The CAO was established by a group musicians and creative artists to perform great music and to make music accessible and affordable. Comprised of professional musicians with active performance schedules in Chicago, the CAO aims to achieve its mission by providing educational opportunities for the community through the performance of historic and new orchestral music. The CAO seeks to be innovative in its programming and presentation of concerts. The CAO, under Artistic Director Javier José Mendoza, strives to touch an underserved and neglected audience by championing orchestral music.
Javier José Mendoza, Artistic Director of the Chicago Arts Orchestra, was recently appointed Orchestra Director at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Active in a movement to unearth and re-debut forgotten works from eighteenth-century New Spain, Mendoza is energetically re-premiering pieces from archives in Mexico, Guatemala, and Spain in an effort to bring this wonderful music back into public awareness. Under Mendoza’s direction the CAO has consistently been named a “Critics Pick” by Time Out Chicago and a “Recommend” by the Chicago Tribune’s John von Rhein.