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Chicago Symphony Orchestra

aka Chicago Symphony Orchestra   |   Chicago, IL   |  www.cso.org

Mission

With the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at its core, the mission of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association is to enrich, inspire and transform lives through music, community engagement and education - locally, nationally and internationally. To accomplish the Mission, the Association will commit to developing and sustaining diversity, equity and inclusion in its programming and practices for audiences, artists, employees and Trustees.

Ruling year info

1927

President

Mr. Jeff Alexander

Main address

220 South Michigan Avenue

Chicago, IL 60604 USA

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EIN

36-2167823

NTEE code info

Symphony Orchestras (A69)

Music (A68)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

CSO Main Series

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is consistently hailed as one of today’s leading orchestras. Live performances by the CSO are much in demand at home and in the most prestigious musical venues around the world. In collaboration with its Music Director, Riccardo Muti, preeminent conductors and guest artists on the international music scene, the CSO performs well over 150 concerts each year at its downtown home, Symphony Center, and at the Ravinia Festival on Chicago’s North Shore, where it is in residence each summer.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Symphony Center Presents (SCP) concert series showcases diverse artists, genres, and eras of music, engaging diverse audiences for concerts held at Symphony Center. SCP series includes Orchestra, Chamber Music, Piano, and Jazz. These concert series are vital to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's position as an artistic leader in the musical world, as Symphony Center has become a recognized home for artistic excellence in diverse genres, as well as established legends and up and coming artists in all genres. SCP series help the Chicago Symphony Orchestra connect with diverse audiences from across Chicago and around the US.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Through the Negaunee Music Institute, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra offers music education, community engagement, and training programs, as well as opportunities to experience live music each year at no charge or very low cost to approximately 200,000 Chicago area residents. The CSO is distinguished among the great orchestras of the world by its service to the community, a commitment that began in 1919 with the educational concert series established by Frederick Stock, the CSO’s second music director. By offering free and low-cost opportunities for music education and live concert experiences through a roster of more than 20 programs, today the Institute provides audiences with an understanding of and appreciation for music and the arts more broadly as important components of a thriving society.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Civic Orchestra of Chicago is the pre-professional training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Civic Orchestra provides early career musicians with a rigorous and unparalleled training opportunity, while offering free musical performances of the highest artistic caliber to residents of the city of Chicago. Through both formal and special concerts at Symphony Center, as well as performances at schools and community locations throughout the city (predominately in low-income neighborhoods), approximately 15,000 Chicago area residents experience free Civic performances each season, many of whom would not otherwise have access to live classical music. Each season, the Civic Orchestra pursues a rigorous training schedule while continuing to expand its role, presence, and profile within the Chicagoland community and augment its community engagement activities. Civic musicians rehearse, perform, and train throughout the year to prepare for careers as professional musicians. Additional activities include participation in the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition; residencies with guests artists and renowned cellist and music educator Yo-Yo Ma; and participation in the Chicago Youth in Music Festival.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

With the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at its core, the mission of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association is to enrich, inspire and transform lives through music, community engagement and education - locally, nationally and internationally. To accomplish the Mission, the Association will commit to developing and sustaining diversity, equity and inclusion in its programming and practices for audiences, artists, employees and Trustees.

The Corporation's operations reflect the activities of the following programs: Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Symphony Center Presents, and the Negaunee Music Institute, which includes the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Concerts and related activities are performed year-round at Symphony Center (owned and operated by the Corporation), at Ravinia Park, as part of the CSO's annual summer residency, and at various times at other local, national, and international venues.

During the 2021/2022 season, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) presented 38 weeks of concerts. Maestro Muti reunited with the Orchestra in September 2021 and conducted 13 programs at Symphony Center throughout the season, as well as free community concerts at Apostolic Church of God, Morton East High School and Millennium Park, The CSO gave world premieres of works by Missy Mazzoli, Jessie Montgomery, Magnus Lindberg and Gabriela Lena Frank. Other highlights included the CSO's first performances of Symphony No. 3 by 20th century African American composer Florence Price and Symphony No. 11 by contemporary American composer Philip Glass. The Chicago Symphony Chorus joined the Orchestra for performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera and more.

The Symphony Center Presents series offers concerts by acclaimed guest artists in the fields of jazz, classical, world and folk music. Twenty-eight concerts were presented during the season and featured established artistic leaders and rising stars. Highlights included pianists Daniil Trifonov, Yuja Wang and Evgeny Kissin; a chamber music trio featuring pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Leonidas Kavakos and cellist Yo-Yo Ma; the Latin Grammy-winning Quinteto Astor Piazzolla; the celebrated men's chorus Chanticleer, and jazz artists including Herbie Hancock, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater with pianist Bill Charlap, and Cecile McLorin Salvant.

Across Chicago and around the world, the Negaunee Music Institute connects individuals and communities to the extraordinary resources of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Under the visionary leadership of the CSO Zell Music Director, Riccardo Muti, Institute programming gives broad access to the CSO, educates young listeners, provides advanced training to young musicians and serves the city and the world through music. All concerts and events are inexpensive or offered free of charge to the public in order to dissolve financial barriers.

Confronting the challenges of a global pandemic, the 2019/2020 season showed a range from many months of the treasured concert experiences we have come to expect when we enter Symphony Center to a new reality that has us engaging virtually. When concerts halted on March 12, 2020 in compliance with health regulations and safety precautions, the organization quickly pivoted to respond to the needs of its loyal fans and continues in the model established to reach audiences as never before.

Reaching audiences digitally, there were many notable achievements during the season, 1.3 million cso.org users; our social media followers grew to 235,000 followers on Facebook, 131,000 on Instagram and 81,000 on Twitter; the CSO Resound listening sessions of 2.8 million; YouTube subscribers of 112,000; the CSO's Beethoven 9 YouTube video views of 22.5 million; and video views of the CSO on Facebook of 14.4 million.

A process was formally established to track the evolution of the CSOA's diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in programming and practices for audiences, artists, employees and Trustees. Our commitment to communities of color and other underreppresented groups did not begin in 2020, but this pledge to take meaningful and measurable actions to support the growth and diversification of our organization, as well as to continue and expand our current programs, was a critical step in formalizing our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Board of directors
as of 05/23/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mary Louise Gorno

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/2/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data