Traffic Can Wait: Slow Down for Rush Hour Concerts in Downtown Chicago

Hate stop and go traffic? Then stop entirely and listen to some beautiful music. For the sixteenth year Rush Hour Concerts helps you wind down instead of getting wound up with free Tuesday concerts at St. James Cathedral.

The series focuses on chamber music, and this year’s repertoire takes you from its past through its present and on into its future. The season opens with the CSO’s principal trumpet Christopher Martin and concert organist Nathan Laube performing Petr Eben’s Okna. Highlights from the upcoming season include a memorial concert to honor Rush Hour Concerts’ late founder Deborah Sobol, “Lyric Shorts” featuring talented singers from the Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center and a season finale performance featuring musicians from some of Chicago’s most renowned orchestras including  the Lyric Opera Orchestra, Grant Park Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, Illinois Philharmonic and more.

The entire schedule for this free concert series in downtown Chicago follows:

Rush Hour Concerts 2015 Summer Concert Series

June 2:             Season Opener

June 9              Deborah Sobol Memorial Concert

  • Program:          Johannes Brahms: Piano Trio in B Major, op. 8
  • Artists:              Civitas Ensemble

June 16            Here and Now I

June 21            Make Music Chicago

Presented by Rush Hour Concerts, Make Music Chicago is a one-day, city-wide, free music festival taking place annually on the Summer Solstice. Make Music Chicago is completely free for musicians and audiences alike and no tickets are required. Festival highlights include a “Sousapalooza” play-along for band instrumentalists; the Rise and Shine Orchestra which invites amateur players to play alongside Chicago Symphony Orchestra members; a Father’s Day Solstice Sing-Along event synchronized across Chicago through a specialized smart phone app; mobile piano karaoke and more!

June 23            Baroque Arias and Ensembles

  • Program:          Music of George Frideric Handel, Jean-Baptiste Lully and Alessandro Stradella
  • Artists:              Haymarket Opera

June 30            Brass Through the Ages          

  • Program:          Jacob Druckman: Dance With Shadows, Patrice Caratini: Passages
  • Artists:              Axiom Brass Ensemble

July 7               Ravinia in Chicago

July 14             Here and Now 2 – A Spektral Sampler Pack

  • Program:          Arvo Pärt: Fratres, David Reminick: Ancestral Mousetrap
  • Artists:              Spektral Quartet

July 21             Viennese Romanticism

  • Program:          Richard Strauss: Cello Sonata, Op. 5
  • Artists:              Brant Taylor (cello) and Kuang-Hao Huang (piano)

July 28             Spanish Dances

  • Program:          Joaquin Turina: Piano Trio No. 1; Enrique Fernández Arbós: Seguidilla
  • Artists:              Trio Voce

August 4          Lyric Shorts

August 11         Beethoven Quartets

  • Program:          Ludwig van Beethoven: Op. 14, No. 1 (arr.) and Op. 133 “Grosse Fuge
  • Artists:              Avalon String Quartet  

August 18         Here and Now 3

August 25         Season Finale

St. James Cathedral is located at 65 E. Huron St. For more information on this series visit

Photo credit: swimfinfan






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