Classical Kids strives to provide children with an exciting point of entry into the world of classical music by humanizing the lives of the great composers and creating an emotional connection to their musical masterpieces. We are honored to share our vision in many diverse cities across the globe, but it is our local expansion initiative that holds a particularly special place in our hearts. Over the past few years we have found partnership in wonderful Chicago-based organizations who share our dedication to nurturing our city and its youth through the power of classical music.

  • Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra

CKL and CYSO perform Gershwin’s Magic Key, March 2018

The Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras and Classical Kids have long shared a commitment to artistic quality and a belief that music can inspire personal excellence and success throughout life. In 2017, we began an exciting collaboration by presenting the local premiere of Gershwin’s Magic Key at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. We couldn’t have asked for better partners; the high caliber of the student musicians and uniqueness of the production itself attracted audience members from across the Chicagoland area. In March of our 2018-19 season, the CYSO Philharmonic Orchestra joined us once again at the North Shore Center for a performance of Beethoven Lives Upstairs. One month later we took the production to the Studebaker Theater on Michigan Avenue and performed two concerts at no cost for hundreds of CPS students, a tradition we are excited to continue in our 2019-20 season with a presentation of Tchaikovsky Discovers America. We look forward to growing this relationship in the years to come!

“Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO) is excited to partner with Classical Kids LIVE! Both organizations are committed to promoting classical music, and because the shows will be performed by a youth ensemble, it makes the performance all the more accessible to the young audience as they see musicians not much older than themselves on stage. CYSO regularly performs educational concerts as part of its Community Engagement Programs, and the CYSO is pleased to add Classical Kids as a partner to help expand both organizations’ reach in the community.”

-Brian Baxter, Chief Operating Officer, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra

  • Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago


CKL and Oistrakh perform Beethoven Lives Upstairs at Navy Pier, July 2018

Our Music Inspires! program continues to thrive due to our indispensable partnership with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago, whose dedication to cultivating Chicago’s cultural life through positive community change aligns perfectly with our own mission. For the past six years, Oistrakh’s Music Director Mina Zikri and members of the symphony have joined Classical Kids for a weeklong special project designed to introduce elementary schoolers in the Chicago Public School system to the joys of classical music and the extraordinary lives of the great composers. Oistrakh is also devoted to the idea of reimagining the listening experience by performing in unexpected venues that help to extinguish the formal separation between audience and orchestra. In July 2018 we were able to engage that devotion by collaborating on an exciting outdoor production of Beethoven Lives Upstairs as part of Fresh Fest at Navy Pier. 

“On behalf of the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago, I wish to express our excitement for the upcoming season as we partner with Classical Kids Music Education. The vision of the Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra includes a robust commitment to educating children and families across Chicago. We are dedicated not only to expanding the audience of classical music, but to sharing the vital skill of music appreciation and a deeper understanding of humanity through the arts. We look forward to developing a season that accomplishes this mission alongside the leadership and talented performers at Classical Kids!”

-Emma Smoler, Executive Director, Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago