The International Music Foundation Presents Rush Hour Concerts 2018

Enjoy Free Weekly Classical Music Performances Just Steps Away From The Magnificent Mile

April 24, 2018 (Chicago, IL) – The International Music Foundation (IMF) is proud to present the Summer 2018 season of Rush Hour Concerts (RHC). Beginning June 5 and continuing every Tuesday through August 28, join IMF for free weekly classical music performances at St. James Cathedral located at 65 East Huron Street in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood.

Rush Hour Concerts, founded by Deborah Sobol in 2000, aims to reinvent the traditional classical music concert format by presenting short, high-quality chamber music performances in an intimate and informal setting. Each free 30-minute concert is performed by world-class musicians from Chicago ensembles including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and numerous independent chamber music groups.

“With this series, we really want to break down barriers to access – including time and cost – to provide an inspiring chamber music experience to a broad audience,” said RHC’s Artistic Director Anthony Devroye.

Each concert will be preceded by a pre-concert conversation led by Devroye, featuring that week’s artists and/or composers. “The idea behind the conversation is to introduce the audience to the performers and to discuss the piece they are about to experience,” Devroye said. Post-performance, patrons are invited to interact with performers to round out a complete cultural experience.

This year, Rush Hour Concerts will participate in the worldwide celebration of the centennial of the birth of American composer Leonard Bernstein. The season opens June 5 with “Bernstein Centennial” featuring his song cycle Arias and Barcarolles. The theme continues on June 26 with “Bernstein’s Orbit” featuring composers touched by Bernstein’s musical style. The season closes on August 28 with a performance of Chichester Psalms featuring conductor Stephen Buzard and the St. James Cathedral Choir.

All throughout the month of July, Rush Hour Concerts will feature music paired with other artistic mediums: poetry, dance, videography and more. Regular favorites returning this summer include Civitas Ensemble, singers from the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Brant Taylor, pianist Kuang-Hao Huang, and Axiom Brass; as well as performers new to the series including baritone Michael Cavalieri and Chicago-based chamber ensemble, Picosa.

The complete Rush Hour Concerts schedule is as follows:


June 5 – Bernstein Centennial

Bernstein: Arias and Barcarolles

Julia Bentley, mezzo-soprano
Michael Cavalieri, baritone
Kuang-Hao Huang & Daniel Schlosberg, piano

June 19 – Three in D

Mendelssohn: Piano Trio in D Minor, Op. 49

Janet Sung, violin
Stephen Balderston, cello
William Wolfram, piano

June 12 – Downside-Up

Arensky: String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 35

John Macfarlane, violin
Anthony Devroye, viola
Brant Taylor and Kenneth Olsen, cello

June 26 – Bernstein’s Orbit

Bernstein: Fanfare for Bima
William Bolcom: Remembered Fathers
Michael Tilson Thomas: Street Song

Fulcrum Point New Music


July 3 – Americana

Amy Beach: Piano Trio
Paul Schoenfeld: Café Music

Fifth House Ensemble

July 10 – Music and Poetry

Music of Brahms, Boulanger and Sarasate

Pavel Sporcl, violin
Rachel Dewoskin, poet

July 17 – Limitless

JS Bach: Contrapunctus III
Jan Bach: Laudes
James Stephenson: Celestial Suite

Axiom Brass

July 24 – Baroque Dance Reimagined

Music of Monteverdi and Vivaldi

Third Coast Baroque

July 31 – Lyric Shorts

Puccini: La Boheme (excerpts)

Singers from the Patrick G. & Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago


August 7 – Chicago Connections

Joseph Schwantner: Black Anemones
Augusta Read Thomas: Scat
Shulamit Ran: Mirage


August 14 – Deborah Sobol Memorial

Schubert: String Quintet in C Major

Avalon String Quartet
Clancy Newman, cello

August 21 – Cuarteto

Bragato: String Quartet
Piazzolla: Verano and Otoño

Kaia Quartet

August 28 – Season Finale

Bernstein: Chichester Psalms

Stephen Buzard, conductor
St James Cathedral Choir

Doors open at 5:00
Pre-concert conversation begins at 5:15PM
Performance starts at 5:45PM

For those who miss the concert or would like to experience the performance again, most concerts will be broadcast the following Friday on Lisa Flynn’s “Music in Chicago” on 98.7WFMT.

The Clare is the exclusive media sponsor for Rush Hour Concerts.

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About The International Music Foundation

The International Music Foundation (IMF), founded in 1976, is dedicated to presenting free high-caliber classical music performance and music education experiences in the Chicago metropolitan area for people of all ages and degrees of musical awareness. IMF offers the following programs and educational experiences: Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, Rush Hour Concerts, Do-It-Yourself Messiah, Make Music Chicago, Live Music Now!, and professional ensemble educational residencies. For more information, visit

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