Chautauqua Institution

Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra

The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra will celebrate its 86th season in 2014. The season opens Saturday, June 28, and is greatly anticipated as the CSO will be entering the formal stage of its Music Director search process. Eight Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Music Director Candidates will be featured and the public will be invited to participate in the selection process through surveys available after every concert. Founded in 1929, the CSO continues its legacy as the center of musical life at Chautauqua. Performing 21 concerts in the Amphitheater including two concerts accompanying Chautauqua Dance, the orchestra also provides the musicians that perform for Chautauqua Opera. Join us in 2014 as the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra’s next Music Director is chosen to help envision the future of orchestral music in our community!


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.

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.