Great Music for Busy Lives.

What We Do

Founded in 2000 to create free public access to high-quality music, Rush Hour Concerts (RHC) is committed to advancing new ideas and ways of experiencing music in Chicago through these grounding principles:

  • Uncompromising artistic quality: Presenting world-class musicians and dynamic repertoire
  • Unique concert formats: Engaging listeners with short programs in easy-access locations
  • Universal access: Providing all programs admission–free

For the past 17 years, RHC has created groundbreaking programs and access to initiatives that have revolutionized music-making in Chicago. Currently, Rush Hour Concerts has three pillars:

Summer Concert Series

Great Music for Busy Lives

Rush Hour Concerts has delighted audiences since 2000 with its innovative Summer Concert Series at historic St. James Cathedral. Each Tuesday evening from June through August, listeners of all ages enjoy a half-hour concert of chamber music masterworks performed by world-class artists – as well as a half-hour pre-concert reception with the performers – for FREE.

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Make Music Chicago

The Annual Global Phenomenon on June 21

Rush Hour Concerts presents Make Music Chicago, an annual daylong, citywide celebration of everyone’s ability to make music. Beginners, amateurs, professionals, and internationally acclaimed artists gather to play free, live music in neighborhoods across the city. As part of the global Fête de la Musique, Make Music Chicago joins celebrations in 700 cities as part of the world’s largest musical event.

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Community Engagement Residencies

Redefining the Boundaries of Traditional Arts Education

Rush Hour Concerts creates customized, educational residency programs. Initiated in two Chicago communities, these inspiring residencies emphasize collaboration between world-renowned artists and ensembles and neighborhood institutions. Rush Hour Concerts continues to celebrate community while providing musical instruction and enriching lives.

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