Oct. 1 is the kickoff date for a special commemorative series of Library of Congress concerts, broadcasts, recordings and educational programs that will be presented in celebration of the 200th birthday of the Library of Congress, which occurs on April 24, 2000.
Taking its theme from a Walt Whitman poem, "I Hear America Singing," the three-year series encompasses classical and popular compositions, sacred and secular pieces, music from America's cities and songs from its heartland. Exploring the breadth and significance of American musical heritage from Colonial days to the end of the 20th century, the Bicentennial music project, "I Hear America Singing," will be presented by the Library's Music Division, which won the ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award for Adventuresome Programming in 1998.
The American Classical Music Hall of Fame named the Library's Music Division an institutional member in 1999. Its long-running internationally recognized chamber music series was initiated in 1925 by philanthropist Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. "Mrs. Coolidge was a visionary philanthropist who built the Library's renowned concert hall, the Coolidge Auditorium, and endowed a foundation to support our concert series and the creation of new compositions," said Jon Newsom, the Music Division's chief. "She was responsible for an extraordinary musical legacy that we honor today by continuing the distinguished performing and commissioning traditions she established in chamber music and dance."
The Martha Graham Dance Company will return to the Library of Congress in November for three performances of one of the most important Coolidge commissions, the classic 1944 Martha Graham-Aaron Copland ballet, Appalachian Spring. Through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Library will also present and document for its newly established Martha Graham Collection a program of major Graham works that also includes early works and solos, among them Heretic, Frontier and Deep Song.
World premieres of two Library of Congress commissions are slated for 1999-2000. San Francisco-based jazz composer and pianist Jon Jang will perform his composition for piano and erhu (Chinese violin), The Temple of a Drum, written in honor of drummer Max Roach; and violinist Rolf Schulte and pianist Alan Feinberg unveil Duo in Two Parts by Dina Koston, Washington composer and co-artistic director of the Theater Chamber Players.
Framing the season are two concerts that illuminate the rich Library of Congress holdings in the field of American musical theater: a concert by master song stylist Bobby Short and his Orchestra opens the series on Oct. 1, and a 70th birthday tribute to Stephen Sondheim closes the season on May 22.
For chamber music aficionados, season highlights include concerts by a quartet of superb string quartets, American, German and British: the Juilliard, the Hagen, the Artemis and the Eroica. Ensemble Sarband, called "the most original ensemble in early music" by Neue Musikzeitung, brings together musicians from Bulgaria, Lebanon, Germany and Turkey for Sefarad, a program tracing music of Sephardic Jews in the Mediterranean and the Ottoman Empire.
Concerto Italiano, with acclaimed conductor and harpsichordist Rinaldo Alessandrini, programs Monteverdi's Lamento D'Arianna, with contralto Sara Mingardo; the 22-person Concerto Köln offers Mendelssohn's String Symphony No. 9 and Mozart's Concerto for Piano and Strings, K. 414. And violinist and conductor Jaime Laredo celebrates the 40th anniversary of his Carnegie Hall debut in a special program of Bach and Mozart concertos with the Brandenburg Ensemble and the young American violinist Leila Josefowicz.
For further information about the Library of Congress concert series, call (202) 707-5502; or visit "Concerts from the Library of Congress" on the Library's Web site at www.loc.gov/rr/perform/concert.
Tickets are required for all Library of Congress concerts, and they will be distributed by TicketMaster, at (301) 808-6900 or (202) 432-SEAT, for a nominal service charge of $2 per ticket, with additional charges for phone orders and handling. Callers outside the Washington, Baltimore and Northern Virginia area may dial (800) 551-SEAT. Tickets are also available at TicketMaster outlets; for a complete list of outlets, call TicketMaster at (202) 432-SEAT or visit TicketMaster on the Web at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets will be available approximately five weeks before each concert. Please note one exception: the sale date for Bobby Short's Oct. 1 appearance was Aug. 30 and tickets may already be unavailable.
Tickets for Library of Congress events sell out quickly, but there are often empty seats at concert time. Patrons are encouraged to try for no-show tickets by appearing at the will-call desk by 6:30 p.m. on concerts nights. All concerts are presented in the Library's Coolidge Auditorium, located on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, First Street and Independence Avenue S.E.
1999-2000 Library of Congress Concert Season Calendar
Friday, Oct. 1
Bobby Short and His Orchestra. Songs both unknown and familiar by Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen and other popular songwriters. Ticket sale date: Aug. 30
Thursday-Friday, Oct. 7-8
The Juilliard String Quartet. Haydn: Quartet in C Major, op. 76, no. 3 "Emperor"; Webern: Six Bagatelles, op. 9; Stravinsky: Three Pieces for String Quartet; Beethoven: Quartet in A Minor, op. 132, Ticket sale date: Sept. 13
Friday, Oct. 29
Stephen Salters, Baritone. Winner of the 1999 Walter W. Naumburg Vocal Competition. Ticket sale date: Sept. 20
Saturday, Oct. 30
Da Camera of Houston (Coolidge Anniversary Concert). Ravel: Chansons Madé-casses, for mezzo-soprano, flute, cello and piano (Coolidge Foundation commission); Tsontakis: Heartsounds, for violin, viola, double-bass, piano; Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time. Ticket sale date: Sept. 20
Saturday, Nov. 13
The Beijing Trio. World premiere performance, "The Temple of a Drum," commissioned by the Library of Congress McKim Fund; Jon Jang, pianist-composer, JieBing Chen, erhu (Chinese violin), Max Roach, trapset drums. Ticket sale date: Oct. 4
Wednesday-Friday, Nov. 17-19
The Martha Graham Dance Company. Key works from the 1930s, including the legendary Heretic and Frontier, Deep Song and other solos. A dramatic staging of selected letters of the Graham-Copland correspondence for Appalachian Spring will precede the performance of this classic ballet. Ticket sale date: Oct. 11
Thursday, Dec. 2
The Eroica String Quartet. U.S. Debut concert: Mendelssohn: Quartet no. 1 in E-Flat Major, op. 12; Beethoven: Quartet in E-Flat Major, op. 74 "Harp"; Schumann: Quartet in A Major, op. 41, no. 3. Ticket sale date: Nov. 1
Friday, Dec. 3
The American Chamber Players. Miles Hoffman, artistic director. Schubert: Octet in F-Major, D. 803, with other works to be announced. Ticket sale date: Nov. 1
Friday, Dec. 10
The New York Festival of Song. Michael Barrett and Stephen Blier, co-artistic directors. The Great American Songwriting Teams. Ticket sale date: Nov. 8
Friday, Dec. 17
The Juilliard String Quartet. Program will include Mendelssohn's Quartet no. 3 in D Major, op. 44, no. 1, and Bartók's Quartet No. 2. Ticket sale date: Nov. 15
Mondays/Thursdays, Jan. 10-24
Jazz Film Series. Mary Pickford Theater, Madison Building, LM 302. Presented in cooperation with the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. For the screening schedule, visit the Web site at www.loc.gov/rr/perform/concert or call (202) 707-5677. No tickets required.
Thursday, Feb. 3
The Artemis Quartet. Mozart: Quartet in D Minor, K. 421; Ligeti: Quartet no. 2; Beethoven: Quartet in F Major, op. 135. Ticket sale date: Dec. 27
Wednesday, Feb. 9
Brandenburg Ensemble: Jaime Laredo, violin and viola; Leila Josefowicz, violin; and Reiko Uchida, piano. Music of J.S. Bach, Mozart and Zwilich. Ticket date: Jan. 3
Thursday-Friday, Feb. 24-25
The Juilliard String Quartet. Music of Mendelssohn, Shostakovich and Beethoven. Ticket sale date: Jan. 17
Friday, March 3
Ensemble Sarband. Sefarad: Music of Spanish Jews in the Mediterranean and the Ottoman Empire. Fadia el-Hage, voice; Ahmet Kadri Rizeli, kemenge, percussion; Ihsan Özer, kanun; Vladimir Ivanoff, percussion, oud and musical direction. Ticket sale date: Jan. 24
Friday, March 10
Rolf Schulte, violin; Alan Feinberg, piano; William Purvis, French horn. Dina Koston: Duo in Two Parts (commissioned by the McKim Fund in the Library of Congress); and music by Brahms, Ligeti and Bartók. Ticket sale date: Feb. 7
Friday, March 24
Concerto Köln. Period-instrument orchestra from Germany; with soloists Sylvie Kraus, violin, and Ludwig Semerjian, piano. Music of Dall'abaco, J. S. Bach, Mozart and Mendelssohn. Ticket date: Feb. 14
Friday, March 31
Concerto Italiano. Sara Mingardo, contralto; Rinaldo Alessandrini, conductor, harpsichord. Castello: Two Sonatas for Strings; Marini: Passacaglia for Strings; Monteverdi: Lamento d'Arianna; Farina: Capriccio Stravagante; Bononcini: Sinfonia da Chiesa; Pergolesi: Salve Regina; Legrenzi: Sonata from La Cetra; Corelli: Concerto Grosso, op. 6, no.4. Ticket sale date: Feb. 21
Friday, April 7
La Luna Ensemble for 17th Century Music. Sprezzatura: Virtuoso Variations, Sonatas and Fantasias. Ingrid Matthews and Scott Metcalfe, violins; Emily Walhout, viola da gamba, cello; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord,organ. Presented under the auspices of the Mae and Irving Jurow Fund. Ticket sale date: Feb. 28
Friday, April 21
Carter Brey, cello, and Christopher O'Riley, piano. Program to be announced. Ticket sale date: March 6
Thursday-Friday, April 27-28
The Beaux Arts Trio. Program to be announced. Ticket sale date: March 13
Monday, May 1
The Hagen Quartet. Ravel: Quartet in F Major; Webern: Five Pieces, Op. 5; Beethoven: Quartet in B-flat Major, op. 130. Ticket sale date: March 20
Thursday-Friday, May 11-12
The Juilliard String Quartet with Warren Jones, piano. Haydn: Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 64, No. 3; Sur: Berceuse, for violin and piano; Schumann: Piano Quintet. Ticket sale date: March 27
Friday, May 19
Robert Taub, piano. Haydn: Sonata in E-flat Major, Hob. XVI:52; Beethoven: Sonata in E Major, Op. 109; Babbitt: Canonic Forms. Ticket sale date: April 10
Monday, May 22
Stephen Sondheim Salute: 70th Birthday Celebration. Paul Gemigniani, Music Director. A special 70th birthday tribute to a titanic figure in the history of the American musical theater: a concert version of his rarely heard 1974 musical, The Frogs, based on the comedy by Aristophanes, and a selection of Sondheim's favorite songs by other writers, offered with the composer's personal commentary. Ticket sale date: April 17