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Prelude is the Chicago Arts Orchestra's pre-concert talk


These talks are informal and often interactive. Offered 30 – 45 minutes before concerts, these events showcase the CAO's commitment to broadening the musical knowledge of our audience. Past Prelude Talks have been given by Dr. Drew Edward Davies of Northwestern University, Dianne Lehmann Goldman and Jesse Revenig. 

Program Notes

Past Performances, Available for Download

Rediscovered Treasures I

Rediscovered Treasures II

Rediscovered Treasures III

Works of Survival

Past Concerts

2016 – 2017 Season

Rediscovered Treasures VII: Italy in New Spain


Works by Jerusalem, Galuppi, Hasse, Leo, and Legrenzi.

The CAO presents pieces in the galant style, the dominant style of art music practiced between 1720 and 1780,

characterized by clear textures and lyrical melodies.

Musica Viva : A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage


An Artist Celebration

Music of the Enlightenment - Mozart The Great

Music of the Enlightenment - The Bach Brothers

Music of the Enlightenment - Rediscovered Treasures IV

Rediscovered Treasures III

Masters of the 20th and 21st Centuries

Thursday, September 16, 20010,

Lansana Camara, Sounds & Rhythms of West Africa

A fusion of musical traditions starring African Griot Musician Lansana Camara playing the Balafone, Djembe and Kora. Camara's last performance in 2009 was enthusiastically received by audiences throughout Chicago.

2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago

Thursday, October 29, 2009,

A Special Performance by Lansana Camara

Mr. Lansana Camara performed on the African Balafon, a Xylophone like instrument, and Kora, a multi-stringed Harp/Lute like instrument. Mr. Lansana Camara comes from a long line of Griot family musicians dedicated to the crafting of instruments and the performance of classical Griot songs for ceremonies, celebrations, social occasions, and stage performances. He is a Partner with the Group Laiengee: A cooperative music approach for assisting children with disabilities in Conakry, Guinea, West Africa.

6pm – 9pm

CAO in Guanajuato, Mexico

CAO performances at Teatro Angela Peralta, San Miguel de Allende and Teatro Juarez in Guanajuato, Mexico.

April 20, 2008

Mozart & Masters of the Classic Era
Conducted by

Javier José Mendoza

Special Guests
Eleanor Ranney : Soprano
Ali Javaheri : Tenor
Randall Sensmeier: Organ

3pm; Church of Saint Luke
Chicago, Illinois


September 23, 2006
Musica Latina


Conducted by

Javier José Mendoza

7:30pm; Athenaeum Theatre, Chicago, Illinois


March 19, 2006
Organ Symphony!


Conducted by

Javier José Mendoza


William Berg 

4:00pm; St. Raphael Roman Catholic Church
Naperville, IL


November 5, 2005
Autumn Reflections

Conducted by

Javier José Mendoza


W.A. Mozart - Overture to the Marriage of Figaro
Maurice Ravel - Pavane pour une Infante Defunte
Maurice Ravel - Le Tombeau de Couperin
W.A. Mozart - Symphony No. 35 "Haffner"


8:00pm; Music Institute of Chicago, Evanston, IL


June11, 2005


Conducted by

Javier José Mendoza


Felix Mendelssohn - Hebrides Overture
Serge Prokofiev - Classical Symphony
Samuel Barber - Adagio for Strings
Ludwig Van Beethoven - Symphony #1

8pm; Athenaeum Theatre
Chicago, Illinois

October 29, 2009

Requiem for the Fallen

Dedicated to the memory of American servicemen and women

Conducted by

Bradley Ellingboe


Music Director

Javier José Mendoza


Alto Soloist

Sharon O'Connell Campbell


Special Guest Choir



Artistic Director

Benjamin Rivera


Artistic Director

Dr. Charles Brown Kapelle of Concordia University


Percy Grainger - Irish Tune from County Derry
Bradley Ellingboe - Requiem

6pm – 9pm; Coobah, Chicago, Illinois

November 8, 2008

Beyond Borders

Gloria by Antonio VivaldiWorks from Latin America and the United States

Coro National de Ninos
Coro National de Jovenes
Coro Montessori of Guatemala
Oak Park - River Forest Children's Chorus
Indianapolis Children's Choir

Conducted by
Javier José Mendoza
Fernando Archila
Julio Julian
William Chin
Josh Pedde

Special Guests
Eleanor Ranney : Soprano
Lourdes Cossich : Soprano
Pahola Miranda : Mezzo-Soprano

7:30pm; First United Church of Oak Park
Oak Park, Illinois

The Strauss of the North

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