copland.pngOn a recent visit to Seattle, I came across a wonderful quote of Aaron Copland, carved large into the upper facade of Benaroya Hall, the home of the Seattle Symphony: So long as the human spirit thrives on this planet, music in some living form will accompany and sustain it and give it expressive meaning. As we come to the close of Rush Hour ’07, we hope that the music of our weekly series has sustained and inspired each of your spirits.

schieckle.jpgAs we top off this season with the whimsy and hilarious genius of Peter Schickele‘s P.D.Q. Bach, we remember thirteen weeks of a remarkable journey with you through world cultures, Bach and poetry, six cellists, and the Third Coast Percussion Quartet, to name a few of this season’s programs. We have felt your presence as active, engaged listeners at each concert and, on behalf of all the artists and staff of the Rush Hour series, I thank you!

An encore of thanks is in order: to all who have contributed financially at any level to help us meet our yearly operating budget and guarantee that these weekly concerts continued to remain free and open to all; to all the Rush Hour staff and our wonderful crew of volunteers who have worked tirelessly all summer to produce the Rush Hour experience at the level of comfort, ease and stimulation you have come to expect; and finally, to my colleagues, who brought you the music of this season in all its richness.

As the “winter season” approaches, let me recommend a few notable local series to you, where you can find great chamber music and continue your own journeys into this wonderful art form.

Cathedral Concert Series – St. James Cathedral

Don’t wait until next summer to hear more great music at St. James Cathedral! Bruce Barber, music director of St. James Cathedral, crafts a wonderful series on the third Sunday of each month, September through May. For more information, please pick up a flyer on your way out or visit saintjamescathedral.org .

The Chicago Chamber Musicians (CCM)

Many of the outstanding artists you heard this summer are members of the Grammy-nominated Chicago Chamber Musicians, now in their 21st season. Considered “one of the indispensables of classical music in Chicago” by the Chicago Tribune, CCM offers free, noontime concerts on the first Monday of most months at the Chicago Cultural Center and the ensemble’s ticketed subscription series performs in Evanston and Chicago September – May. Special $15 tickets are available: just mention “Rush Hour” when you call (312) 225-5226. For more information about upcoming CCM concerts, please visit chicagochambermusic.org .

Dame Myra Hess Concerts

hess.pngThe Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert series provides free concerts 52 weeks a year, every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center. These concerts present talented young musicians early in their careers and are broadcast live on WFMT. The highlight of the series will be their 30th anniversary celebration at 12:15 p.m. on September 19 with a concert by the Vermeer Quartet in their final Chicago appearance before they disband.

Fulcrum Point New Music Project

Fulcrum Point New Music Project is “where popular culture collides with classical music and sparks fly.” Many of you heard their outstanding brass quintet here at RH in June – now hear the whole ensemble in their upcoming season, beginning with a multimedia performance presented as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival on October 27. Please pick up a season brochure on your way out for the opportunity to receive complimentary tickets to a Fulcrum Point concert. More information can be found at fulcrumpoint.org.

Finally, I hope you will stay in touch with us. Throughout the upcoming months, we will continue to post information, discussions, podcasts, and interviews on our website. Please visit us regularly to share your comments and thoughts, and learn of new RH developments.

I wish you all a happy and healthy “winter season” and look forward to seeing you all again next summer at Rush Hour!

–Deborah Sobol

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