Some consider music Chicago's greatest contribution to civilization, and not only for the internationally known Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera. Live music pulses from virtually every corner of the city—blues, jazz, ethnic, rock, and more.
How to find out what's going on in music
The following sites will get you started. For additional links to Chicago music, visit experiencechicago.uchicago.edu.
Centerstage Chicago Music
Includes brief descriptions of more than 1,000 local bands, musicians, and others in the music industry. The site also lists nearly 400 music venues, cross-referenced by style or location, as well as open-mike nights throughout the area.
A recorded voice reads information on groups, dates, venues, and prices—at breakneck speed.
Jazz Institute of Chicago
Dedicated to preserving and perpetuating jazz in all its forms since 1969. The Web site offers features about jazz and an events calendar.
Oh My Rockness!
A very comprehensive listing of indie rock concerts in Chicago and its surroundings, from tiny venues to huge ones.
Where to take music classes
Old Town School of Folk Music
Address: 4544 North Lincoln Avenue, 909 West Armitage Avenue
Learn to play the guitar or fiddle. Go to a concert. Buy supplies at the guitar store.
The biggies in music
Cleopatra seduces in Lyric Opera's production of Handel's Guilio Cesare.
(Photo: Mike Hoban/Glyndebourne)
Chicago Opera Theater
Award-winning, imaginative productions of modern and early opera. Discounts for students, too. Performances are at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Address: Symphony Center
220 South Michigan Avenue
A year older than the University of Chicago (the orchestra was established in 1891), the CSO is one of the great symphony orchestras in the world. Its recordings have won more than 50 Grammy Awards. Student tickets are available on the Web site for as little as $10 for selected concerts; or call to find out about rush seating.
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Address:Civic Opera House
20 North Wacker Drive
The 2009–10 season includes such classics as Tosca and The Marriage of Figaro, plus Janacek's Katya Kabanova and Verdi's Ernani. Tickets may be hard to come by, so call early. However, most evenings you can buy tickets on the street just before the performance, at a fraction of the regular cost. And the box office also has a few returned tickets—at full price.