Youth Symphony Orchestra, 1954
Inspired by their children's summer at Interlochen's National Music Camp, a group of parents formed the Youth Orchestra of
Greater Chicago in 1946 with the founding principle of providing a superior music experience to talented high-school musicians.
In the decades following the first concert, conducted by Harold Finch on November 14, 1947, the organization grew to consist
of a 120-piece symphony orchestra (CYSO) drawn from around 50 area high schools, the Chicago Youth Concert Orchestra, a training
ensemble, and the elite Encore Chamber Orchestra. Conductors have included Désiré Defauw (1954–1958), Michael Morgan (1989–1993),
and Rossen Milanov (1998–), and many alumni play in professional ensembles nationwide and throughout the world. Tours to Europe
and Japan, radio broadcasts, recordings, and awards, including Orchestra of the Year (1993) by the Illinois Council of Orchestras
and an ASCAP for adventurous programming (1994 and 1995), have elevated the CYSO's status to among the finest youth training
ensembles in the country.
Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Golden Anniversary Commemorative Book, 1946–1966. 1996.