CYSO Youth Symphony Chicago
[rev_slider homepage]
About CYSO

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras has provided music education through orchestral programs and performance opportunities of the highest caliber since 1946.

CYSO serves more than 600 students ages 6-18 through four full orchestras, three string orchestras, steel orchestras, jazz orchestra, and supplemental programs including chamber music ensembles and composition. CYSO musicians receive superb orchestral and chamber music instruction from Chicago’s most respected professional musicians, perform in the world’s greatest concert halls, and gain the self-confidence and discipline necessary for a successful future.

Latest Media
Upcoming Shows & Events
September 26, 2019
Masterclass Series: Getting into College 101
More Info »
Discover Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras


CYSO serves nearly 600 students ages 6-18 through four full orchestras, three string orchestras, steel orchestras, jazz orchestra, and supplemental programs. Musicians receive superb instruction and gain the skills necessary for a successful future.

Learn More


CYSO auditions are open to students who will be high school seniors or younger. Auditions for the upcoming season happen each spring. Tuition assistance is available for all programs for families with financial need.

Learn More


The best way to experience CYSO is to attend an event! From our annual fundraising gala, free community concerts, performances at Symphony Center’s venerable Orchestra Hall, we offer something for everyone.

Learn More


CYSO alumni play in the world’s finest orchestras and ensembles, as well many other respected professions. Regardless of whether they pursues further music studies, CYSO students leave with skills that will serve them for a lifetime.

Learn More
Spotlight on our 2019 Graduates

Each year, we’re more and more impressed by the achievements of our graduating seniors, and the 2019 class was no exception. Besides excelling in music, this year’s grads are thoughtful leaders, energetic changemakers, and impressive creative thinkers. We’re so proud that CYSO had a part to play in the lives of these young people and as they set out to …
Read More »

Tour of the Baltics 2019: A Temporary Farewell

Violinist and rising senior Nicole Tong, who served as Co-Concertmaster on tour, reflects on the bittersweet moment when tour is over, the family that’s built by playing in an orchestra, and the “roots” that remain even after a student leaves CYSO.   Every summer near the Arctic, reindeer deliver calves on the thawing mountain slopes. After only a few months …
Read More »

Tour of the Baltics 2019: Russian Challenges and Triumphs

For the final stop on our 2019 Tour of the Baltics, the orchestra made the journey to St. Petersburg, Russia. The border crossing into the country turned out to be a bit of an adventure, but the triumph of the final concert made it all worthwhile in the end. Co-principal oboist Oliver Talukder wrote about the orchestra’s time in Russia. …
Read More »

Tour of the Baltics 2019: Exploring Tallinn, Estonia

For the third stop on CYSO’s Tour of the Baltics, we traveled north from Helsinki to visit Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Harpist Catherine Ramsey wrote about her impressions of the seaside city, which allowed the orchestra to travel back in time to the Middle Ages with a visit to the city’s historic Old Town and a castle tour. CYSO’s …
Read More »