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 Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti. The Orchestra also performs free concerts in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center and in communities across Greater Chicago.

Hear the Civic Orchestra
Attend concerts at Symphony Center and in communities across the city.
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Civic Orchestra of Chicago Musicians
Meet the members of the 2021/22 orchestra.
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Civic Fellowship Program
Civic Fellows receive training in artistic planning, music education and community engagement.
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How to audition for the Civic Orchestra
Apply to join the orchestra in 2022/23.
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Alumni
Reconnect with the Civic Orchestra.
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Ken-David Masur
Ken-David Masur has conducted distinguished orchestras around the world and prioritizes music education and working with the next generation of young artists.
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Explore more on Experience CSO
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 Fellows curate a program of contemporary works for CSOtv
The Civic Orchestra of Chicago’s second CSOtv episode, titled Shared Reality and premiering on February 18, was curated by the Civic Fellows and features works by living composers.
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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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Learning to Love Audition Prep
Music is a challenging life. It’s harder than I knew when I chose it, and I grew up on the inside, in a musical family. But for me, well, it’s pretty clear. I can’t stay away.
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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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Share the joy of music
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