REFLECT | RESPOND | REMIX The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s centennial season of concerts for children

2018–19 marks the hundredth season of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s concert series for children. Initiated in 1919 by the CSO’s second music director, Frederick Stock, today these concerts are part of the foundation of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s educational activities.

With six exciting programs this season that fall under the theme of Reflect. Respond. Remix, these concerts explore the origins of great music, what that music means to listeners in the twenty-first century and how composers, musicians, and audiences are the architects of its future.

Once Upon a Symphony, the CSO’s introduction to the concert experience for ages 3–5, will weave together vibrant music, engaging storytelling and enchanting visuals in tales of The Ugly Duckling and The Boy and the Violin—a Brazilian folktale.

CSO Family Matinee Concerts, for ages 5–9, will collaborate with many local institutions, including The Second City, CPS All- City Visual Art Exhibition, and the Chicago History Museum. These programs will feature pieces from the canons of classical music, including Dvořák’s Symphony no. 9 (New World); Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra; Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue; Mussorgsky’s (arr. Ravel) Pictures from an Exhibition; and much more.

New this season: In honor of the series’ centennial, CSO School Concerts are free and school bus transportation is provided for all Chicago Public Schools. Reducing barriers to concerts at Symphony Center and offering dozens of free, in-school CSO chamber ensemble performances make classical music accessible for thousands of children and teachers from this very important part of our audience.

Visit throughout the season for information about celebratory events and special programming that honors this historic occasion.

IMAGES | TOP A member of the Joffrey Academy Trainees and Studio Company dances the eponymous role in Stravinsky’s The Firebird at a May 2018 family concert (©Todd Rosenberg). COLLAGE clockwise from top left |  With the help of two aspiring young conductors, CSO Associate Conductor Irwin Hoffman leads the orchestra in a youth concert during the 1966–67 season. | Tania Miller leads members of the CSO in a May 2018 family concert (©Todd Rosenberg). | Students gather outside of Orchestra Hall before a CSO youth concert in March 1973. | CSO Assistant Principal Timpani Vadim Karpinos gets into character during Once Upon a Symphony: The Elves and the Shoemaker in April 2018 (©Todd Rosenberg). | A quartet of students find the camera after a school concert at Orchestra Hall in December 2017 (©Todd Rosenberg).