On Oct. 30, the Library of Congress will reopen its historic Coolidge Auditorium with a season of festivals honoring the centenary of the Music Division and celebrating its magnificent collections -- from music manuscripts and scores to rare instruments, artifacts, costumes and a wealth of memorabilia representing major figures in music, dance and theater.
Built in 1925 with funds donated by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, the 500-seat auditorium is considered one of the finest acoustic environments in the world. Now newly renovated and equipped with state-of-the-art sound recording and audiovisual systems, the auditorium will once again be home to the Library's series of concerts, which have been presented elsewhere since 1990.
In addition to concerts, plans are under way for a yearlong festival of exhibits, films, lectures and other public events that will demonstrate the extraordinary range of the Music Division's collections -- classical and popular music, jazz, American musical theater and dance.
"We will continue and strengthen our commitment to superb chamber music and to commissioning and presenting new works that reflect a broad spectrum of American music," said Jon Newsom, whose appointment as chief of the Music Division was confirmed in December 1996. "Our programming for the 1997-1998 season will illustrate our history and our interest, including a Music and Cinema Week, a Brahms and Schubert Festival, a violin summit with master classes and workshops, an evening of 19th century dance in the Library's Great Hall, and the opening of the George and Ira Gershwin Room," he added.
A calendar of events for the 1997-1998 season will be posted on the Music Division's home page for the concert series, beginning in April. The address of the home page is: http://www.loc.gov/rr/perform/concert/. Individual events will be listed monthly in the Library's "Calendar of Events," which is free of charge to persons living in the Washington metropolitan area; the calendar is also available through the Library's home page at http://www.loc.gov/.