Founded in 1921 by State Street businessman George Lytton as the “Chicago Businessmen's Orchestra,” the orchestra enjoyed an excellent reputation. Concerts were played at Orchestra Hall under the direction of such noteworthy guest conductors as Frederick Stock, Rafael Kubelík, George Dasch, and Igor Stravinsky. Soloists included such distinguished names as Percy Grainger, Mischa Mischakoff, Louis Sudler, and William Warfield.
Today transformed into the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, it has grown tremendously, performing outstanding repertoire, including Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra; Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique; Strauss' Death and Transfiguration; Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5; and Mahler's Symphony No. 1. The CMSO has performed with soloists from the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra and Chorus and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, the audience has dramatically increased and enjoys accessibly priced concerts at the modern and elegant Gottlieb Concert Hall in the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center, located in the West Loop/Greektown neighborhood of Chicago. In 2001, Mayor Richard M. Daley proclaimed an entire day to honor this orchestra.
Under the direction of our award-winning Music Director and Conductor, Russell Vinick, the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra celebrates nearly 100 years of outstanding programs for the Chicago community!
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