* Theodore Thomas was music director, 1891–1905.
* Frederick Stock was music director, 1905–1942.
* Eric DeLamarter was associate conductor, 1933–1936.
* Hans Lange was associate conductor, 1936–1943.
* Désiré Defauw was music director, 1943–1947.
* Artur Rodziński was music director, 1947–1948.
* Tauno Hannikainen was associate conductor, 1949–1950.
* Rafael Kubelík was music director, 1950–1953.
* Fritz Reiner was musical advisor, 1962–1963.
* Jean Martinon was music director, 1963–1968.
* Sir Georg Solti was music director, 1969–1991.
* George Schick was associate conductor, 1952–1956.
* Walter Hendl was associate conductor, 1958–1964.
* Irwin Hoffman was associate conductor, 1965–1968.
* Henry Mazer was associate conductor, 1970–1986.
* Kenneth Jean was associate conductor, 1986–1993.
* Daniel Barenboim was music director, 1991–2006.
* Yaron Traub was associate conductor, 1998–1999.
* William Eddins was associate conductor, 1998–1999.
* William Eddins was resident conductor, 1999–2004.
* Riccardo Muti was music director, 2010–
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), based in Chicago, was formed by Theodore Thomas in 1891. The Symphony makes its home at Orchestra Hall in Chicago and plays a summer season at the Ravinia Festival. The music director is Riccardo Muti, who began his tenure in 2010. The CSO is one of five American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five". The Symphony makes its home at Orchestra Hall in Chicago and plays a summer season at the Ravinia Festival.
Since Thomas, the orchestra has had ten music directors, including Rafael Kubelík, Fritz Reiner, Sir Georg Solti and Daniel Barenboim. From 2010 to the present, the incumbent conductor is Riccardo Muti.