Article Beyond the Auditorium: Broadcasts and Recordings (LC Concerts)

Image of Coolidge Auditorium
The Juilliard String Quartet on the stage of the Coolidge Auditorium, [n.d.]

The oldest chamber music broadcast in the United States originated in the Music Division's Coolidge Auditorium, with the first live, national program on April 24, 1933. Broadcasts were established to Canada and Latin America by the early 1940s, and gradually expanded to other international sites. Weekly broadcasts began with the 1948 concert season and eventually were distributed via satellite to many American cities as well as listeners worldwide.

Regular broadcasts of Coolidge Auditorium concerts have ceased, but the music lives on through broadcasts of the archival concerts by radio stations across the country and abroad. These broadcasts, often featuring music that has made history, reach millions of listeners.

Some concerts from the Coolidge Auditorium have been released on a series of recordings. Chamber Music from the Library of Congress, distributed by Koch International, offers performances by the American Chamber Players, featured in summer chamber music festivals in the Coolidge Auditorium during the 1990s. Classic Performances spotlights performances by renowned artists from the Music Division's concert archives. Our Musical Past reissues American orchestral music, originally released by the Society for the Preservation of the American Musical Heritage, and now available from Bridge Records. The Leonore Gershwin/Library of Congress Recording and Publishing Project has issued a series of vintage musicals by George and Ira Gershwin, that were carefully restored using original sources from the Division's collections.

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