If you are attending your first performance at Symphony Center, below are some frequently asked questions to help make your experience more enjoyable.

How do I contact Patron Services?

You can speak with a Patron Services representative online via our web chat, over the phone by calling 312-294-3000, or by emailing Patron Services.

I ordered an e-ticket. When will I receive it?

When you select e-ticket as your delivery method during checkout, you will receive two emails. The first is your Order Confirmation, which is the receipt for your order. Your e-ticket will be sent in a second email as a PDF attachment and should typically arrive within 10 minutes. If you have not received your e-ticket, check your spam filter or junk mail folder. Contact Patron Services for assistance if you are still unable to locate your ticket.

E-tickets can be used on a mobile device or printed in advance. Additional tips are outlined on your e-ticket.

What if I arrive late?

Most concert begin promptly at the scheduled start time. We recommend arriving at Symphony Center 30-40 minutes before the concert start time. If you arrive late, you can listen to and view the concert on monitors located throughout Symphony Center. During designated pauses in the music, there may be opportunities for late seating. Please note, late seating is at the discretion of house management and may not be available for all concerts and seating locations.

How long is a typical performance?

The program length varies for every concert. Chicago Symphony Orchestra performances usually last about two hours, including one intermission. Most other events run about the same length. You can contact Patron Services about one week before a concert for specific timings.

Can I use my phone or take pictures?

Patrons are welcome to take photos of their visit to Symphony Center and share them. However, audio and video recording is strictly prohibited during the performance itself. Before the concert begins, please turn your cell phone or any other electronic device off or on silent mode. Smartphones, cameras and other recording devices can be major distractions to the performers and other audience members. If you need your electronic device on for important notifications, please consult house management before the performance.

Can I bring my children?

Symphony Center welcomes children eight years of age and older. Some concerts, including family programs, are open to children of all ages. All children, regardless of age, must have their own tickets for all performances.

What is the Box Seat experience?

Box seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis and is general admission per box. It has been the long-standing tradition at Symphony Center to rotate seats within the boxes at intermission.

Each box consists of four to eight individual seats. All Box Level patrons have access to bar and concessions service conveniently located right outside the box during intermission, as well as convenient access to a nearby restroom. Most boxes also have their own coat closet.

What is the Terrace seating experience?

Terrace seating is located behind the stage and offers a unique view of the performers and Orchestra Hall. While seated in the Terrace, we ask you to remember that most of the audience can see you. Please refrain from talking during the performance or wearing strong perfume and cologne, as it can distract the performers.

Why are my assigned seats all odd or all even numbers?

Odd-number seats are located on the left side of Orchestra Hall, and even-numbered seats are located on the right. For example, seat 101 is on the left and located next to 103; seat 2 is on the right and located next to seat 4. The balconies, Terrace and Gallery are numbered in this manner. The Main Floor is numbered in double digits (odd numbers on the left, even numbers on the right); the center is numbered in consecutive triple digits.

I can't attend. Can I donate my tickets?

You can donate your tickets by contacting Patron Services up to one hour before the concert. At the end of the calendar year, you will receive a letter than can be used for tax purposes. Curated and Create Your Own subscribers have access to exchange benefits.

What should I wear?

At any given Symphony Center concert, you will observe some concertgoers dressed up and others dressed more casually. Many patrons wear business attire or casual business attire. We encourage you to wear whatever makes you feel most comfortable. For the comfort of all patrons and performers, we ask that you refrain from using strong perfume and cologne.

When should I clap?

Many works, such as a Beethoven symphony or Mozart piano concerto, have separate movements or sections. A short pause usually falls between each of them and it has become customary to refrain from clapping during these short pauses. Once the complete piece ends, you are welcome to applaud as enthusiastically as you’d like!

What if I have to cough?

In an effort to help reduce distracting noises and enhance the concert-going experience, the Walgreen Corporation provides complimentary cough suppressant tablets to patrons attending all concerts. Dispensers are located throughout Orchestra Hall.

Can I order tickets outside of the United States?

If you want to order tickets from a country other than the United States, you can order tickets and have them delivered as an e-Ticket or held at the Box Office. If you have difficulty ordering online, please contact Patron Services.

Can I bring a bag or backpack?

Symphony Center requires oversized bags be checked at one of our coat checks, conveniently located throughout Symphony Center. There is no charge to check these items. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association also reserves the right to search bags for security reasons.


We invite you to ask us your questions by chatting with us online, emailing Patron Services, or calling 312-294-3000.