Governing Membership offers a unique opportunity to engage with greatness through unparalleled access to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and its artists. As the CSO’s first established philanthropic society, the Governing Members (GMs) have been dedicated to ensuring the Orchestra’s success since 1894.
Today’s Governing Members have a strong appreciation for the excellence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and enjoy getting to know others who share that enthusiasm and passion for the CSO. Members serve as advocates for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association in the Chicago area and beyond.
Each season, Governing Members provide more than $3 million in vital support, which enables the CSOA to:
- Pursue artistic excellence, develop new audiences and expand innovative educational and community engagement programs.
- Reach more than 500,000 people each year through live performances — including more than 45,000 students, teachers and families — in concert at Symphony Center and in communities across Chicago, the U.S. and the world.
- Partner with more than a dozen Chicago public elementary, middle and high schools, which receive in-school performances by CSO and Civic Orchestra musicians and take field trips to Symphony Center for School Concerts and Open Rehearsals.
With nearly 500 members, this dynamic group enjoys substantive, unique opportunities and access to a range of benefits and privileges that deepen their engagement with the CSOA.
VIP Ticket Service
Purchase and exchange tickets with ease through personalized assistance from VIP Services. This benefit includes priority status for ticket upgrades and wait lists.
Exclusive Member Events
Gain unique access to CSO musicians, leadership and guest artists through private performances, receptions and other events.
CSOA Patron Tours
Accompany the Orchestra on its highly anticipated national and international tours. Enjoy elite seamless travel with top guides, hotels and restaurants; interaction with CSO musicians at meals, receptions, casual parties and during sightseeing, and access to Patron Tour-exclusive insider activities.
Richard & Helen Thomas Club Membership
Dine at the CSOA’s private dining facility located on the 9th floor of Symphony Center. Enjoy exceptional cuisine, service and the convenience of dining in the Club prior to Main Series concerts. Note: The Richard & Helen Thomas Club is temporarily closed.
See your membership support acknowledged in the CSO program book, on the CSO website and in the CSOA Annual Report.
Participate in governance of the CSOA at its Annual Meeting.
Engage as a volunteer on GM committees responsible for member events, fundraising and membership. These committee opportunities help ensure that the GMs and the CSOA meet their goals and provide the best possible experience for members each season.
Michael A. Perlstein
Immediate Past Chair
Vice Chair of Member Engagement
Vice Chair of the Annual Fund
Charles Emmons, Jr.
Acting Vice Chair of Nominations & Membership
Michael A. Perlstein
Enjoy a whole new world of access to the CSO with the Associate Governing Members.
Associate Governing Membership gives Overture Council members in good standing an introduction to the world of the Governing Members. This is a great opportunity for Overture Council members who are ready to increase their personal and philanthropic involvement with the CSO and enjoy new access to the world-class orchestra. Associate Governing Members will find themselves up close and personal with musicians of the CSO through member-exclusive events, access to the Richard and Helen Thomas Club for preconcert dining and personal invitations to the CSOA’s major annual events. For more information, email the Governing Members or call 312-294-3337.
Questions? Please call 312-294-3337.