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Deborah Sobol Remembered
Deborah Sobol Remembered

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Deborah Sobol. Founder of Rush Hour Concerts, Co-Founder of the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and dear friend of Cedille, we will miss Deborah for her warmth, generosity of spirit, and dedication. A pillar of the Chicago arts community, Debbie performed on two Cedille releases, Songs of a Romantic Age and David Diamond Chamber Music. She will be greatly missed.

You may read more about her great life here. Visit the Rush Hour Concerts and Chicago Chamber Musicians’ tribute pages with remembrances of Debbie.

Deborah Sobol’s 40-year career evolved into three distinctive areas: concert performance, arts advocacy and community building. She conceived out-of-the-box programs and organizations to create community through music and to redefine the ways in which music was traditionally presented.

In 1986, Debbie co-founded The Chicago Chamber Musicians, introducing to Chicago the then-unique concept of a mixed chamber ensemble of internationally recognized artists. Under her leadership, she brought the new organization to a place of critical acclaim in Chicago among traditional concertgoers and new audiences alike. Ms. Sobol’s leadership laid the groundwork for the national reputation the organization enjoys today. She was instrumental in developing CCM’s Professional Development Fellowship Program for young musicians and its outreach programs to Chicago Public Schools and senior centers. She was a sought-after lecturer on career development topics at colleges and universities and provided a series of intensive seminars to help students meet their professional development goals. She was named a Member Emerita of the CCM ensemble.

In 2000, Debbie established the nationally recognized Rush Hour Concerts, a free summer-long series of “great music for busy lives” in downtown Chicago. She joined the faculty of the Chicago College of Performing Arts in 2009, having previously held faculty posts in piano and chamber music at the Longy School of Music and Northwestern University School of Music.

She enjoyed both a solo and chamber music career as a concert pianist, partnering in international venues with artists Her articles on music and the piano have appeared in Clavier magazine and London’s Piano Journal. She also served as an adjudicator for the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute, and the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe’s Intercollegiate Piano Competition.

Deborah Sobol graduated magna cum laude from Smith College and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. She received her Diploma in Klavier Konzertfach from the Hochschule fuer Musik in Vienna, and her pedagogy degree at London’s Royal College of Music.