The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra (ICO) made its debut on November 18, 1984 as Musicians of the Cloister at Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis. In 1987 the name was changed to the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and the following year Kirk Trevor was appointed Music Director and Conductor. Maestro Trevor held this position for 27 years, retiring at the close of the 2014-2015 season. The 2015-2016 season marked an important transition in artistic leadership, as the ICO welcomed Matthew Kraemer to the podium for his first season as Music Director and Conductor. The ICO is professional Orchestra-in-Residence at the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts located at Butler University. James Aikman serves as Composer- in-Residence.

The mission of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra is to advance and promote music composed for the small orchestra through professional performances and education programs.  The ICO is comprised of 34 professional musicians chosen by audition. The ICO annually presents a subscription concert series using two formats: Masterworks and Pops. The ICO Masterworks concerts draw on a body of musical literature spanning four centuries, and the ICO Pops focuses on popular and theatrical genre, all of which are scored for the small orchestra. In addition to presenting the full breadth of chamber orchestra repertoire, the ICO’s subscription concerts feature internationally recognized concert artists as well as superior local talent, present aspiring young soloists, and showcase the talents of contemporary composers. The ICO has commissioned several new works and has performed a number of world and American premieres. The ICO brand promises an “ICO-Intimate, Classic, Original” concert experience with professional concerts presented in small, intimate venues. The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Broadcast, featuring excerpts from ICO concerts, is aired each Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. and Monday night at 10:00 pm on WFYI, FM 90.1. In May 2015, the ICO released its first commercial CD, entitled Momentum 21. While Momentum 21 certainly is a celebration and a milestone in the ICO's growth and development, it is more about the forward momentum and direction of contemporary music composed for chamber orchestra, and about the dynamic talent that is adding to the body of music literature in the 21st century.

In addition to this series, the ICO accompanies many local arts and educational organizations including the Indianapolis Opera, Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, and American Pianists Association. For the tenth consecutive year the ICO will serve as Orchestra-in-Residence for the Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival, now in its 50th season. Through its affiliation with this three-day immersive educational event, the ICO sponsors a nation-wide competition for the composition of new works for chamber orchestra. The ICO will also collaborate nationally with the American Composers Orchestra “EarShot” program to present orchestral readings of works by five emerging American composers.

The ICO offers a full range of educational programs for ages pre-kindergarten through adult in a variety of formats.  Major education initiatives are ICO FUNtastic Classics, ICO School Residencies, and ICO Concert Connections. The ICO FUNtastic Classics and Residency programs take ICO musicians into area schools for live programs or classroom coaching.  ICO Concert Connections provides underwriting support to bring area youth to ICO concerts. 

The ICO’s administrative offices are located at Butler University. Operating support for the organization comes from private and government granting agencies, a supportive corporate community, and individual contributors who appreciate the ICO’s place in Indianapolis’ multi-dimensional cultural climate. The ICO is governed by a Board of Directors drawn from the professional, business, and educational communities. The ICO has a professionally managed endowment valued at $1.8 million (as of June 30, 2016)