Merry, Merry Chicago!

Dec 16-23, 2022
Merry Merry Chicago


Symphony Center’s joyous musical celebration of the season is the perfect holiday tradition for the entire family. Join members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Chorus, conducted by Alastair Willis, for a program of traditional carols and festive holiday songs, including longtime audience favorite Christmas in Chicago.

Audience members can also enjoy seasonal favorites preconcert and during intermission, when school and community ensembles perform throughout Symphony Center.

Latino Alliance

The CSO Latino Alliance will host a preconcert reception on the Dec 17th Matinee performance. Tickets required for entry. Learn more at CSO Latino Alliance.

Preconcert Dining

Enhance your concert experience by dining at the Thomas Club, located on the ninth floor of Symphony Center with sweeping views of Lake Michigan. (December 22 reservations are full)
Brunch Menu | Dinner MenuMake a reservation through Tock

Traditional, arr. Bass

Joy to the World A Fanfare for Christmas Day


Polonaise from Christmas Eve

Handel, orch. Mozart

For Unto Us a Child Is Born from Messiah

Johann Strauss, Jr.

Overture to The Gypsy Baron

Leontovych/Wilhousky, arr. Bradford

Carol of the Bells


Cossack Dance from Mazeppa

Traditional, arr. Rutter

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Traditional, arr. Bass

Selections from Seasonal Sounds
   (includes Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town and Jingle Bells)

Herman, arr. Wendel

We Need a Little Christmas


Four Scottish Dances, Op. 59


Zadok the priest


Gingerbread Waltz from Hansel and Gretel


Fiddle Faddle


Christmas in Chicago


Sleigh Ride

Berlin, arr. Bass

White Christmas

Traditional, arr. Robertson

O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste fideles)


The appearance of the Chicago Symphony Chorus has been made possible by a generous gift from The Grainger Foundation.

2022 Commemorative Ornament

The holidays would not be complete without the CSO’s annual commemorative ornament. In 2022, we celebrate the 25th season of Symphony Center with an elegant and shimmering recreation of Orchestra Hall’s iconic rosette light fixtures topped with Swarovski crystals. Available while supplies last.

Order now
Discover more on Experience CSO
“I love Christmas music, and it’s really just part of our life and our culture,” says Alastair Willis,, who's returning for a second consecutive year to lead Merry, Merry Chicago!. “What really makes the CSO’s Merry, Merry Chicago! special is that we really search to find great arrangements for an orchestra the quality of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.” 
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From "The Princess Bride" in Concert to "A Chanticleer Christmas" to "Merry, Merry Chicago!" Symphony Center will host a lineup of events that capture the festive spirit of the holiday season.
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When Alastair Willis leads selections from Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky in "Merry, Merry Chicago!," it's likely to evoke memories of his childhood years in Russia.
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Christmas is celebrated the world over, but in Latin America, yuletide festivities often fall under the label of Noche Navideña. That’s the name the CSO Latino Alliance has adopted for its annual holiday event, which this year will precede the Dec. 17 matinee of Merry, Merry Chicago!
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Be of good cheer: The sounds of the season will ring out at Symphony Center over the next few weeks, in concerts by the CSO Brass and "Merry, Merry Chicago!"
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Cheryl Frazes Hill — associate director of the Chicago Symphony Chorus — discusses her favorite CSO recordings.
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