As a performer, my longest-standing associations with concert organizations are the ones where “everybody wins”. By this I mean that there are wonderful colleagues to collaborate with, adequate rehearsal time, a fine performance space, and a loyal, attentive audience of people who came specifically to enjoy the music. With RH, my initial involvement came about because of prior experience with Deborah Sobol – but in some senses, I was still taking a (calculated) risk. I didn’t yet know many things about what the complete experience would be. After my enjoyable initial experience, it became a given that I would always desire to perform and be a part of this group of people.

In recent years, I have greatly enjoyed my involvement with Deborah at the conceptual level, putting together some of the programs in which I am involved. We think similarly about many things musical, and it feels great to bounce ideas around and then see them come to fruition months later when the concerts happen. (Last summer’s program with piano, pipa, and cello was the epitome of this: none of us knew of any program with these instruments ever having been done, anywhere. We began by reading some music together and just went from there. Ideas were proposed and several were discarded along the path to that program’s realization.)

It’s hard to speak of one specific memory that is a highlight of my years playing at RH. The Beethoven Sonata in A Major that I performed with Deborah a few years back was particularly enjoyable, and the six-cello ensemble concert from the summer of 2007 was memorable because it is such a rare treat to be able to do something like that. That concert was voted the “Audience Favorite” of Rush Hour’s first nine seasons, which was very gratifying – I’m so pleased that we’ll be presenting an even bigger cello ensemble concert in celebration of the 10th anniversary next summer.

I am particularly happy that RH has lasted and grown into something of real value to our city’s cultural environment. Congratulations, and here’s to many more years of great music!

– Brant Taylor
Rush Hour Advisory Committee member
Cellist, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Quartet, & Pink Martini

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