Rush hour concert makes a comeback

Rush hour concert makes a comeback


norman lebrecht

May 05, 2015

It was Deborah Borda’s most brilliant innovation when she was running the New York Philharmonic Orchestra – a 45-minute 6.30pm concert, followed by drinks and snacks, that enabled city workers to sit out the tail-jams in comfort at Lincoln Center and get some social life before heading home on empty autoroutes. Other orchs copied it around the US, then forgot about it.

Now, two decades later, Zurich has copied the idea. Th Tonhalle announces it in a new programme this morning:



On three Thursdays (10.12.15 / 11.02./17.03.16) there will be the opportunity to escape the rush hour and spend the after-work hours at the Tonhalle. The new format TOZintermezzo presents an orchestral work performed by the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich under the guidance of Lionel Bringuier. Hazel Brugger kicks off the event with a poetry slam. Drinks and snacks will be served at the end of the approximately 45-minute concert, and the audience has the opportunity to meet all the performers.

Somehow, Zurich manages to dull it down.



  • Mark Pemberton says:

    Southbank Sinfonia have been doing this for years.

  • V.Lind says:

    The National Arts Centre in Ottawa has been doing “Casual Fridays” on a similar principle for several seasons, and continues. Difference is, they feed you first and start at 7:00.

  • Furzwaengler says:

    “Somehow, Zurich manages to dull it down.”

    You are so right, Mr Lebrecht. Zurich must be one of the dullest cities on the planet. Or maybe in our galaxy. I should know – I grew up there, and managed to escape it in my twenties. It makes one grateful to live somewhere like London (as I now do) or New York.

  • Marie says:

    We are beginning Sunset Concerts in the Gallery in Stuart, Florida, on the second Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m.–primarily featuring young talent in concerts of 45 minutes and offering refreshments within the current exhibition.

    I love the concept of expanding it into the community!