Mission & Introduction

A unique, musician-governed musical society.

Our mission: Through a community of musicians and community members, the Society wishes to excite, engage, and transform diverse audiences with the beauty and power of great music.

The Chicago Philharmonic Society is a collaboration of over 200 of the highest-level classical musicians performing in the Chicago metropolitan area. Governed under a groundbreaking structure of musician leadership, the Society presents concerts at venues throughout the Chicago area that cover the full spectrum of classical music, from Bach to Bernstein and beyond. The Society’s orchestra, known simply as the Chicago Philharmonic, has been called “one of the country’s finest symphonic orchestras” (Chicago Tribune), and its unique chamber music ensembles, which perform as the Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Players (cp2), draw from its vast pool of versatile musicians.

The Society’s outreach programs connect Chicago-area youth to classical music and provide performance opportunities for members of the community. Founded in 1988 by principal musicians from the Lyric Opera Orchestra, the Chicago Philharmonic, aside from presenting symphonic and chamber music concerts, currently serves as the official orchestra of the Joffrey Ballet, continues its longtime association with the Ravinia Festival, and partners with other outstanding local and national arts organizations on a regular basis.