The CSO is closely connected to the people of Chicago through education and community engagement programs that are unsurpassed in the orchestral world. The Negaunee Music Institute at the CSO offers 20 programs that reach more than 200,000 people each year—fostering children’s cognitive development and creative growth, offering training to young musicians and providing access for all.


The CSO’s Learning programs introduce participants to the world of live symphonic music, help to expand and develop understanding of musical concepts, and create connections to the musicians of the orchestra.

  • A dynamic and highly successful family concert series

  • Innovative education concerts for thousands of schoolchildren

  • Engaging classroom partnerships impact hundreds of thousands

  • Early childhood programs nurture development



Access programs provide opportunities for Chicagoans from a wide variety of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds to participate in performances, events and activities at Symphony Center and at community locations.

    • Interactive outreach programs foster lifelong appreciation 

    • Free performances, events and activities bring the CSO to all

    • Community performances enrich lives throughout the city


Training programs feature hands-on instrumental coaching and high-level performance opportunities. The musical legacy of the CSO is renewed as musicians share their knowledge and skills with the next generation of classical orchestral musicians.

  • The Civic Orchestra of Chicago launches professional careers

  • Youth Auditions celebrate excellence and achievement 

  • Intensive training and scholarship programs foster confidence

  • Youth music festivals engage the entire city