I usually like to tie my writing together with neat bows, observations, and interesting anecdotes. Today, however, I wish only to thank you all for a wonderful season and your intense generosity over the month of August.

Just as Chicago traffic has two seasons, winter and construction, so do we have two seasons: production and planning. Being able to go into planning season secure in the support of our audience helps us to program concerts around artistic goals, rather than solely under the constraint of “can we afford it?” The 2009 season was a testament to the power of planning a season with the best artists and programs in mind. We thank you all for your role in bringing beautiful music into our lives, and look forward to seeing you again next summer.

– Megan Balderston
Executive Director

People say time flies when you’re having fun. This year has gone by faster than any of the previous ten! Thank you to ALL of you – audience, volunteers, staff, board, and supporters – for making this year so memorable. Artists new to Rush Hour this year have asked to be invited back again, so impressed were they with what they now call “the Rush Hour experience.” I am already very excited about the programming for next season, which will hold 14 concerts. The CSO cellists and friends are cooking up another multi-cello concert for June; Fifth House will be back with its exuberant energy; Trio Voce, the dynamic piano trio who brought us Ravel’s Piano Trio a few weeks ago, will be with us again; the Lincoln String Quartet will be joined by two guests in Brahms’ magnificent Sextet, Op. 18, No. 1. As always, we will have a combination of “cornerstone chamber music works” next to a few unknown works, unusual instrumental combinations, new music and…yes, even a bit of whimsy! And, of course, we will continue to aim to inspire and uplift you in your busy lives.

The “winter music season” will be starting up soon in our great city. There are brochures available here today of several wonderful series that I recommend to you to keep your appetites for great live music fed in our off-season. But we won’t go away completely: please visit us online here at rushhour.org and sign up for our e-newsletter that comes out regularly throughout the fall, winter and spring, with lots of interesting articles, news of RH off-season events, and my recommendations for good listening adventures around town. Thank you for a great summer!

When the ice and snow make their season visit to Chicago this year, just sit back and remember Tuesdays at St. James Cathedral: the light, the camaraderie, the receptions, and the music. It will be here soon again!

– Deborah Sobol
Artistic Director

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