Classical Music

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra Announces Public Phase of $5.1M Campaign for the Future

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), named 2020 Professional Orchestra of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras, recently announced the public phase of its $5.1 million Campaign for the Future. The Campaign is supported in large part by The Davee Foundation, which donated $3 million to IPO in March 2018, creating IPO’s first-ever endowment. Building on this transformational investment, IPO’s Executive Director Christina Salerno and Board of Directors sought to use the endowment as a launching pad to increase the overall financial stability of IPO while cementing artistic director Stilian Kirov’s vision for the orchestra’s artistic relevance and importance in Chicago’s Southland region.

Since taking the helm in 2017, Salerno and Kirov have catapulted the organization forward, drawing new, younger and more diverse audiences, fostering an environment where IPO is seen as an integral partner of the south and southwest Chicago suburbs. The completion of the Campaign for the Future will allow IPO to invest in the organization’s regional impact through expansion and innovation, cement multi-tiered educational partnerships, and become an orchestra of the community by expanding its equity, diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives.

In September 2017, The Davee Foundation—a longtime IPO supporter—recognized the organization’s new found ability to enhance educational programming and music repertoire and decided to gift $3 million to be put towards IPO’s first-ever endowment, with provisions for both general operating and educational programming. James W. Dugdale, Jr., president of The Davee Foundation at the time of the endowment grant, said, “The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra has been a grantee of The Davee Foundation for 21 years, and was a favorite of Ruth Dunbar Davee. We have been very impressed with both the quality of their music and their dedication to education. We look forward to watching their progress for many years to come.”

Following a “silent phase” where IPO approached some of its most dedicated supporters, raising another $1 million in pledges from long time investors and inspirational Board gifts, IPO formally moved to embark on a $5.1 million campaign on March 7, 2020. The following week IPO cancelled its concerts due to the global pandemic crisis.

“For Chicago’s Southland region, a $3 million gift demonstrates a transformational investment by our community and is likely one of the largest gifts any organization in the region has ever received,” said Kathleen Field Orr, Board president. “Campaign for the Future is a significant achievement that shows major public investment in an orchestra during these difficult times, and thanks to Christina and Stilian’s exceptional leadership, IPO is poised to succeed even in the most uncertain of seasons, and continue enhancing and diversifying the company, repertoire and programs.”

$1 million dollars remains to be raised for Campaign for the Future. More information about the campaign can be found at

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra is supported in part by Ozinga Foundation, Gerhard Manufacturing and Designing, Michuda Construction, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, FnA Outdoors, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

For more information, visit or call 708.481.7774.