Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra

Celebrating its 70th anniversary for the 2016-17 season, the internationally renowned CYSO Symphony Orchestra is comprised of the most talented student musicians from the Chicago area. Symphony Orchestra students have the opportunity to hone their skills while performing the most advanced orchestral repertoire alongside exciting new works by contemporary composers. The Symphony Orchestra’s annual season features collaborations with leading cultural institutions and performances in Symphony Center’s Orchestra Hall, Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, and Chicago area suburbs. In June 2017, CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra will embark on a Concert Tour of Central Europe. 

Under Music Director Allen Tinkham, the CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra has won nine ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming since 2001. From commissioning a world premiere from Augusta Read Thomas for their first tour to Carnegie Hall in 2002 to the new Composers-in-Residence program for the 2016-17 season, CYSO is committed to regularly programming and teaching new music to young musicians. CYSO and Tinkham have also commissioned world premieres from composers such as Daron Aric Hagen and Marc-Anthony Turnage and have programmed works from contemporary composers such as Anna Clyne, Osvaldo Golijov, Jennifer Higdon, Arvo Pärt, and Joan Tower.

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras has provided music education through orchestral programs and performance opportunities of the highest caliber since 1946. CYSO currently serves more than 500 talented Chicago-area musicians ages 6-18 through three full orchestras, three string orchestras, multiple steel orchestras and supplemental programs including chamber music, music theory and composition. CYSO also reaches the diverse population of Chicago Public School students, educators and community members each year through its Music Pathways community engagement program. CYSO is investing in the future of music and the next generation of leaders. Visit to learn more.