By Andrew Patner
For Sun-Times Media
Rush Hour Concerts, the 15-year-old not-for-profit that fills the summer calendar with free weekly downtown classical music concerts and live radio broadcasts, has announced a new artistic director. Anthony Devroye, violist in the acclaimed Illinois-based Avalon String Quartet and associate professor at the Northern Illinois University School of Music in DeKalb, will take the artistic reins.
Devroye is no stranger to the popular series based at St. James Cathedral at 65 E. Huron just off North Michigan Avenue. He served this year as consulting artistic director to Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Brant Taylor, who has been interim artistic chief since the group’s founder Deborah Sobol’s death at age 63 in January. Pianist Kuang-Hao Huang will remain as associate artistic director focusing on Make Music Chicago, the annual citywide day of free and participatory performances each June 21, presented and coordinated by Rush Hour. Taylor will pick up Devroye’s consulting role and remain on the group’s board.
The announcements were made Tuesday at the last 2014 summer concert, which featured Third Coast Percussion and pianists Amy Briggs and Daniel Schlosberg in Steve Reich’s Sextet. Kitty Rothschild remains Rush Hour’s acting executive director.
In addition to its highly varied three months of Tuesday evening concerts, broadcast live over WFMT-FM (98.7), the organization engages in “transforming busy lives through great music” year-round with community engagement residencies providing musical instruction to under-resourced Chicago neighborhoods.