Juvenile Prison Partnerships

“Our youth need the opportunity to explore their talents and creativity. Music is known to heal the soul and creating music heals the mind as well.” – Michael D. Byrd, Assistant Superintendent of Programs, Illinois Youth Center at Chicago

Launched by Riccardo Muti during his inaugural season as CSO music director, musical projects for incarcerated youth engage young people in the care of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.

Maestro Muti has visited Illinois Youth Centers annually to present interactive recitals alongside guest opera singers and CSO musicians. Additionally, site-specific projects are developed and implemented by the Institute in partnership with specialists in the field of youth development and juvenile justice.

With participation by musicians of the CSO and Civic Orchestra, 2022/23 projects occur at the Illinois Youth Center - Chicago, where youth compose and perform original music.

Select participants also take field trips to Symphony Center for concerts and open rehearsals. Projects are presented in partnership with The Irene Taylor Trust: Music in Prisons and other guest teaching artists.

This program is generously sponsored by Megan and Steve Shebik.

Listen to highlights from past projects:

The Negaunee Music Institute connects people to the extraordinary musical resources of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
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Notes for Peace empowers parents who have lost children to gun violence to create original songs of tribute.
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An annual celebration that supports and inspires young orchestral musicians
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Civic Fellows receive training in artistic planning, music education and community engagement.
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