The Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts welcomes audiences back on September 1 in a new location

John Cahill Photography

The International Music Foundation is pleased to announce that beginning Wednesday, September 1, we will welcome live audiences back to our weekly Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in our new location at Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist, Chicago — an architectural icon located in the heart of downtown along the Chicago River at 55 East Wacker Drive.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hess concerts routinely played at capacity to crowds at the Chicago Cultural Center. When seating was full, additional audience members would often stand outside the hall or sit on the steps in order to experience the performances. With time to reflect during the pandemic, the IMF board and leadership began exploring options that would allow for expanded seating capacity for a live audience while maintaining WFMT’s radio broadcast and livestreaming of the concerts.

Designed by noted Chicago architect Harry Weese, Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist, Chicago is just two blocks from the Chicago Cultural Center and will serve as a wonderful location for the popular Hess concerts. In 2018, it was selected as one of 200 Great Places in the State by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Illinois. The modern masterpiece seats nearly 800 people, boasts excellent acoustics and features theater-style seating for better sight lines of the performances.

“We are delighted to welcome audiences to such a wonderful space that will allow for more people to experience the incredible musicians that appear on the Hess Concerts,” said Mark Riggleman, Executive Director of IMF. “I’m also thrilled that our longstanding partner WFMT will continue broadcasting the weekly concerts from our new location,” he adds.

“The Dame Myra Hess concert series on WFMT has been a great way to bring live local performances to our audience, while providing an ongoing showcase for top-flight classical musicians,” said WFMT General Manager George Preston. “We are delighted to partner with the International Music Foundation in this new adventure.”

The September 1 concert will feature violist, Jordan Bak and pianist, Ji Young Lee in a program of music by Haydn, H. Leslie Adams, Clara Schumann and Robert Schumann. In accordance with the Chicago mask mandate, all attendees will be required to wear a face mask throughout the performance regardless of vaccination status.

The International Music Foundation is grateful for the longtime partnership with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and looks forward to exploring new ways in which to collaborate in the future.

About the Dame Myra Hess Concerts

 

The Dame Myra Hess Concert series has been a staple of the Chicago classical music scene for the past 44 years. Each Wednesday at 12:15 pm, audience members experience a free 45-minute performance by soloists and chamber musicians from around the country and the world. The focus of the series is to present emerging classical musicians early in their careers when they are in most need of engagements and exposure. The concerts air live on 98.7FM, wfmt.com, and the WFMT app, and are video streamed on the IMF website.

Dame Myra Hess Concerts are made possible through the generosity of the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Illinois Arts Council.

About the International Music Foundation

 

The International Music Foundation (IMF), founded in 1976, is dedicated to presenting free high-caliber classical music performances and music education experiences in the Chicago metropolitan area for people of all ages and degrees of musical awareness. The IMF offers the following programs and educational experiences: Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, Rush Hour Concerts, Do-It-Yourself Messiah, Make Music Chicago and Live Music Now!. For more information about the International Music Foundation, visit imfchicago.org or contact IMF Executive Director Mark Riggleman at (312) 670-6888 or mriggleman@imfchicago.org.

About WFMT

 

WFMT is one of the world’s most respected classical music radio stations, available on-air at WFMT 98.7FM, online at wfmt.com/listen, and on the WFMT app. WFMT showcases superlative programs, concerts, and live events including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Music Festival, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Ravinia Festival. WFMT is also a leading producer and syndicator of a diverse selection of outstanding musical series, including Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin, the Beethoven Network, and the Jazz Network. Connect with WFMT on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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