When visionary pianist and impresario Deborah Sobol founded Rush Hour Concerts, she brought the needs of artist and audience together in a welcoming concert format that has since been adopted by orchestras and series nationwide. Offering an alternative to battling Chicago’s brutal evening commute, these performances are in easy-access locations. They provide a short dip into culture and an opportunity to connect during pre-concert receptions, all available free to hundreds of listeners each week. Over the last 16 years, Rush Hour’s thoughtfully curated programs present musicians from Chicago’s top-flight organizations, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera, and has also served as a launching pad for home-grown ensembles including Third Coast Percussion, Fifth House Ensemble, Spektral Quartet and more. Rush Hour also presents Make Music Chicago on June 21 each year, an annual citywide celebration of music that includes free performances in neighborhoods across the city by beginners, amateurs, professionals and internationally acclaimed artists.