James Fahey is director of programming for Symphony Center Presents. In this role, he oversees the programming of the Symphony Center Presents Orchestra, Chamber Music and Piano series as well as the development of programs for the 10-concert Symphony Center Presents Jazz series and other special concert offerings. Symphony Center Presents, the presenting arm of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, offers more than 40 concerts each season by some of the world’s greatest classical, jazz, pop and world music artists. In addition, he programs the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s CSO at the Movies series which has been presenting film music in concert as well as films with orchestra since its inception in 2004.
Fahey joined the staff of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association in 1983. He has also served as Symphony Center’s director of jazz and special programming (2002-2006), having previously worked as assistant director of Symphony Center Presents (2000-2002), and as assistant artistic administrator (1994-2000). His accomplishments include the development of programming for Orchestra Hall’s first jazz series, Symphony Center Presents Jazz, which remains one of the most prestigious and successful jazz series in the nation and celebrates its 25th anniversary season in 2018. Fahey began his tenure with the CSO as Manager of Youth Education, overseeing artistic and operational details for youth education programs for students in kindergarten through high school. A former oboist, he holds a bachelor of music education degree from the DePaul University School of Music. He was the 2014 recipient of the Jazz Institute of Chicago’s Timuel Black Community Service Award.