Founded in 2011, Civitas is a chamber music ensemble with a threefold mission: to present engaging live performances of new and traditional works; to inspire a young generation of classical musicians; and to bring the healing power of music to those with limited access to live performances.

To that end, Civitas Ensemble performs in a variety of outreach environments including hospitals, retirement living facilities, and in Chicago public schools.

Board of Directors

Yuan-Qing Yu/ President
Stephan Tran / Chair
Hanping Xiao / Treasurer

Jonathan Becker
Leslie Burns
Lutgart Calcote
Judy McCue
John Van Horn

Advisory Board

Rives Collins
Dolores Kohl
Yo-Yo Ma
Bright Sheng
Augusta Read Thomas
Mitsuko Uchida
Nicholas Yasillo

Staff

Hannah Pearson - Administrative Manager
Jiwon Sun - Operations Director

Civitas Ensemble was founded in 2011. Interested in the integration of classical music with other creative disciplines, Civitas Ensemble works with visual artists, dancers, theatre groups, and other performers to develop programs that underscore the power of cross-disciplinary arts.

Civitas seeks to serve the people of Chicago and beyond by bringing live performances both to standard concert venues and to unusual spaces, for those who would benefit from the power of live classical music but have limited access. To that end, Civitas Ensemble performs in hospitals, retirement living facilities, and in Chicago public schools. The Ensemble presents a repertoire spanning four centuries of music history and numerous genres and styles. The musicians also nurture relationships with living composers to add new works to their repertoire. During the past ten years, Civitas has commissioned and premiered more than 10 new works. 

Recognized for its quality of performances as well as its community engagement efforts, Civitas Ensemble was invited to perform with Yo-Yo Ma at the Chicago Humanities Festival, and participate in the panel discussion on the topic of “Artist and Citizenship.” Civitas was named the Artists in Residence for the Chinese Fine Arts Society. Civitas has been invited by the City of Chicago to perform at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, as part of the City’s Loops and Variations series. Civitas Ensemble’s performance on WFMT was selected for the station’s “Best of Live Broadcasts…” distinction. The Ensemble continues to receive rave reviews from the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Classical Review, and Chicago on the Aisle. The Ensemble’s Grammy-nominated albums Alla Zingarese and Jin Yin were on the top of Classical Billboard. 

Civitas Ensemble receives generous grants also from the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund, Driehaus Foundation, Dolores Kohl Education Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Albert Pick Jr. Fund, Sage Foundation, and the Leslie Fund, and many individuals.

For concert updates and more information, please visit https://tickets.civitasensemble.org/

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