Rush Hour will begin its second decade on June 1 with the magnificent Sextet, Op. 18 for strings by Johannes Brahms, performed by members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera Orchestra: violinists Nathan Cole and Akiko Tarumoto; violinists Carol Cook and Yukiko Ogura; and cellists Kenneth Olsen and Brant Taylor.

Brahms

There is no better way, in my view, to capture the excitement, enthusiasm and lavishness of the season ahead than this rapturous work of a young Brahms in the hands of these amazing artists. If you like the sound of a string quartet, you will be spellbound by the sound of 2 violins, 2 violas and 2 celli. Brahms was one of the few composers to capitalize on the unique richness of this combination of instruments. Op. 18, while early in his output, has all the hallmarks of the Brahms we know and love, a testimony to Robert Schumann’s introduction of the young man as “springing forth, fully armed, like Athena from the head of Zeus,” when he arrived in Leipzig with his (then) early compositions.

With the opening concert just a few weeks away, this is a good time to introduce you to Rush Hour’s Access Program:

As Rush Hour continues to bring traditional chamber music to a new audience and new classical music to seasoned cognoscenti, the Access Program offers a rich “buffet” of educational and enhancement initiatives, which allow you to optimize your concertgoing experience in both contemporary and traditional ways:

rushhour.org, Rush Hour’s website, features the 2010 program schedule, artist biographies, program notes, and informative articles, as well as a blog featuring news, events, and archives of previous seasons. You can prepare for an upcoming concert or review a past program at your leisure.Rush Hour Conversations

“Rush Hour Conversations,” also found on the Rush Hour website, is a series of weekly podcast interviews hosted by me with artists, advisors, and innovators in the world of arts and culture today.

Rush Hour’s weekly concert program booklet is specifically designed for the diversity of our audience and includes program notes and articles to enhance your listening experience.

Artists’ interaction with audience members: Rush Hour continues to be celebrated for the approachability of its artists, who enthusiastically engage the audience each Tuesday at the pre-concert reception, make remarks prior to the start of the music-making, and lead post-concert tours of their instruments.

In a FlashFinally, with “In A Flash,” Rush Hour continues its innovative initiative to provide concertgoers with access to concert recordings on flash drives. For a nominal fee, you are are able to purchase the evening’s concert within moments of its conclusion. Past concerts are also available, in case you miss a week.

I hope you will find the Access Program complementary to your busy lifestyles and enhancing to your overall Rush Hour experience.

I look forward to greeting you on June 1 and many Tuesdays throughout the upcoming summer months!

– Deborah Sobol
Artistic and Executive Director

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