The Symphony Center's long and lively history dates back to 1904, when local architectural luminary Daniel H. Burnham completed the construction of Orchestra Hall, which integrated several dominant design trends of the day, including the Beaux Arts and Georgian styles. Fast forward to now, several cosmetic overhauls and one major renovation and expansion project later, and you've got one of the most spectacular surviving examples of old-school Chicago architecture still standing (and one that's been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978).
This gem of a building is home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and plays host to a bevy of orchestral, piano and chamber music series, as well as a great jazz series. And do bring the wee ones—on occasion: The Kraft Family Matinee Series and the Chicago Symphony Chorus round out the roster with something for everyone. Jeans are discouraged (feel free to take fashion advice from the tuxedoed musicians), arrive on time and brush up on your decorum.
Adjacent to Symphony Center, Rhapsody Restaurant serves up imaginative American fare to complete the concert experience and has one of the finest wine gardens in the city. The Symphony Store is a great place to stock up on gifts for music lovers. Whatever brings you there, you're sure to be floored by the amazing acoustics and spectacular space. Visit the CSO website to view the current season calendar and purchase tickets. Don't forget to ask about special pricing for RUSH seating, students and seniors.
Centerstage Reviewer: Roni Shapira