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appearances at the Ravinia Festival during the summer seasons. The Hall and Building Management series includes clippings and photographs chronicling the building of Orchestra Hall in 1904, its subsequent renovations, and the expansion into Symphony Center in 1997. Also included are rental contract files-a primary source of information about the usage of Orchestra Hall by other performing arts groups and organizations.

Oral History

Date Range: 1984- [ongoing]

Size of Collection: ca. 500 interviews; ca. 700 audiocassettes; 3 linear feet (3 boxes) of transcripts; 2 linear feet (2 boxes) of administrative files.

Series Description:Record group OHP consists of the following series:

  • A.

    CSO Musicians, and interviews about specific CSO musicians

  • B.

    CSO Staff

  • C.

    CSO Subscribers/Concertgoers

  • D.

    CSO Trustees/Governing Members

  • E.

    CSO Volunteers (CSO League and Chicago Symphony Associates)

  • F.

    Special interest (critics, conductors, guest artists, composers, program annotators, radio

announcers, and others affiliated with or knowledgeable about the CSO) G. Chicago Symphony Chorus members

Access: Access is provided to the written transcripts if a signed permission form is on file. The audiocassettes do not circulate and are accessible only within the Archives. Permission to publish any portion of this collection must be obtained from the Rosenthal Archives of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and, when applicable, from the interviewee.

Quick Search Tips: To search the online catalog for a complete listing of oral histories enter under Keywords the record group code OHP. To search for a specific series within this record group, enter under Keywords the record group code followed by a hyphen and the series letter. Examples: for interviews with CSO musicians use Keywords: OHP-A.. Other keywords can be added to the search such as conductor, critic, composer, or instrument names. Specific names and subjects may also be pasted into the search form using the Word Wheel buttons.

Begun in January 1984 in preparation for the Orchestra's Centennial, the Oral History Project employed trained volunteers and staff members to collect nearly 500 interviews in an effort to document the cultural impact of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on the community and to establish a repository of primary sources for its history. Interviews were obtained from several distinct groups of individuals-subscribers, musicians, trustees, staff, and volunteers-primarily from those with an affiliation spanning ten or more years. Conductors, composers, critics, and others with a special relationship to the Orchestra were interviewed whenever possible. Reference cassettes are available for the majority of the collection and approximately 30% of the interviews have been transcribed. The entire collection is included in the Archives' online catalog; however, only those interviews that have been transcribed include detailed content summaries.


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