Chautauqua Institution

Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra

View symphony concerts and events  View chamber music concerts

Our Mission

The mission of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra is to enrich the lives of our audience within and beyond the Institution’s gates through the power of symphonic music.

We seek to serve the purposes of the Institution by inspiring, educating and engaging a diverse and growing audience; by serving as an integral part of the Chautauqua community; by exemplifying artistic excellence in presenting programs that celebrate both tradition and innovation; and by demonstrating sound financial stewardship.

milanov headshotChautauqua Institution is pleased to announce the selection of Rossen Milanov as the ninth music director of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. As music director, Milanov will serve as the principal conductor and artistic director of the CSO and as an advocate for the orchestra and the classical arts within and beyond the Chautauqua community.

The 49-year-old Bulgarian-born conductor will begin his responsibilities immediately in preparation for his inaugural summer of residency in 2015. His public debut will take place at the CSO’s season-opening performance on Thursday, July 2, 2015, and he will conduct 10 concerts in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons. “I am very excited and honored to be collaborating with the musicians of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, to catalyze the artistic growth, introduce new ideas, diversify the programming and connect with all of the Chautauqua community in a meaningful and inspiring way!” Milanov said.

The CSO is a professional orchestra that draws its membership from around the nation and around the world. It has grown from its original complement of 52 musicians to the current roster of 75 active members.

While Chautauqua Institution began in 1874 as a summer educational assembly for Sunday School teachers, it was intended from the start to include in due time scientific and broadly cultural subjects. But the rate of expansion surprised everyone. A home-reading program, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle (CLSC), launched in 1878, enrolled readers throughout the country. Schools of Languages and Music were set up in 1879 along with courses for public school teachers.

Enhance your symphony experience by becoming a Partner or Patron of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.

Email me
2016 Season Information


Symphony Tickets

General Admission evening Gate/Performance tickets are $42 each (and $20 each on evenings designated as Community Appreciation Nights). This pass allows you access to the Chautauqua Institution grounds; is good from 4 p.m. until midnight; and is non-refundable and non-replaceable.


Phone orders/questions: 716.357.6250

E-mail your ticketing questions to customer service.