Rush Hour introduced its audience to the erhu this week in a lively performance by internationally acclaimed artist Xiaohui Ma. Ms. Ma’s diverse program included arrangements of J.S. Bach, melodies of the Beijing Opera, and the theme from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The concert was co-sponsored in part by the Consulates General of China and Switzerland in Chicago, and broadcast live and online by 98.7 WFMT.

Xiaohui Ma rehearses prior to this week’s concert. Concertgoers also got a close-up view on the big screen of Ms. Ma’s erhu – an ancient instrument also known as the “Chinese violin.”

Rush Hour Artistic Director Deborah Sobol (center left) connects with Giambattista Mondada, Consul General of Switzerland in Chicago (left); Zongguang Guo, Consul and Director of Cultural Affairs at the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Chicago (center right); and Haiquan Yang, Cultural Consul at the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Chicago (right). In addition to consulate sponsorships, Rush Hour relies on individual donations and volunteers to produce the weekly summer concert series.

Concertgoers sampled palmiers, blueberries and Swiss chocolates at this week’s pre-concert reception. Additional refreshments were provided by Argo Tea.

Concertgoers gathered on the front steps of St. James Cathedral during the pre-concert reception.

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