The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Family Matinee series, designed as an interactive concert experience for young audiences, ages five and up, will continue its  2017-18 Family Matinee series on Saturday, March 14, when conductor Edwin Outwater and the CSO explore similarities between the natural world and classical music. Emily Graslie, Chief Curiosity Correspondent from the Field Museum, will co-host a program highlighting nature-inspired selections from Frank’s Three Latin-American Dances, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Smetana’s “The Moldau” from Má vlast, as well as selections from Desert Transport by former CSO Mead Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates. The program examines the similarities between ecosystems and musical ensembles while also encouraging audiences to be curious about the natural world and protect and sustain nature’s wonders. This concert is, of course, presented in collaboration with the Field Museum.

The series concludes on Saturday, May 5 with a program that incorporates ballet with live orchestral music. Guest dancers from the Joffrey Academy of Dance, along with conductor Tania Miller and members of the CSO, will perform works by Glière, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky including selections from timeless ballets like Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake and The Firebird—the epic tale of Prince Ivan and a magical bird as they embark on a harrowing journey to defeat Kastchei the Deathless and restore harmony to the world.

Pre-concert activities for each concert of the Family Matinee Series begin one hour before concert time and include fun games exploring the music featured on the concert, performances by young musicians, and hands-on experiences with musical instruments. Subscriptions for the three-concert series start at $15. More information is available at

Tickets for all CSOA-presented concerts can be purchased by phone at 800‑223‑7114 or 312-294‑3000, online at, or at the Symphony Center box office: 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Center (photo by Todd Rosenberg).

CSO to Continue Family Matinee Series with Interdisciplinary Collaborations with Joffrey Ballet and The Field