The Chicago Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1891, and is praised as being one of the greatest orchestras in the world. The CSO performs over a hundred concerts every year in Chicago. These concerts are held in prestigious venues, such as the Symphony Center and at the Ravinia Festival. They also frequently perform sold-out concerts nationally and internationally and their audiences constantly enjoy their remarkable sound through best-selling releases of their recordings.
The orchestra is led by the renowned conductor Riccardo Muti, its tenth music director. CSO’s vision is to deepen their engagement with the Chicago community, to nurture the legacy of the orchestra while supporting a new generation of musicians, and to collaborate with visionary artists. The widely celebrated French composer and conductor, Pierre Boulez, was principal guest conductor until his death aged 90, and was named Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus in 2006.
Recordings with the CSO have won over 60 Grammy awards. Muti’s first recording with the orchestra was Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, which won 2 Grammy awards. Verdi’s Otello was the second recording and made the orchestra the celebrated winner of the International Opera Award.