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Mission Statement

The Charlotte Symphony uplifts, entertains, and educates the diverse communities of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and beyond through exceptional musical experiences.

Vision Statement

Reaching out through the transformative power of live music, the Charlotte Symphony will be a civic leader, reflecting and uniting our region.


Founded in 1932, and led by internationally renowned Music Director Christopher Warren-Green, the Charlotte Symphony is the largest arts employer in the region. We employ 58 professional full-time orchestra musicians, serve two diverse youth orchestras, and offer significant educational programming aimed at improving areas of our community with the greatest need. Today, we continue as a 21st-century orchestra, responsive to and engaged in the narrative of our community. We employ music as a tool for building community and even as an agent for change.

Core programming runs from September through May each season and includes Classical, Pops, Movie and Family series, among other special performances with notable soloists. Annual favorite Magic of Christmas delights during the holidays each season, and we also serve as the soundtrack to our community's ballet and opera productions.

Exceptional musical experiences happen outside the concert hall, too. We perform everywhere from community parks and schools to breweries, senior care centers and places of worship. We are deeply committed to the notion that music, accessible to all and experienced in many forms, unifies our community. Longstanding Summer Pops at Symphony Park, continually voted Best Concert Series in the city, rounds out each season; and our popular On Tap series at NoDa Brewing Company and CSO On the Go neighborhood series mark an important extension of our core programming, aimed at bringing an intimate and affordable orchestra experience to our wider community.

We actively nurture the next generation of musicians and music lovers by supporting two diverse youth orchestras, led by Resident Conductor Christopher James Lees. Each season, the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestras present several concerts and receive coaching from professional Charlotte Symphony musicians. The students also perform as prelude acts before Symphony events. 

More than half of our musicians are educators in the region, teaching not only the young musicians of the youth orchestras, but students in our residency program at Northwest School of the Arts and in Project Harmony. Inspired by the renowned El Sistema youth and community development program of Venezuela, Project Harmony, in collaboration with Arts+, serves Charlotte's Winterfield, Montclaire, Oaklawn, and West Sugar Creek neighborhoods with a free afterschool orchestra program.

We believe in equity and inclusion, and aim to reflect diversity on stage. Our Music For All program welcomes our community members on public assistance to attend any Symphony concert for $1 per ticket, and we strive to be an industry leader in imaginative, relevant programming by intentionally seeking out women conductors, underrepresented in our industry, and conductors, composers, and guest artists of color. Through efforts like our commissioned work by composer Nkeiru Okoye in celebration of Charlotte at 250, we aim to deliver the highest level of artistry. 

The Charlotte Symphony is a key piece of the area's cultural fabric, using the power of music in its many forms to not only entertain, but also educate, unite, and inspire.
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