Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Chicago Symphony Orchestra


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is consistently hailed as one of the world’s leading orchestras. In September 2010, renowned Italian conductor Riccardo Muti became its tenth music director. During his tenure, the Orchestra has deepened its engagement with the Chicago community, nurtured its legacy while supporting a new generation of musicians and composers, and collaborated with visionary artists.

The history of the CSO began in 1889 when Theodore Thomas, the Orchestra’s first music director, was invited to establish a symphony orchestra in Chicago. Other former music directors include Frederick Stock, Désiré Defauw, Artur Rodzinski, Rafael Kubelík, Fritz Reiner, Jean Martinon, Sir Georg Solti, and Daniel Barenboim. Jessie Montgomery is the CSO’s current Mead Composers-in-Residence, and violinist Hilary Hahn is the CSO’s Artist-in-Residence.

The musicians of the CSO command a vast repertoire and annually perform more than 150 concerts, most at Symphony Center in Chicago, and, since 1936, nearly every summer at the Ravinia. The CSO also tours nationally and internationally. Since its first tour to Canada in 1892, the Orchestra has performed in twenty-nine countries on five continents in sixty-two international tours.

Since 1916, recording has been significant in establishing the Orchestra’s international reputation, with recordings by the CSO earning a total of sixty-three Grammy awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. It launched its independent label, CSO Resound, in 2007. The 2010 release of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Muti, was recognized with two Grammy awards. Listeners around the world can hear the CSO in weekly airings of the CSO Radio Broadcast Series, which is syndicated on the WFMT Radio Network and online at In addition, the CSO’s YouTube video of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9, conducted by Muti, has received well-over 35 million views.


  • Jan 2024

    Chicago Symphony Orchestra Riccardo Muti (conductor) Bozar Brussels | Philharmonie Paris | Philharmonie Essen | Alte Oper Frankfurt | Mupa Budapest | Teatro alla Scala Milan | Teatro dell'Opera di Roma Programme 1: Philip Glass, The Triumph of the Octagon, Mendelssohn Symphony No 4 in A Major op. 90, Prokofiev, Symphony 5 Programme 2: Philip Glass, The Triumph of the Octagon, Mendelssohn Symphony No 4 in A Major op. 90, Strauss, Aus Italien op. 16 47’ Programme 3: Liadov, The enchanted Lake op. 62, Stravinsky, Suite from The Firebird (1919), Brahms, Symphony No 2 in D Major op. 73 Programme 4: Strauss, Aus Italien, Prokofiev, Symphony No 5 Programme 5: Philip Glass, The Triumph of the Octagon, Florence Price, Symphony No 3, Strauss, Aus Italien op. 16