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Articles of Incorporation for The Orchestral Association

Articles of Incorporation for The Orchestral Association

The first meeting for the incorporation of The Orchestral Association was held at the Chicago Club on December 17, 1890, at which a board of five trustees was elected to serve: Adolphus Clay Bartlett, Nathaniel Kellogg Fairbank, Charles Norman Fay, Charles Davidson Hamill, and Ezra Butler McCagg. A group of fifty-one businessmen—including Chicago pioneers Armour, Field, Glessner, McCormick, Potter, Pullman, Ryerson, Sprague, and Wacker—volunteered to serve as guarantors, each pledging their financial support for three years.

Theodore Thomas, then the most popular conductor in America, would be, as specified in his first contract, engaged to “determine the character and standard of all performances given by the Association, and to that end make all programs, select all soloists, and take the initiative in arranging for choral and festival performances . . . [attaining] the highest standard of artistic excellence in all performances given by the Association.”

According to the Memoirs of Theodore Thomas, “I never expected to see the day when I would be told I would be ‘held responsible’ for maintaining the highest standard of artistic excellence in my musical work. All my life I have been told that my standard was too high, and urged to make it more popular. But now, I am not only to be given every facility to create the highest standard, but am even told that I will be held responsible for keeping it so! I have to shake myself to realize it!”

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Last week, Symphony Center welcomed more than 17,500 audience members, including many Chicago Public Schools students who received free tickets and busing in celebration of the 100th season of the Orchestra’s concert series for children. Share your stories of the CSO School and Family concerts through the link in our description. Guest actors from The Second City joined the CSO to guide the audience in understanding the inner workings of the orchestra. Edwin Outwater led the orchestra in selections from Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Bernstein’s Overture to Candide, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, and Grieg’s Suite No. 1 from Peer Gynt. Photos from Saturday’s Family Matinee concerts by @toddrphoto.
CSO Concertmaster Robert Chen leads his fellow orchestra members in an all-Mozart program. The program is bookended with familiar works, opening with Eine kleine Nachtmusik and closing with Symphony No. 25. Chen is soloist in Violin Concerto No. 3 (Strassburg), and CSO Principal Flute Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson makes his CSO solo debut with Flute Concerto No. 2. Link to tickets is in our bio. 📸: @toddrphoto
Curated by Mead Composer-in-Residence Missy Mazzoli, the 2018/19 season of MusicNOW continues with a program titled “Chicago’s Own,” featuring works from four composers with Chicago roots—Suzanne Farrin, Morgan Krauss, Drew Baker and Sky Macklay—as well as Icelandic composer Daníel Bjarnason. CSO Viola Weijing Wang is soloist in Suzanne Farrin’s Uscirmi di braccia, and CSO Cello Katinka Kleijn is soloist in Daníel Bjarnason’s three movement piece Bow to String. Conductor Alan Pierson leads an ensemble of musicians from the CSO and guest musicians. 📸: @toddrphoto

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