CHICAGO—The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and Robert R. McCormick Foundation are pleased to announce the Foundation’s most recent gift to the Association:

$1 million in support of the community engagement and educational efforts of the CSO, primarily through its Institute for Learning, Access and Training and Citizen Musician initiative.

Spearheaded by the CSO’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma, Citizen Musician is a movement that calls on all musicians (professional, young and amateur), music lovers, music teachers and institutions to use the art form to bridge gulfs between people, to create community, and to inspire and transform lives. Officially launched during the CSO’s 2010/11 season, the principles of Citizen Musician continually influence all of the Institute’s programs and initiatives.

CSO President Deborah F. Rutter commented, “The generous support of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation will allow the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to enhance its identity and presence as a responsive and responsible citizen of the Chicago community. The CSO will sustain and expand long-standing learning, access and training programs, and be able to develop new initiatives that increase its engagement with the community. We are grateful to the McCormick Foundation for their shared dedication to this mission.”

“The CSO has a long commitment to providing rich, multicultural experiences to the Chicagoland community through some of the world’s finest music,” said David Hiller, President and CEO, Robert R. McCormick Foundation. “The Citizen Musician initiative expands on this commitment by engaging the Chicago Public School system and providing at-risk youth and families access to programming and learning opportunities they would not otherwise have. We are very proud to be a part of this work.”

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s relationship with the McCormick Foundation extends more than three decades; the Foundation has been supporting projects at the CSO since the 1980s.

A musical force in Chicago and around the world, the CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, under the direction of its 10th music director RICCARDO MUTI, has been consistently hailed as one of the finest international orchestras since its founding in 1891. In collaboration with renowned conductors and guest artists on the international music scene, the CSO performs well over 150 concerts each year at its home, Symphony Center, and in summer residency at the Ravinia Festival. With the launch of the Institute for Learning, Access and Training, the CSO engages more than 200,000 Chicago-area residents annually.

Music lovers outside Chicago enjoy the sounds of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra not only through its Chicago Symphony Orchestra Radio Broadcast Series and best-selling recordings on its acclaimed in-house record label CSO Resound, but also through sold-out tour performances in the United States and around the globe. Since 1971, the CSO has undertaken 37 overseas tours: 28 to Europe, six to the Far East, as well as one each to Russia, Australia and South America. Bank of America is the global sponsor of the CSO. For more information about the CSO, visit


The INSTITUTE FOR LEARNING, ACCESS AND TRAINING AT THE CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, launched in October 2008, is dedicated to transforming lives through music by providing a continuum of initiatives that follow the age spectrum—from infancy through early adulthood—promoting lifelong musical citizenship, creating meaningful learning experiences for a wide range of music lovers, providing increased access for Chicago communities, and fostering the next generation of aspiring musicians. The Institute advocates for the individual and societal benefits of active engagement in music; provides opportunities for expanded, highly visible and sustainable connections between Chicago’s remarkable communities, music institutions and educational organizations; and ultimately ensures the long-term vitality of the organization and the art form.

The ROBERT R. MCCORMICK FOUNDATION is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The Foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is one of the nation’s largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets. For more information, please visit

For more on grants and grant writing, visit Grant Pros.

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