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Bio / Description:
The CUSO is a professional orchestra dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the community by providing symphonic music of the highest caliber through live performances and music education in the schools, the concert hall, and the community.
In 1959, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra was founded, and in 1960, Bernard Goodman, the CUSO’s first music director and conductor, led the orchestra in its inaugural concert. In 1964, the first Youth Concert was performed; these performances have since reached over 200,000 students.
In 1969, the CUSO began performing in the renowned Foellinger Great Hall at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, one of the finest and most magnificent performance halls in the world. Paul Vermel became the CUSO’s second music director and conductor in 1974, and by 1988, the CUSO was designated the professional orchestra in residence at the Krannert Center.
From 1995-2012, the CUSO enjoyed continued success and state and national recognition under the leadership of music director and conductor Steven Larsen. In 2009, the CUSO celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, and most recently, the Illinois Council of Orchestras has honored the CUSO’s Guild, Executive Director, and Board President with statewide recognition.
Following Maestro Larsen’s retirement at the end of the 2011-12 season, the CUSO completed an exciting search for only the fourth music director and conductor in its history. In March 2013, Stephen Alltop was appointed, and he has planned a thrilling and colorful inaugural season. Together, Maestro Alltop, the musicians of the orchestra, the CUSO Board, and the CUSO Guild will lead the CUSO into a new era of outstanding live performances, music education, and community engagement.
701 Devonshire Dr, C-24 Champaign, IL 61820