Since 1919, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions have featured the most talented young soloists from across Illinois. Now known as the CSO Young Artists Competition, this newly reimagined concerto competition will identify one outstanding young performer to be featured in a CSO School Concert during the 2019/20 season. All finalists will play onstage in Orchestra Hall, accompanied by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and directed by Andrew Grams. The event will be open to the public.

Young Artists Competition Details


Woodwinds, brass, percussion and harp


  • •   Applicants must have been born between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2005, in order to be eligible. Applicants must not have completed their junior year of high school by the time of the preliminary round.
  • •   All applicants must be legal residents of the state of Illinois, residing in Illinois. Students are not eligible for competition if they are former CSO Youth Artist Competition winners or are under professional management.


  • Apply online here.

  • •   A non-refundable fee of $50, payable to the League of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, must accompany each application. All applications must be submitted by December 14, 2018.
  • •   A limited amount of financial assistance is available for any family who can demonstrate that such assistance is required. Such assistance can include a waiver of the registration fee or assistance with accompanist fees. To apply for such assistance, the applicant must submit with the application a one-page letter requesting financial aid and explaining why this assistance is necessary.


  • •   Applicants must be prepared to perform one entire movement of a concerto from the repertoire list. Due to limited time, the preliminary round judges may request that the performer stop or skip sections.
  • •   Applicants are required to perform from memory.
  • •   All applicants must have an accompanist for the preliminary round. Applicants will be accompanied by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for the final round.
  • •   Applicants selected as finalists must be available on specific dates to rehearse their selected repertoire with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for the final round. Each finalist will be given approximately 45 minutes of rehearsal time.
  • •   Applicants must provide two copies of the solo part for the judges.


  • •   The preliminary round of the Crain-Mailing Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition will take place on Saturday, February 2 and Sunday, February 3, 2019 in Buntrock Hall of Symphony Center.
  • •   The preliminary round will be held before a panel of three judges and is closed to the general public. Up to four finalists may be selected at the judges’ discretion.


  • •   The final round of the competition will take place on Saturday, February 23, 2019 on Armour Stage in Symphony Center. All finalists will be accompanied by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
  • •   The finals will be open to a public audience. After the competition, there will be a reception and awards ceremony, during which the winner will be announced.
  • •   All finalists are required to provide two copies of the solo part for the judges.
  • •   Once a winner is chosen, the CSO administration in conference with the designated guest conductor, reserves the right to determine the repertoire and length of the winner’s performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.


  • •   One winning finalist will be selected to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 2019/20 concert season.
  • •   All finalists will have the opportunity to perform onstage with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago during the final round of competition.
  • •   All finalists will receive a one-hour lesson with a musician of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
  • •   Participants in the Young Artists Competition can apply for a scholarship to be used to attend a music camp or festival in the summer of 2019. Awards are based on financial need and artistic merit.
Young Artists Competition Repertoire


  • CPE Bach: Concerto, D Minor
  • Boccherini: Concerto, D Major
  • Chaminade: Concertino
  • Gordeli: Concerto
  • Griffes: Poem
  • Haydn: Concerto, D Major
  • Ibert: Concerto
  • F. Martin: Ballade
  • Mozart:
    • Concerto No. 1, G Major, K. 313
    • Concerto No. 2, D Major, K. 314
  • Telemann: Suite, A Minor
  • Vivaldi:
    • Concerto No. 2, G Minor, Op. 10
    • Concerto No. 3, D Major, Op. 10
    • Piccolo Concerto, C Major (P. 78 or P. 79)


  • Cimarosa: Concerto, C Minor
  • Handel: Concerto No. 3, G Minor
  • Haydn: Concerto, C Major
  • B. Marcello: Concerto, C Minor
  • Mozart: Concerto, C Major, K. 314
  • Telemann: Concerto, D, E, or F Minor
  • V.-Williams: Concerto


  • Dukas: Villanelle for Horn and Orchestra
  • Haydn:
    • Concerto No. 1, D Major
    • Concerto No. 2 D Major
  • M. Haydn: Concertino, D Major
  • Mozart:
    • Concerto No. 1, D Major, K. 412
    • Concerto No. 2, E Flat Major, K. 417
    • Concerto No. 3, E Flat Major, K. 447
    • Concerto No. 4, E Flat Major, K. 495
  • Saint-Saëns: Morceau de Concert, Op. 94
  • Strauss: Concerto No. 1, E Flat Major, Op. 11
  • Telemann: Concerto, D Major


  • Boildeau: Concerto, third movement
  • Dittersdorf: Concerto, A Major
  • Handel: Concerto No. 6, B Flat, Op. 4


  • Debussy: Première Rhapsody
  • Mozart: Concerto, A Major, K. 622
  • Spohr: Concerto, C Minor, Op. 26
  • Stamitz: Concerto, E Flat Major
  • Weber:
    • Concerto No. 1, F Minor, Op. 73
    • Concerto No. 2, E Flat Major, Op. 74
    • Concertino, E Flat Major, Op. 26


  • Mozart: Concerto, B Flat Major, K. 191
  • Vivaldi:
    • Concerto, P. 70, A Minor
    • Concerto, P. 137, E Minor
    • La Notte, B Flat Minor
  • Weber:
    • Concerto, F Major, Op. 75
    • Andante and Hungarian Rondo, Op. 35


  • Arutunian: Concerto
  • Goedicke: Concert Etude
  • Haydn: Concerto, E Flat Major
  • Hummel: Concerto, E Major
  • Torelli: Concerto, D Major


  • Albrechtsberger: Concerto
  • Creston: Fantasy
  • Grondahl: Concerto
  • Jacob: Concerto
  • Larsson: Concerto, Op. 45, No. 7
  • Martin: Ballade
  • Walker: Concerto


  • V.-Williams: Concerto

Percussion, Bass Trombone, Saxophone
Any significant composition with available orchestral accompaniment.

Additional repertoire will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


The Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition is presented by the League of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and the Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

The Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition is sponsored in kind by WFMT.