Cello superstar Yo-Yo Ma, bass-baritone Eric Owens and Music Director Riccardo Muti are among the musical luminaries set to appear at Sounds of Celebration: An Evening at Home with the CSO, a virtual fundraiser for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association on Saturday, Oct. 24.

The online event, which replaces the traditional Symphony Ball, the CSOA’s annual charity gala, will be anchored by a free program available on the CSOtv video portal and the CSO’s social media channels. Presented by the CSOA Women’s Board, the program will feature a special greeting from Maestro Muti, recorded in Ravenna, Italy, followed by performances with CSO musicians and CSO favorites such as Ma and Owens.

Sprinkled throughout the event will be special messages from music luminaries, including violinists Hilary Hahn and Anne-Sophie Mutter, jazz great Herbie Hancock, composer-trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, Mead Composer-in-Residence Missy Mazzoli, mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili, pianist Mitsuko Uchida and actor (and bassoon enthusiast) Rainn Wilson, best known as Dwight Schrute from the sitcom “The Office.”

Ma, the CSO’s creative consultant from 2010 to 2019, will perform Dvořák’s Songs My Mother Taught Me with cellist Dara Hankins, an alumna of the Civic Orchestra; the traditional spiritual (arr. H.T. Burleigh) “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” with cellist Nathaniel Taylor and  Dvořák’s Largo, Movement II (aka “Going Home”) from Symphony No. 9 (From the New World).

Along with performing, CSO musicians will host the program, which will feature Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello with Concertmaster Robert Chen and Principal Cello John Sharp; a brass quintet in Verne Reynolds’ Suite for Brass with Assistant Principal Trumpet Mark Ridenour, trumpet John Hagstrom, Principal Horn David Cooper, trombone Michael Mulcahy and Principal Tuba Gene Pokorny, and Principal Percussion Cynthia Yeh in Elden “Buster” Bailey’s Two Sticks in Search of a Waltz.

Also making special appearances during the program are viola Catherine Brubaker, horns Oto Carillo and James Smelser, Associate Concertmaster Stephanie Jeong, bassoon Miles Maner, and Bill McMurray and Amanda Compton LoPresti of the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

Though the program is free and will be streamed on cso.orgFacebook and YouTube, beginning at 7 p.m. (Central), pre- and post-event VIP virtual lounge packages, starting at $1,000 per person, are available, including deluxe party boxes, CSO keepsakes and more. For additional information, go to cso.org/soundsofcelebration. 


6 p.m., virtual VIP lounge experience (sponsor- and patron-level contributors)
6:30 p.m., pre-event countdown (cso.org and YouTube)
7 p.m., program (free at cso.orgFacebook and YouTube)
8 p.m., post-event virtual VIP lounge experience (sponsor- and patron-level contributors)

Women’s Board members Ruthie Ryan and Cynthia Scholl serve as the event’s co-chairs, along with Robert Kohl as CSOA Trustee co-chair. Northern Trust is the presenting sponsor of Sounds of Celebration.