The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera was the first combined professional resident symphony and opera company in the nation, merging in 1985. Kayoko Dan, Music Director and Conductor, has lead the company’s artistic vision since joining the CSO in the 2011-2012 season. Music Director Emeritus and Principal Pops Conductor, Bob Bernhardt, previously served as the CSO’s Music Director and Conductor for 19 seasons.
The CSO has an annual budget of about $2.5 million, managed by a 10-person administrative staff of both full-time and part-time employees and with volunteer assistance. Our season begins in September and ends in May, and we perform often at the Tivoli Theatre, better known as “The Jewel of the South.” In addition, we perform at the Volkswagen Conference Center, Memorial Auditorium, Coolidge Park, Chattanooga State, and other area venues. The CSO performs for and collaborates with dozens of community partners each season, including schools, hospitals, libraries, and at local celebrations.