Maple LeavesAfter a rather beautifully extended Indian summer, it seems as though the colder months will soon be upon us. Scottish poet and physician John Armstrong (1709-79) in The Art of Preserving Health (1744), writes of the healing quality of music. I share it with you as an additional boost to your flu shots:

Music exults each joy, allays each grief,
Expels diseases, softens every pain,
Subdues the rage of poison and the plague.

There are four concerts I’d like to recommend in the coming weeks to our Rush HourMark Valenti audiences:

This Sunday, November 18th at 4 p.m., pianist Mark Valenti will be featured on St. James’ Cathedral Concert Series. Mark is an artist whose performances, especially on the Dame Myra Hess Series, have placed him among the young artists in Chicago to watch — and hear!

A few hours later, and again on Monday evening, November 19th, (Pick-Staiger Hall, Evanston, and Gottlieb Hall, Chicago) you can hear the world premiere of Dana Wilson’s trio for horn, violin and piano, commissioned by Chicago Chamber Musicians’ hornist, Gail Williams. Mr. Wilson’s trio will be joined by works of Beethoven, Richard Strauss and Schubert.

I’m very pleased to share with you Quintet Attaccanews of Quintet Attacca, who appeared on our ’07 Rush Hour series. You can hear them again on November 30th at the Dame Myra Hess noontime concert series (Chicago Cultural Center) in a woodwind program of music from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. This concert will be broadcast live on WFMT 98.7 and is free of charge.

And, on December 3rd, return to the Chicago Cultural Center, for CCM’s First Monday series (also free of charge) to hear CCM ensemble artist and Chicago Symphony Orchestra principal flutist Mathieu Dufour joined by CSO assistant principal cellist Kenneth Olsen and pianist Kuang-Hao Huang in a program of trios for flute, cello and piano. You will remember Mathieu, Ken and Kuang-Hao from RH’s ’07 series as well.

As I bid you happy listening this month, a note of humor from Austrian-Canadian pianist Anton Kuerti (b. 1938), in defining Muzak (the sounds we hear around us daily in elevators, grocery stores, malls, etc. – often confused by some as “music”!):

“Musak goes in one ear and out some other opening.”


– Deborah Sobol

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