Skip to main content


December, 20, 2022
05:45 PM - 06:45 PM


375 E


High School Full Orchestra


Conductor Thumb
Allen Tinkham

Performer Details

Performer Bio Synopsis

Internationally recognized as one of the world’s foremost youth ensembles, CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra is made up of some of the most talented and dedicated student musicians from across the Chicago region. Under the direction of Music Director Allen Tinkham, Symphony Orchestra students hone their skills while performing the most advanced orchestral repertoire alongside exciting new works by contemporary composers. CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra is known as an important training ground for the cultivation of the next generation of professional musicians, with alumni in more than 50 of the world’s top orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, The President’s Own, Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, among others. The orchestra was featured on Cedille Records’ Winged Creatures alongside CYSO alumni Anthony McGill (New York Phil principal clarinet) and Demarre McGill (Seattle Symphony principal flute) with Grammy-nominated producer Jim Ginsburg, as well as Classical Kids Live!’s award-winning album “Gershwin’s Magic Key.” Members of the Symphony Orchestra recently performed on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert alongside Chance the Rapper and Peter CottonTale and on CNN’s nationally-broadcast Independence Day broadcast. Symphony Orchestra is a leader in the performance of contemporary orchestral music among youth, with eleven ASCAP awards for adventurous programming; three Illinois Council of Orchestras Youth Orchestra of the Year awards; two Illinois Council of Orchestras Programming of the Year awards; broadcasts on radio stations across the globe as well as appearances on National Public Radio and WFMT; and international tours to the music capitals of Europe, Asia, and South America. The orchestra has presented premiere performances of exciting new works, including the world premiere of Bernard Rands’ AURA in 2022, and Midwest premieres of Zhou Tian’s Transcend in 2019 and Vivian Fung’s Concerto for Trumpet featuring 2000 CYSO alum Mary Elizabeth Bowden in 2021.

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

Conductor's Bio

Allen Tinkham is increasingly recognized as one of the most inspiring and exciting conductors and teachers of his generation. He is hailed by the Chicago Tribune as both a conductor and teacher, described as working “wonders” conducting with “uncanny control” and as one of Chicago’s most important “educators, mentors and inspirational guides in the training of tomorrow’s orchestral professionals.” As the Music Director of CYSO, Tinkham oversees artistic programming and faculty and leads the Symphony Orchestra as well as CORE, CYSO’s select chamber orchestra. Tinkham led the Symphony Orchestra in its Carnegie Hall debut, first live broadcast, first recording release, and seven international tours on four continents. CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra, internationally acclaimed as “one of the country’s most famous youth outfits” (Muso Magazine), is regularly broadcast by WFMT and has received numerous Illinois Council of Orchestras Youth Orchestra of the Year and Programming of the Year awards. As an advocate and champion of contemporary music, Tinkham has won nine American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) National Awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. Tinkham is also the Music Director of the Chicago Composers Orchestra, Chicago’s only professional orchestra performing exclusively the works of living composers. In high demand as a guest conductor and educator, Tinkham has conducted summer festivals and NAfME All-State Orchestras throughout the U.S. including the All-Eastern and All-Northwest Orchestras. He was the Assistant Conductor for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s holiday concerts for six seasons, and he has guest conducted the Colorado Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, and the Members of Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Tinkham attended the Eastman School of Music, University of Michigan School of Music, and American Academy of Conducting of the Aspen Music Festival. He was invited to the 14th International Nicolai Malko Competition and the 4th International Conductors Competition Sir Georg Solti and is a laureate of the League of American Orchestras Bruno Walter Conductor Preview. Tinkham began his career as Apprentice Conductor at the Oregon Symphony and before the end of his apprenticeship was appointed Music Director of CYSO—the youngest to win the post in its history.

Additional Directors

Additional Conductor Image

Daniella Valdez

Additional Conductor Image

Steven Gooden