Rush Hour Concert

It's not hard to plan a packed day during summers in Chicago, but even the most enjoyable of itineraries can have some gaps. Sometimes between your midday and evening plans a lull can pop up. That's where Rush Hour Concerts come in, every Tuesday starting today!

Founded in 2000, this free summer music series brings classical music to St. James Cathedral in River North (a quick walk from downtown's Magnificent Mile) every Tuesday. Join the artists at 5:15 p.m. for light snacks and beverages and then kick back and enjoy the music starting at 5:45 p.m. each week.

This summer's programming honors the 15th anniversary of Rush Hour Concerts and its founder Deborah Sobol's dedication to bringing free high quality concerts to Chicago's masses. Sobol passed away suddenly this past January but her spirit and love of classical music lives on. Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist and frequent RHC performer Brant Taylor takes over for Sobol as the 2014 season's Interim Artistic Director. Lucky for patrons of the live music series, the talent hasn't slipped in Sobol's tragic absence.

Arrangements from iconic composers like Brahms (June 10), Beethoven (July 22) and Mozart (July 29) dot this season's schedule. Additional highlights include an "Open Door Encore" presented by the Poetry Foundation featuring readings of original music set to music (August 5) and a special tribute to Rush Hour Concerts' late founder Deborah Sobol which will include back-to-back Bach performances and traditional Mexican music from Sones de Mexico Ensemble and New Chicago Brass (July 15).

Finally, Rush Hour Concerts continues its role as the primary force behind Make Music Chicago, returning for its fourth year. On June 21, the Summer Solstice and longest day of the year, artists of all musical backgrounds will gather at over 60 sites throughout the city (including Daley Plaza, Millennium Park and the Lincoln Park Zoo) to perform an entire day's worth of music.

These events are free every week and tickets are not required. Whether you're a visitor to Chicago, trying to pack in as much culture as you can or a local looking to switch up your after work plans, Rush Hour Concerts have become a summer highlight for music fans.