Collaboration makes me happy. If something is going well, I like to see how others’ ideas might make it better. So it is with our ongoing collaborations with the consulates in Chicago and with musicians of diverse backgrounds.

There is nothing more precious to a country’s cultural legacy than its artistic traditions. It means a great deal to Rush Hour to preserve the legacy of chamber music performed as it was meant to be: for a smaller audience, in innovative ways, in a shared “neighborhood of minds,” as one of Rush Hour’s dear poetic friends calls it. That’s why our “Swiss Originals” program fits the chamber music mold beautifully. This program successfully juxtaposes the old with the new (organ and saxophone, classical and blues) in form and format.

Our Swiss artists Stephan Grieder and Sam Burckhardt bridge the artistic and cultural traditions of Switzerland with those in the United States. It gives our audiences the opportunity to hear something new: a combination of instruments, composition, and a shared sense of the commonality that ties us all together in our global neighborhood. Swiss cultural life is likewise a fascinating combination of longstanding cultural traditions and global progressiveness. Switzerland’s four national languages remind me of the many “dialects” of music—and you will hear several of the artists’ native musical languages in the concert.

During this Rush Hour concert we celebrate the culture of Switzerland, the spirit of collaboration, and our new and continuing friendships with our audiences and sponsors. Partnerships of this sort remind me of the beauty of Rush Hour. We are working behind the scenes all year to make sure that our audiences have a rich cultural tradition to enjoy—and your ideas, your enthusiasm, and your joy give our neighborhood of minds a beautiful home.

Megan Balderston
Executive Director

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