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Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Sempre Always: The Campaign for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

May 2024

As the chair of SEMPRE ALWAYS: The Campaign for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, it is my pleasure to share an update about this vital initiative with you. Members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) family have joined together to make significant progress, and I am encouraged by supporters’ enthusiasm for the campaign’s four main pillars: achieving financial sustainability, sustaining musical excellence, expanding education and community engagement, and strengthening Chicago’s cultural fabric. The commitment to the legacy of the CSO is apparent in every unique gift — each curated to support what is meaningful and inspirational to you. Every gift is important to the overall success of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for generations to come. On behalf of the CSOA Board of Trustees and leadership, thank you for your generosity.


Helen Zell Signature

Helen Zell

Helen Zell


$175 Million Goal

Violin with red filling indicating 85% toward $175 million goal

88% Raised

$153.8 Million Overall Total Raised | 155 Total Commitments
Endowment: $94.8 Million | Board-Directed Investments Fund: $59 Million

Help us reach 100% by supporting SEMPRE ALWAYS

Thanks to the generous financial support for SEMPRE ALWAYS, the CSOA was able to reduce its long-term debt by $14.8 million during the 2022/23 Season. 

Helen Zell on the importance of sustaining musical excellence

SEMPRE ALWAYS: A Message from the Chair

Additional videos are available to view on the campaign’s webpage. Learn why a strong endowment is important from CSOA President Jeff Alexander and hear what inspired several passionate campaign supporters to make a commitment to SEMPRE ALWAYS.


School Bus at Symphony Center


Created in 2022 by a generous gift toward SEMPRE ALWAYS from John Hart and Carol Prins, the John Hart and Carol Prins Fund for Access supports the provision of free tickets and transportation, and other activities and initiatives that improve access for children to attend CSO for Kids concerts at Symphony Center. Chicago Public Schools students, and any other students for whom attendance would otherwise be impossible, benefit from this endowment fund.

This fund allows other donors to contribute to grow the overall impact of the fund’s purpose. If you are interested in supporting these efforts, please contact us.

Numerous endowment funds have been created through a gift to the SEMPRE ALWAYS campaign, each with unique purpose and intention. We look forward to highlighting the significant impact of these funds in future editions. 

Karen Zupko headshot


A generous gift toward the SEMPRE ALWAYS campaign from Governing Member Karen Zupko will support the Governing Members Chair. Zupko believes in directing her philanthropy toward “supporting arts projects and institutions that I’ve enjoyed and that I feel have contributed to my life.” Among other aspects of the CSO’s programming, she admires its engagement with schools and its inclusion of works by women composers such as Florence Price.

Read an article here, detailing Karen Zupko’s history with the CSO as she encourages others to join her in giving generously. 

John Bruce Yeh


As a part of the SEMPRE ALWAYS campaign, the ambitious fundraising goal of $1 million for the Governing Members Chair is well underway. The inaugural holder of this sponsored chair will be Assistant Principal Clarinet John Bruce Yeh.

Governing Members can consider a one-time gift, an incremental gift in addition to their annual Governing Member support, an estate gift or a unique combination. Please contact us for further information. 

Browse a full donor listing for SEMPRE ALWAYS.

Gifts are unique in size, timeline, structure and purpose. 

To learn more, contact:

Al Andreychuk | AndreychukA@cso.org312-294-3150 | Contact Us

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220 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60604
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