Based in Schaumburg, IL, MPO offers world-class orchestral training to beginning, intermediate, and advanced musicians in the Chicagoland area.
Midwest String Orchestra
Preparatory orchestra for beginners and intermediate-level string musicians. MSO introduces the foundation of orchestral training and importance of collaboration among musicians.
Midwest Philharmonic Orchestra
Symphony orchestra for intermediate and advanced strings, winds, and percussion students.
Repertoire is selected from a wide range of mature, high-level pieces that require personal attention and self-discipline in each musician.
Midwest Chamber Orchestra (Formerly "Core")
Chamber orchestra that includes the most advanced players of MPO. Performing pieces for symphonies of smaller scale, MCO focuses on individual preparedness and the clarity of the ensemble as a whole to produce the top quality of music-making possible as students.
About the MPO Program
Established in 2007, the Midwest Philharmonic Orchestra has rapidly grown from a small group in the suburbs to one of the region’s premier youth orchestras, attracting students from all over Chicagoland. The MPO now tours internationally every other year and hosts up to four concerts per season at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin, Illinois, where it calls home. Committed to diversity and accessibility of music education, the MPO is home to one of the lowest tuition costs among competing regional youth orchestras. As a result of the program’s attention to quality music-making and collaboration, alumni of the program have become global leaders in music education and performance. The orchestra has performed at numerous prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and Zankel Hall in New York City, Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center in Chicago, Peoria Civic Center as part of the 2022 Illinois All-State Conference (IMEC), the TODAY Show in New York City, Detroit’s “Summer in the Park,” and overseas in Austria in the cities of Vienna, Salzburg, and Hallstatt. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the orchestra was scheduled to embark on their second international tour through Prague, Budapest, and Bratislava, and host its first concert in Downtown Chicago at the Chicago Cultural Center. The group regathered in its 2021-2022 Season “Reimagined, Reignited” and presented its first community pop concert sponsored by Northern Trust Bank, which was featured in the Chicago Tribune.
The MPO is a proud recipient of the 2019 American Prize in Orchestral Performance.
MPO Music Director, Taka Matsunaga, has been selected as the 2021 Conductor of the Year by Illinois Council of Orchestras. He is also a winner of the 2019 and 2021 American Prize in Conducting.
COLLABORATE - We want students of all ages and levels to collaborate together in not only making great music but making memories that last a lifetime.
INSPIRE - We want our students to take those memories and experiences from music making and inspire future generations to continue the legacy of youth music programs, which are vital to the development of children and the communities in which they reside.
ACHIEVE - Like any youth music program, we want our students to achieve great things in life. Through collaborating together and building a musical community based on inclusion, we will be able to achieve a better future for everyone.