With Summer Near, 25th Annual Rush Hour Concerts Announced

By Keegan Morris |

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Chicago Harp Quartet musicians pose with their instruments

Chicago Harp Quartet

Classical Music Chicago has announced its lineup for summer 2024 Rush Hour Concerts. The series celebrates 25 years of bringing free, approachable concerts to River North’s Saint James Cathedral.

The summertime series’ free weekly 45-minute concerts allow the audience to enjoy fine musicmaking and skip a congested commute home. Those working from home, or not in the Chicago area, will be happy to hear that video for each concert also streams live on the CMC website.

The season opener takes place on June 4, 2024 with a pair of trios by Camille Pépin and Johannes Brahms featuring violinist Heather Wittels, cellist Paula Kosower, and pianist Kuang-Hao Huang. The opener is the summer’s annual concert dedicated to the memory of the series founder, Deborah Sobol.

Later in June, the series hosts the Chicago Harp Quartet and the CSO Brass Quintet plus the Grant Park Music Festival Vocal Fellows.

The Kontras Quartet will open the month of July with transcendent selections by Frederick C. Tillis, Stacy Garrop, and more. Explorations of 20th century string quartet repertoire, new music, clarinet quintets, and Romantic-era French piano quartets will come in subsequent weeks.

Two masterworks and a guest appearance highlight the season’s final three concerts. Starting off August is a performance of Schubert’s Trout Quintet featuring Desirée Ruhstrat, violin, Aurélien Fort Pederzoli, viola, David Cunliffe, cello, Sam Shuhan, bass, and Marta Aznavoorian, piano. On August 13, the Austrian Gumpoldskirchner Spatzen children’s chorus makes a stop in River North tour to perform American and German masterworks.

The season closes on August 20 with Mozart’s dazzling Gran Partita.

For more information on the Rush Hour Concerts, visit classicalmusicchicago.org. Classical Music Chicago presents the free weekly Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, which airs on WFMT on Wednesdays at 12:15 pm. For a schedule of upcoming concerts and broadcast, visit wfmt.com/hess.