Bold Voices: Activities for the Car

Explore the activities below with your child(ren) before arriving at Symphony Center–they’re perfect for your car or train ride downtown!

LISTEN before the concert, using our Spotify playlist. Access the playlist at this link. You can listen to the tracks freely, or you can explore the activities below for an enhanced listening experience.


Your child will see many different instrument families at the concert today. Show him or her these pictures of each instrument family before you arrive. After finding your seats at the concert, ask your child if he or she can identify any of the instrument families!


Erina Yashima

German-born conductor Erina Yashima was the 2015 winner of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition. As Solti Conducting Apprentice, Yashima assisted CSO Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti as well as guest conductors, such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, and has collaborated with musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In September 2019, she was appointed assistant conductor to the Philadelphia Orchestra. Yashima holds a diploma in piano performance, studying conducting in Freiburg and Vienna. She completed her studies at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin under Christian Ehwald and Hans-Dieter Baum.

Guest Artist SPOTLIGHT

Yerin Yang

Yerin Yang started studying music at age five. An avid fan of Liszt, Ravel and Chopin, Yerin hopes to become a concert pianist like her idols, Daniil Trifonov and Evgeny Kissin. She made her Symphony Center debut on March 3, 2018, winning the Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition with her performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, playing volleyball, reading and watching TV. Yerin would like to travel to Europe to visit the great sites of history, music, elegance, and—of course—pineapple gelato.


Ludwig van Beethoven (say: LOOD-vig van BAY-toe-ven) was born in Bonn, Germany, in 1770. This was a time in history when revolution was in the air and new ideas were being entertained. Ludwig gave his first concert when he was only eight years old and began composing before he was 12. Despite his young age, Beethoven’s talent allowed him to travel extensively for performances and, eventually, he was financially supporting his entire family. Bonn was a small town of about 7,000 people with little opportunity for Beethoven to advance. So, in his early twenties, he moved to Vienna, Austria, a city of 250,000 people, to study with the famous composer Franz Joseph Haydn. Beethoven became well-known as a concert pianist in Vienna but most importantly he worked hard to become the first “freelance” musician—he was not employed by any nobility, but rather composed what and when he wanted. He supported himself with income from the publication of his works, public performances, and by generous patrons. Unfortunately, Beethoven began losing his hearing in his late twenties, which ended his performance career, but as a true testament to his genius, the deafness did not deter his composition career. He never married but was often in love. When his brother died in 1815, he pursued custody of his nephew, Karl, whom he then raised as his son. By the last decade of the composer’s life, he was almost completely deaf, yet some of Beethoven’s most revered works were written during the last few years of his life. Cantankerous and kind, intense and imaginative, Beethoven was revered by his audiences and steadfastly loved by many friends.