TICKET OFFERS

$40 tickets  are available in every area except Boxes and Lower Balcony for each of the concerts listed below unless otherwise noted. Use promotion code AAN or call 312-294-3000.

Additional fee of $7 per ticket apply.

 

  • •  September 21, 7:00 p.m. Symphony Ball: Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet, Riccardo Muti conducting

  • •  September 26, 8:00 p.m. CSO and Muti and Beethoven Symphonies 1 & 3

  • •  October  18, 1:30 p.m. Vivaldi The Four Seasons

  • •  October 25, 8:00 p.m. Brahms Symphony 3 [Bundle with preconcert event: $60]

  • •  November 16, 8:00 p.m. SCP Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis: South African Songbook

  • •  November 23, 8:00 p.m. Holst The Planets and James Lee III’s Sukkot Through Orion’s Nebula

  • •  February 14, 8:00 p.m. SCP Jazz: The Piano Soul of Nat King Cole

  • •  February 28, 8:00 p.m. SCP Jazz: Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya

  • •  February 29, 8:00 p.m. Sibelius and Nielsen: A Nordic Celebration [Bundle with preconcert event: $60]

  • •  April 9, 8:00 p.m. CSO Mahler Symphony No. 6. [Bundle with preconcert event: $60]

  • •  May 16, 8:00 p.m. All-Tchaikovsky [Bundle with preconcert event: $60]

  • •  June 13, 8:00 p.m. Muti Conducts Beethoven Symphonies 6 & 8

2018/19 AAN EVENTS (WITH PHOTOS)

A Celebration of William Grant Still
January 12, 2019

Pictured left to right: Baritone Thomas Hampson, Colombia College Professor and journalist Stan West, and conductor Bramwell Tovey discuss William Grant Still and American music.

 

Pictured left to right: African American Network Director of Community Stewardship Sheila Jones, Stan West and Bramwell Tovey in conversation.

2017/18 AAN EVENTS (WITH PHOTOS)

HAITIAN PIANO TREASURES RECITAL
May 3, 2018

AAN Event Photo

Pianist Marianne Parker performs never-before-heard Haitian piano gems.

AAN Event Photo 

CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OPEN REHEARSAL
May 2018

AAN Event Photo

Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti welcomes AAN members backstage following an open rehearsal with the CSO.

COMPOSING THE BLACK CHICAGO RENAISSANCE: PIANO RECITAL
April 12, 2018

AAN Event Photo

Pianist Samantha Ege performs works by African American female composers.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION: FILM SCREENING OF THE SCAR OF SHAME
February 25, 2018

AAN Event Photo

Conductor and composer Renée Baker speaks about the silent film The Scar of Shame and her world premiere score.

AAN Event Photo

CELEBRATION OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND PAUL ROBESON: LECTURE
January 20, 2018

AAN Event Photo

Melanie Zeck from Columbia College Chicago’s Center for Black Music Research gives a lecture on the lives of Paul Robeson and Martin Luther King, Jr. 

AAN Event Photo

Lecture attendees work on a written exercise about Paul Robeson.

AAN HOLIDAY PARTY
December 14, 2018

AAN Event Photo

Party attendees enjoy special holiday performances. 

AAN Event Photo

AAN member Barbara Wright-Pryor, CSOA President Jeff Alexander, AAN Coordinator Sheila Jones, Center for Black Music Research lecturer Melanie Zeck, and AAN member George Cooper. 

AAN Event Photo

Violinist Rachel Barton Pine performs for holiday party guests. 

PIZZA PARTY & POSTCONCERT Q&A WITH CONDUCTOR THOMAS WILKINS
In partnership with the CSO’s Negaunee Institute
December 2, 2017

AAN Event Photo

Conductor Thomas Wilkins and Dana Navarro, CSO Communications & PR Manager and Q&A moderator, answer pizza party attendees’ questions after the Family Matinee concert. 

CSO ALL-ACCESS CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT
November 29, 2017

 AAN Event Photo 

AAN members pose for a photo following a free CSO chamber music series concert at Symphony Center.

THE TRANSORMATION OF BLACK MUSIC BOOK DISCUSSION & LECTURE
October 21, 2017

AAN Event Photo

Melanie Zeck from Columbia College Chicago’s Center for Black Music Research gives a lecture on The Transformation of Black Music, a book she co-authored with musicologist Samuel A. Floyd, Jr.

AAN Seminar at Benedictine University
September 15, 2017

 AAN Event Photo

The AAN was proud to give a seminar at Benedictine University entitled “Classical Composers of African Descent through the Ages.” Special thanks to Dr. Elizabeth Boone, AAN Organizing Committee member and Development Director of Benedictine University’s CLL program.

2016/17 AAN EVENTS (WITH PHOTOS)

POSTCONCERT Q&A WITH BRANFORD MARSALIS
June 16, 2017

AAN Event Photo

Pictured left to right: Branford Marsalis; Randy Elliot, CSO Director of Artistic Administration

AAN Event Photo

Pictured left to right: AAN Coordinator Sheila Jones; Branford Marsalis; Jeff Alexander, CSOA President

BODY AND SOUL FILM SCREENING
February 25, 2017

Body and Soul

The African American Network held its first film screening: Micheaux’s Body and Soul, with a new score by conductor and composer Renée Baker! Pictured left to right: Renée Baker speaks about the film and her new score alongside African American Network Coordinator Sheila Jones and Max Raimi, CSO violist.

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