RUSH HOUR CONCERTS 2014 Celebrating 15th Anniversary and Honoring Memory of Founder Deborah Sobol: Free Concerts every Tuesday evening at St. James Cathedral in River North, June 3 – August 26
This summer, Rush Hour Concerts (RHC) celebrates its 15th anniversary season and honors the memory of its founder, Deborah Sobol. Sobol launched RHC in 2000 to create free public access to high-quality music and, since then, the summer concert series has become a beloved annual event offering live classical music every Tuesday evening after work in River North’s serene and historic St. James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron Street. The 2014 Summer Concert Series runs June 3 through August 26.
Each evening begins with a pre-concert reception with the artists at 5:15 pm in the cathedral foyer, followed by a 30- to 45-minute concert at 5:45 pm. The reception and concert are always free and no tickets are required. For the fifth consecutive year, 98.7 WFMT broadcasts the Summer Concert Series live from St. James Cathedral each week.
Highlights of Rush Hour Concerts’ 15th Anniversary season include Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat (The Soldier’s Tale), a 1918 collaboration between Stravinsky and Swiss writer C. F. Ramuz that tells the story of a young soldier who gives his violin to the devil in exchange for a book that tells the future, and the subsequent redemption of the soldier and his revitalizing gift for music. A piece for seven musicians, this work celebrating the transcendent power of music serves as a fit season opener. Other highlights include a Bach double-header featuring Sones de Mexico Ensemble, the concert which will serve as the season’s formal tribute to founder Sobol; the return of “Lyric Shorts” featuring talented young singers from the Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center; another iteration of RHC’s fruitful collaboration with the Poetry Foundation; and, a World Premiere by Jason Seed commissioned in honor of RHC’s 15th anniversary.
2014 Summer Concert Series
Program: Igor Stravinsky: L’Histoire du soldat
Artists: Fulcrum Point New Music Project and Frank Babbit (narrator)
Program: Johannes Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major
Artists: Janet Sung (violin) and Kuang-Hao Huang (piano)
Sponsored in part by Joyce Saxon
Program: Howard Frazin: Some Thoughts on Good and Evil
Artists: John Macfarlane (violin), Brant Taylor (cello) and Winston Choi (piano)
Make Music Chicago
Program: Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring
Artists: Members of the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera Orchestras; John Macfarlane, conductor
Program: Ernő Dohnányi’: Serenade for String Trio
Artists: Liba Schacht (violin), Carol Cook (viola) and John Sharp (cello)
Program: George Frideric Handel: La Lucrezia
Artists: Haymarket Opera Company, featuring of Kindra Scharich (mezzo soprano), Craig Trompeter (cello) and Philippe Leroy (harpsichord)
Program: Special one-hour concert dedicated to Founder Deborah Sobol featuring: J. S. Bach’s Trio Sonata No. 4; Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E-flat; and traditional Mexican music
Artists: Featuring Bruce Barber (organ), Sones de Mexico Ensemble and New Chicago Brass
Sponsored in part by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation
Program: Ludwig van Beethoven: Cello Sonata in D major
Artists: Brant Taylor (cello) and Kuang-Hao Huang (piano)
Sponsored in part by Joyce Saxon
Program: “Lyric Shorts” featuring excerpts from Mozart’s Don Giovanni
Artists: Singers from the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago
Program: Poetry Foundation: “Open Door Encore,” featuring readings of original poetry, composed by area professors and their students, set to music
Musical artists: Quintet Attacca
Sponsored in part by the Poetry Foundation
Program: Trios of Khachatryan and Bartók
Artists: Fifth House Ensemble
Program: Rush Hour Concerts 15th Anniversary commissioned World Premiere
Artists: Jason Seed Stringtet
Program: Steve Reich: Sextet
Artists: Third Coast Percussion with Daniel Schlosberg (piano) and Amy Briggs (piano)
About Rush Hour Concerts: Making Music Accessible
Since its inception in 2000, Rush Hour Concerts has reinvented the classical music experience through a dedication to artistic quality, a concert format suitable to contemporary lifestyles and a policy of admission-free events. Rush Hour Concerts has created groundbreaking programs and access initiatives that have revolutionized music-making in Chicago and forged trendsetting partnerships with the city’s arts and cultural community. In addition to the Summer Concert Series, Rush Hour Concerts unites the city through music every year during Make Music Chicago on the summer solstice, June 21, a citywide, daylong celebration of everyone’s ability to make music.
Rush Hour Concerts is committed to broadening arts access and launched its Community Engagement Residencies to bring expert musical instruction to under-resourced neighborhoods in Chicago through a long-term strategy of artistic and community collaboration. Now in its 15th year, Rush Hour Concerts has expanded into a year-round arts organization, yet remains grounded in its mission to reach across all communities with new ways for audiences to experience world-class music in Chicago.
About Rush Hour Concerts Leadership
Born in New York, Brant Taylor (Interim Artistic Director) began cello studies at the age of 8. His varied career includes solo appearances and collaborations with leading chamber musicians throughout North America, Europe and Asia, as well as orchestral, pedagogical and popular music activities. After one year as a member of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Taylor was appointed to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) by Daniel Barenboim in 1998. In Chicago, Taylor’s recital appearances include the Dame Myra Hess Concerts, First Monday Concerts, Rush Hour Concerts, the Ravinia Festival’s Rising Stars recital series and regular live radio broadcasts from the studio of WFMT. He has appeared regularly with the Chicago Chamber Musicians and on the CSO’s contemporary chamber music series MusicNOW. In 2002, Taylor began a seven-year association with the band Pink Martini. With this eclectic ensemble, he has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Late Show with David Letterman, and at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Active as a teacher of both cello and chamber music, Taylor serves on the faculty of the DePaul University School of Music. He has also been a faculty member at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts and Northwestern University’s National High School Music Institute. From 1992-97, Taylor was cellist of the Everest Quartet, prizewinners at the Banff and Fischoff chamber music competitions.
Pianist Kuang-Hao Huang (Associate Artistic Director) has performed throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Asia. Huang is most often heard as a collaborator, performing concerts and radio broadcasts with Chicago’s finest musicians, from instrumentalists of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to singers with the Lyric Opera. He has been a guest of the Chicago Chamber Musicians and has performed with the Avalon, Chicago, Spektral and Vermeer String Quartets and on multiple Rush Hour Concerts’ performances. Huang can be heard in recordings on the Cedille and Naxos labels. An advocate of new music, Huang is a member of Fulcrum Point New Music Project. Also a dedicated teacher, Huang serves on the faculties of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and Concordia University-Chicago.
Anthony Devroye (Consulting Artistic Director) enjoys a varied and active career as chamber, orchestral and solo violist and teacher. He has been violist of the Avalon String Quartet since 2004 and on the faculty at the Northern Illinois University School of Music since 2007. Devroye has performed with the quartet at major venues throughout the United States, as well as in France and South Korea. He has taught at the Interlochen Advanced String Quartet Program, the Icicle Creek Music Center and Madeline Island Music Camp, and has given master classes at UCLA, BYU, DePaul and the University of Tennessee.
As an organizational Strategist, Leadership Advisor and Executive Coach, Kitty Rothschild (Acting Executive Director) brings her extensive real-world experience in operations, product development, branding, marketing and production to help pinpoint an organization’s core strengths, reveal operational inefficiencies and, ultimately, increase the impact of its mission and goals. Rothschild served as Managing Partner and Director of Operations, Business Affairs and Production for over six years at ROI Ventures, from its inception through its acquisition and transition into the digital marketing firm Frequency540. As Director of Production at FQ540, she ensured a high standard of production values, efficiency and integrity in the production and creative departments. Prior to ROI Ventures, Rothschild had a substantial career in marketing and advertising, working in executive leadership positions at top ad agencies such as Hal Riney & Partners, BBDO and Draft/FCB. Additionally, she is an alumna of Francis W. Parker, Smith College, Interlochen Arts Academy and The Aspen Music Festival’s Vocal Institute.
To learn more about Rush Hour Concerts visit www.rushhour.org.