For nearly a century, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago has served as the training ensemble of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, preparing emerging professional musicians for lives in music. Under the guidance of CSO Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti, Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma, Civic Orchestra Principal Conductor Cliff Colnot and musicians of the CSO, Civic members are immersed in rigorous, time-honored orchestral training and performances that serve as the program’s foundation.

Additionally, Civic musicians participate in open rehearsals with Riccardo Muti and residencies with Yo-Yo Ma, rehearse and perform as small chamber ensembles in school and community locations across the city and attend professional development workshops with special guest artists and clinicians. Under the guidance of Yo-Yo Ma, Civic Orchestra musicians are challenged to use music to build communities and enrich the lives of people everywhere, not just in the concert hall.

Over fifteen percent of the members of the Chicago Symphony are Civic alumni, and former Civic musicians have joined the ranks of major orchestras including those of New York, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

The 2015 Civic Radio Broadcast Series was supported in part by a generous grant from The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation. The series was hosted by Lisa Flynn, produced by Mary Mazurek, and engineered by Christopher Willis.

WFMT will continue to broadcast Civic Orchestra of Chicago concerts during Music in Chicago, Fridays on Middays with Lisa Flynn.