Introducing the Summer Symphony Showdown! - Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

Introducing the Summer Symphony Showdown!

Welcome to CYSO’s Summer Symphony Showdown! We are excited for this opportunity to learn a bit more about music history while engaging in a little friendly competition. Using your votes on weekly Instagram polls, we will decide the CYSO community’s favorite symphony of all time!
We’ve compiled a selection of some of our favorite symphonies (thanks to those who weighed in with options on Instagram last week!) composed during four distinct musical eras: the Baroque period (1600-1750), the Classical period (1750-1830), the Romantic period (1830-1900), and the Contemporary period (1900-present day). Learn more about these time periods below, and through weekly deep-dive blog posts we’ll post as the competition goes on.
Our symphony selections have been arranged into a bracket, which you can download to follow along with the game at home and make your own predictions!

How to Play: 
Each week on CYSO’s Instagram story, two symphonies will go head-to-head for your votes. Throughout the week there will be opportunities to learn about each of the symphonies and the time period when they were written. At the end of the week, your votes will be tallied and the winning symphony will advance to the next round.
Round One: Your votes will decide our semi-finalists! Cast your vote on our Instagram story and choose your favorite Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary symphonies. After votes are tallied at the end of the week, we’ll announce which pieces will advance to the semi-finals! Make sure to stay tuned to our Instagram page during the week to learn about each of the four musical time periods.
Round Two: With our Final Four chosen, your votes will narrow down our symphonic selections to two finalists! Vote for your favorite symphony between the Baroque and Classical periods and the Romantic and Contemporary periods.
Round Three: Our final round of competition will ultimate in an upcoming live broadcast on CYSO’s Facebook page! Make sure to cast your vote on Instagram before the live stream, then tune in to learn more about each piece, recap the entire competition, and watch ONE symphony be named winner! Live broadcast date to be announced.
Music History, A Brief Timeline:
The Baroque Period: (1600-1750): The end of the Renaissance paved the way for European artists, visual and musical, to create freely and without the restrictions of the Catholic church’s demands. Baroque art and music are characterized by drama and emotion. During this period, the operatic music style debuted and fully embraced the new focus on connecting emotionally with audiences. Read more about the Baroque period.
The Classical Period: (1750-1830): Mozart and Beethoven are two of the most well-known musical names from the Classical period. Music from this time saw a shift in focus from emotion to more formal style. This style of music emphasized status and composers were commissioned by Europe’s elite. Stay tuned for a deep dive in the Classical period.
The Romantic Period (1830-1900):  Romantic era music demonstrates a renewed focus on emotion and a shift away from the clarity and balance of the Classical period. Passion, mystery, and dreamy fantasies dominated the musical creations of the 19th century. Stay tuned for a deep dive in the Romantic period.
The Contemporary Period (1900-present day): For the purposes of our Summer Symphony Showdown, we have grouped the 20th and 21st centuries together as the Contemporary Period. Countless compositions were produced over the course of this time period, and composers from groups previously shut out of the Western musical canon—including women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals—found new audiences. Stay tuned for a deep dive in the Contemporary period and learn how social movements and historical events have shaped this period.

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