About the CSO

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, leads the company’s artistic vision and is in her third season with the CSO. Principal Pops Conductor and former Music Director, Bob Bernhardt, is beginning a new role after serving 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 full time administrative staff of six with part-time staff and 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 over 200 community partners each season, including schools, hospitals, libraries, and at local celebrations.