top of page

Gregory Porter and Marc-André Hamelin perform for the CSOA - June 11th

The League of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) presents its 29th annual Corporate Night benefit concert on Monday, June 11, 2018, at 7:30 p.m., featuring vocalist Gregory Porter and pianist Marc-André Hamelin with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) led by conductor Edwin Outwater. This annual fundraising event includes a cocktail hour and dinner preceding the concert. Corporate Night 2018 is co-chaired by CSOA Trustee and Negaunee Music Institute Board Member Steve Shebik, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Allstate Corp., and his wife, Megan. The Corporate Night event co-chairs for the League of the CSOA are Cheryl Istvan and Jennifer Bumbu. The program also includes the presentation of the Excellence in Corporate Philanthropy Award, which this year goes to

Gregory Porter photo by Shawn Peters

Northern Trust in recognition of their outstanding support for the CSOA and exemplary civic engagement in the arts and in Chicago. In addition to sponsorships and packages, individual tickets for only the concert are on sale now.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and two-time Grammy Award-winning jazz singer-songwriter Gregory Porter perform songs from Porter’s new Blue Note album, Nat King Cole and Me, which was released October 27. Nat King Cole and Me is a heartfelt tribute to the legendary singer and pianist and revisits some of Cole’s most cherished classics such as “Mona Lisa,” “L-O-V-E,” “Nature Boy,” and “The Christmas Song,” among other new arrangements.

The program also includes the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing familiar works by two American composers—Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to Candide, as well as George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue featuring pianist Marc-André Hamelin. A frequent performer on the Symphony Center Presents Piano series and in subscription concerts with the CSO, Hamelin brings his technical prowess to this iconic, melodic work that fuses elements of jazz with classical music.

Two-time Grammy winner Gregory Porter has garnered critical acclaim since his 2010 debut album, Water. A California native who played football for San Diego State University, Porter pursued singing and songwriting after an injury derailed his plans for a football career. Porter credits his mother, gospel music, and Nat King Cole as his earliest musical influences. He won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2014 for Liquid Spirit and in 2017 for Take Me to the Alley. Porter made his Symphony Center Presents Jazz series debut in 2014 and returned in 2016.

Long known for his matchless exploration of unfamiliar pianistic terrain, Marc-André Hamelin also is recognized worldwide for the originality and technical brilliance of his performances of the traditional keyboard repertoire. He has appeared in recital across the globe and as guest soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Montréal Symphony, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and many others. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003 and a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec in 2004.

Conductor Edwin Outwater is the Artistic Director of the Eastern Sierra Symphony in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., and Music Director Laureate of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in Ontario, Canada. He has conducted major orchestras around the globe including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, Tokyo Symphony, Mexico City Philharmonic and Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie. Outwater’s extensive guest conducting schedule this season includes debuts with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Japan’s Pacific Music Festival, as well as return engagements with the Chicago, San Francisco, Indianapolis and Colorado symphonies.

The League of the CSOA’s 29th annual Corporate Night brings together business leaders from across the Chicago area to support the CSO’s artistic, educational and community programs. Popular artists joining members of the CSO on stage for previous Corporate Night concerts include George Benson, Dave Brubeck, Elvis Costello, Melissa Etheridge, Michael Feinstein, Marvin Hamlisch, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, Audra McDonald, Sarah McLachlan, Pink Martini, Dianne Reeves, Doc Severinsen, Sting, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and Nancy Wilson.

This year’s program also includes the presentation of the second Excellence in Corporate Philanthropy Award, which recognizes companies for their outstanding support for the CSOA and exemplary civic engagement in the arts and in Chicago. This year’s awardee is Northern Trust, which has supported the CSOA each year since the orchestra’s founding 126 years ago. The CSOA is proud to honor Northern Trust for its generosity, both past and present, and for its dedication as the CSOA’s longest continuing corporate partner. We look forward to welcoming special guests Rick Waddell, chairman and CEO, and Mike O’Grady, president and incoming CEO, who will receive the award on behalf of Northern Trust

Corporations and other organizations can participate as sponsors or purchase tables for the evening, which includes preconcert cocktails and dinner and prime seats for the concert. Sponsorships start at $25,000, and table packages range from $3,000 to $16,000. For more information on the benefits of sponsorship, please call the CSO’s corporate development department at 312-294-3120.

The League of the CSOA also offers a special ticket package that includes preconcert cocktails and dinner followed by prime seating for the concert for $325 each. For more information and tickets, please contact Kim Duffy at or 312-294-3162.

Concert-only tickets for Corporate Night 2018 are available to the public for $55-$175 and 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.

bottom of page