Civic Orchestra of Chicago
The nation’s premier training program for young professional musicians
Orchestra Hall

Founded in 1919 by Frederick Stock, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago prepares young professional musicians for lives in music. Civic members participate in rigorous orchestral training, September through June each season, led by Principal Conductor Ken-David Masur, musicians of the CSO, and some of today’s most luminary conductors including CSO Music Director Emeritus for Life Riccardo Muti. The Orchestra also performs free concerts in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center and in communities across Greater Chicago.

About the Civic Orchestra
Explore the Civic Orchestra's history, coaches and musicians.
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Hear the Civic Orchestra
Attend concerts at Symphony Center and in communities across the city.
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Civic Fellowship Program
Civic Fellows receive training in artistic planning, music education and community engagement.
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Audition for the Civic Orchestra
Learn more about the Civic Orchestra audition process.
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Reconnect with the Civic Orchestra.
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Ken-David Masur
Ken-David Masur, Principal Conductor, Civic Orchestra of Chicago
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Explore more on Experience CSO
Two Civic Fellows offer top music picks for Pride Month
June is Pride Month, and to mark the occasion, two Civic Fellows have selected songs that celebrate the LGBTQIA+ experience. Whether you prefer classical, jazz, rock, R&B or EDM, crank up these tracks and let the rainbow flag fly.
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Three perspectives on the Civic audition process
Auditions for Civic Orchestra of Chicago are under way for next season. Civic manager Molly Walker emphasizes that the auditions have few restrictions: “There’s no age limit on either side, but generally, the applicants are 21 to 26,"
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Civic Orchestra celebrates 100th anniversary with a virtual concert
Though Symphony Center is closed, one event will go on: The Civic Orchestra of Chicago will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a virtual concert.
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Civic Mock Auditions
In the winter and spring of 2021, all 85 members of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago participated in virtual mock auditions. The ambitious project involved 37 CSO musicians, Civic Orchestra Principal Conductor Ken-David Masur and special guests.
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Civic Fellows' Call for Scores culminates in program of new music
Led by a team of five Civic Fellows, the Call for Scores project offers an opportunity to discover and perform exciting new pieces by contemporary composers. The program will be available to stream for free on CSOtv beginning on June 17.
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CSO connects to classrooms through science-inspired musical projects
The CSO-Connect Curriculum Program brings CPS teachers from arts and non-arts classrooms together to develop lessons tied to a yearly theme and orchestral repertoire featured in a CSO School Concert.
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Civic Orchestra on CSOtv

Enjoy performances featuring musicians from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago filmed at Symphony Center. 

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