The River is Within Us

Like many of the world’s great cities, Chicago was born on the shores of a powerful force of nature, the Chicago River. Rivers have played a critical role in the prehistory and history of humankind. They have also played a vivid role in the development of music and culture, having influenced generations of composers.

Join the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and its friends in the Chicago community for concerts and special events dedicated to rivers and the role they play in our lives and environment. Take part in passionate music and discussion around these vital highways of commerce and culture—their impact, their value, and most importantly, how to protect them so their flowing waters can continue to influence lives for years to come.

For more information about the Festival, view our Festival booklet.


Citizen Musician

The RIVERS Festival is part of the Citizen Musician initiative, launched by the CSO, which exists to sustain and expand the role of music in civic and cultural life. For more information, visit

RIVERS Festival Sponsors:

Chicago Architecture Foundation
Chicago Park District
Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
Friends of the Chicago River
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

In-Kind partner:

Chicago's First Lady

Media Support provided by: