The Library of Congress presents a dazzling concert roster in its 82nd season, with 40 chamber music, jazz, country, pop, rock and roll, and world music events.
Unveiling a gallery of composer portraits, from Carlos Chávez and Silvestre Revueltas to Fred Hersch, the free series showcases new music across the American soundscape. Seven of the world’s leading chamber orchestras, period and contemporary, give concertgoers the chance to hear Haydn symphonies and Mozart concertos—plus contemporary works by composers like Harrison Birtwistle, Alfred Schnittke, Aphex Twin and The Shaggs—in the extraordinary acoustics of the Coolidge Auditorium. Wrapping up the season is a tapfest tribute to the famous American tapper William “Bojangles” Robinson.
October turns a spotlight on new composition, with two Library of Congress commissions kicking off the season. The Del Sol Quartet offers the world premiere performance of a work by Cambodian-American composer Chinary Ung, along with a conversation with the composer. Also, the Imani Winds unwrap Wayne Shorter’s “Terra Incognita,” commissioned by the Library of Congress, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, La Jolla Music Society and Da Camera of Houston. The New York-based new music group Alarm Will Sound, a 20-member ensemble with a virtuosic command of 20th century style, celebrates Founder’s Day at the Library on October 30.
Launching on Oct. 1, the distinguished “Concerts from the Library of Congress” radio series will return to the air nationwide. Bill McGlaughlin, creator of the Peabody Award-winning program “Saint Paul Sunday Morning,” is the host. Co-produced by the Library of Congress, CD Syndications and WETA-FM 90.9, the 13-part series invites listeners to enter the Library’s world-class concert hall and its vast music collections—an unmatched archive of more than 22 million items—with hour-long programs accompanied by companion Web packages.
Composer portraits are a central theme for the season. A weeklong mini-festival presents “Two Faces of Mexican Music: Carlos Chávez and Silvestre Revueltas Revisited,” with film screenings, a scholarly symposium and a trio of concerts by three critically acclaimed ensembles. The Post-Classical Ensemble, known for thoughtful and provocative programming, the Cuarteto Latinoamericano and Camerata Bariloche explore the work of conductor, composer and cultural missionary Chávez and his mercurial contemporary Revueltas. Project partners are the Library’s Music, Hispanic, and Rare Book and Special Collections divisions, along with the Mexican Cultural Institute and the National Gallery of Art.
The Library’s celebration of the MacDowell Colony Centennial (see Information Bulletin, March 2007) concludes with two concerts featuring composers who have been fellows at the artists’ colony, including Aaron Copland, Irving Fine, Amy Beach and Fred Hersch. A major exhibition, “A Century of Creativity: The MacDowell Colony 1907-2007,” can be viewed online at www.loc.gov/exhibits/macdowell/.
Other season highlights include a “West Side Story” 50th anniversary concert, a Johnny Cash tribute by Grammy Award winner Rosanne Cash and Mark O’Connor, and a not-to-be-missed trio of Europe’s most admired period instrument orchestras: France’s Ensemble Matheus, with mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore; Italy’s Europa Galante, conducted by violinist Fabio Biondi; and Denmark’s Concerto Copenhagen.
Founded in 1925 by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, the Library’s concert series is presented free of charge to the public but requires tickets for admission. Tickets are distributed by TicketMaster at (301) 808-6900, (410) 752-1200 and (703) 573-7328. Each ticket carries a nominal service charge of $2.75, with additional charges for phone orders and handling.
Tickets are also available at TicketMaster outlets and online at www.ticketmaster.com. Although the supply of tickets may be exhausted, there are often empty seats at concert time. Interested patrons are encouraged to come to the Library by 6:30 p.m. on concert nights to wait in the standby line for no-show tickets.
For a complete schedule of the 2007-2008 concert season, visit www.loc.gov/rr/perform/concert/0708-schedule.html.