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Two of Chicago’s premiere classical music presenters have merged under one flagship banner!

International Music Foundation


Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts – Rush Hour Concerts Summer Series

Do-It-Yourself Messiah – Make Music Chicago
Live Music Now! – Professional Ensemble Residencies

All of the high-quality music programs you have come to know and love will continue:

When you think of free, high-quality music performances in Chicago, what comes to mind? For many of you, it is the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts presented every Wednesday at the Chicago Cultural Center and broadcast live on 98.7 WFMT. For many others of you, it is the Rush Hour Concerts Summer Series presented 13 Tuesdays in a row from June to August at St. James Cathedral. For all of you, we hope one day soon it is both!

In all of these years – 39 for Dame Myra Hess and 17 for Rush Hour Concerts – each has enjoyed a cherished position on Chicago’s cultural landscape. Now, as one organization, we will economize operations, expand programming, and provide enhanced performance opportunities to established and emerging musicians. We will continue to excel at what we each do individually, with more efficiency, and we can do more of what we both do well, together.

Therefore, on October 3, 2016, we joined and became the new International Music Foundation. Our Board of Directors have combined; the Executive Director will be Ann Murray; the transition will be led by Kitty Rothschild. Artistic direction for the Rush Hour Concerts programs will continue to be shared by the talented trio of Anthony Devroye, Kuang-Hao Huang and Brant Taylor, with artistic direction for the Do-It-Yourself Messiah and the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts continuing to be led by the distinguished artistic team of Elizabeth Buccheri, James Setapen, Andrea Swan, Mathias Tacke and Richard Young. In other words, you will continue to see the same faces!

For those of you who are regulars at the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, it will be business as usual next Wednesday and every Wednesday thereafter. For those of you who are regulars at the Rush Hour Concerts Summer Series, we are already working on next summer’s lineup. We hope you share our excitement about what this merger promises!

International Music Foundation
Year-Round Programming


Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts features solo and ensemble performances that showcase emerging classical performers. Held year-round on Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. in Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center.

Do-It-Yourself Messiah
A Chicago holiday tradition since 1976, the Do-It-Yourself Messiah brings together a world-class conductor and soloists, an all-volunteer orchestra of local professionals and amateur musicians and thousands of chorus/audience in a thrilling performance of Handel’s masterpiece, Messiah.

Live Music Now!
Live Music Now! brings the experience and joy of live performances to Chicago Public School students through in-school recitals and young people’s concerts. The program was inspired by a similar effort created in Great Britain by Yehudi Menuhin who served as a consultant for the Chicago program.

Make Music Chicago
Make Music Chicago is a one-day, citywide, free music festival that takes place annually on the Summer Solstice, June 21, and is completely free for musicians and audiences alike.

Rush Hour Concerts Summer Series
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. Held on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer at 5:45 p.m. at St. James Cathedral.

Professional Ensemble Educational Residencies
Since 2012, Rush Hour Concerts has partnered with many of Chicago’s finest classical ensembles, including Avalon Quartet, Axiom Brass, Third Coast Percussion and Spektral Quartet, to develop curriculum and partner with after school music programs, currently The People’s Music School, for embedded residencies that allow students to interact with working professionals as mentors and teachers in a dynamic way in their own neighborhoods.

For more information, click here.

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