Designed for children ages 3–5, Once Upon a Symphony programs feature CSO musicians and introduce young children to the amazing world of classical music.

Once Upon a Symphony is produced and presented in collaboration with Chicago Children’s Theatre.

Expertly designed for our youngest concertgoers, Once Upon a Symphony weaves together live music performed by members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, vivid storytelling, sets, costumes and images to create a unique and magical overture to the CSO music experience. These concerts enhance a child’s development as a life-long learner, cultivating skills such as problem solving, making connections, focus and self-regulation, perspective, persistence and self-directed, engaged learning.



Once Upon a Symphony — Recommended for Pre-K and K

  • The Ugly Duckling: CHILDREN & FAMILIES

    Saturday, November 17, 2018
    Saturday, December 8, 2018
    Saturday, January 12, 2019

    10:00 and 11:45 a.m.

  • The Ugly Duckling: SCHOOLS & TEACHERS

    Monday, November 19, 2018
    Monday, December 10, 2018

    10:15 and 11:30 a.m.


Once Upon a Symphony — Recommended for Pre-K and K




    Once Upon a Symphony is a unique program with experiences that extend beyond your visit to Symphony Center. The information below will help prepare for your visit.

    • A few weeks prior to each concert, you will receive a preparatory document that describes what to expect at Symphony Center and several recommendations of ways that you can prepare your child for a fun and engaging musical experience.
    • Concerts are presented in Buntrock Hall, with special seating designed just for our youngest audience.
    • In addition to the friendly CSO ushers, staff and volunteers will be on hand to help ensure that you have a comfortable and safe experience.
    • After the performance, you are invited to meet the musicians and the storyteller before heading home. A postconcert document will be sent to you in the days following the concert, offering suggestions to continue exploring the music and the story at home.

    Subscribe and attend two concerts for $30!

    Enter promo code OUASBUY2 at checkout. Enjoy these exclusive benefits when you subscribe:  

    The Most Flexible Exchange Policy in Chicago

    Enjoy quick, easy and FEE-FREE exchanges by phone or email when your schedule changes. You can even decide later on a future concert. Need a last minute change? Day-of-concert exchanges are available for a $10 fee.

    Please note: Upgrade costs apply when exchanging into a more expensive concert. Stored value of exchanges must be used for concerts during the 2017/18 season and cannot be applied to events in future seasons. Visit for more information on exchange-restricted dates.

    Premium Savings & Service

    In addition to savings on subscription series seats, subscribers enjoy:
    • Special subscriber parking rate—just $15 for prepaid parking at Grant Park South Garage
    • 15% savings on shopping at The Symphony Store and postconcert dining at tesori®, conveniently located inside Symphony Center
    • FREE lost ticket replacement


Once Upon a Symphony is made possible in part by a generous gift from the Richard P. and Susan Kiphart Family.

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