August 4, 2015 Nine New Commissions to be Performed in 90th Anniversary Season of "Concerts from the Library of Congress"
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To commemorate 90 years of concerts at the Library, the 2015-2016 season of “Concerts from the Library of Congress” is packed with more than 90 events featuring top-tier ensembles and performers from the Americas, Europe and Asia. Guests will also enjoy lectures by distinguished visiting speakers and Library of Congress curators; film screenings; music workshops and special explorations of rarely seen performing-arts treasures. The season’s first performance, on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 8 p.m., will feature the new-music ensemble yarn|wire, fresh off a major performance at the Lincoln Center Festival.
The centerpiece of the season is the “Martha Graham at the Library” Festival, April 1 and 2, which includes performances of Library of Congress dance commissions by the Martha Graham Dance Company. The troupe will perform “Appalachian Spring,” which it premiered in the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium on Oct. 30, 1944. The company will also perform Samuel Barber’s “Cave of the Heart,” excerpts from Carlos Chávez’s “Dark Meadow,” and a new dance work set to the music of Irving Fine, who attended the premiere of “Appalachian Spring,” choreographed by Pontus Lidberg. With lectures and films, the festival will explore the work of designer and artist Isamu Noguchi, who collaborated with Martha Graham on Library of Congress-commissioned works.
The Paris-based Ensemble Intercontemporain, led by Matthias Pintscher, will make its Washington, D.C. debut Nov. 13 as part of a mini-series of concerts, lectures and film titled “France à la Bibliothèque,” Nov. 10-17, that addresses the impact of French musical culture on the United States. Other highlights include an all-star roster of vocal and chamber artists and ensembles throughout the season. The Borromeo String Quartet performs the complete Bartók quartets on the Library’s Stradivari instruments. Period ensembles such as the Handel and Haydn Society, Bach Collegium Japan and Apollo’s Fire bring the best of historically-informed performance to the Library. Pianist Yefim Bronfman plays the Prokofiev “War Sonatas” and Musicians from Marlboro present two intimate chamber concerts, presented in collaboration with the Bill and Mary Meyer Concert Series of the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries. Vocal stars Anne Sofie von Otter and Nicholas Phan present eclectic recitals of repertoire that ranges from Simon and Garfunkel to Schumann’s song cycle “Dichterliebe.” Founder’s Day weekend, which commemorates Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge’s role as the founding patron of the Library’s concert series, juxtaposes her passion for early and new music, with performances by Meredith Monk and Pomerium.
In celebration of the Library’s storied history as a commissioner of new works (now totaling nearly 600) the 2015-2016 season features the premieres of nine new commissions. These include new works by Michael Hersch (performed by members of the ATOS Trio), Paul Lansky (by WindSync), Hannah Lash (by Ensemble Intercontemporain), Matthias Pintscher (by Ensemble Intercontemporain), Gabriela Lena Frank (by the Handel and Haydn Society), Brian Ferneyhough (by the Talea Ensemble), Maria Schneider (by the Maria Schneider Orchestra), Frederic Rzewski (by Jennifer Koh and Benjamin Hochman), and a new dance work choreographed by Pontus Lidberg (performed by the Martha Graham Dance Company).
“Concerts from the Library of Congress” has joined forces with the Reva and David Logan Foundation to present three new jazz residencies. Bandleader and composer Maria Schneider, South African pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim, and jazz critic Dan Morgenstern will delve into the Library’s jazz collections and present their findings in performances and public interviews. Also in jazz, Afro-Cuban drumming phenomenon Pedrito Martinez will close the season with a rousing performance by The Pedrito Martinez Group.
The season will be studded with special lectures, panels, interviews and conversations with performers, composers and scholars. The Technofiles series and High Noon Curator Lecture series continue with thought-provoking insights from industry and Library experts. Author Ted Gioia lectures on “Love Songs” the week of Valentine’s Day. The popular #DECLASSIFIED series returns, on these subjects: “Portrait of Beethoven”; “Schnabel Without Applause: Artur Schnabel as Composer and Editor”; “Oct. 30, 1944: Witness to the World Premiere of ‘Appalachian Spring’”; and “Fly Space 2: Beyond the Backdrop.”
The “Concerts from the Library of Congress” series is made possible through the generous support of endowments given to the Library by private donors. The series is presented free of charge to the public but requires tickets for admission. Beginning this season, tickets for “Concerts from the Library of Congress” events will be distributed through Eventbrite, eliminating ticket processing and service charges. Tickets may be accessed via www.loc.gov/concerts/ or via the free Eventbrite mobile app for iOS or Android devices (Eventbrite.com). Tickets are not required to attend pre-concert presentations or weekday daytime programs.
Starting on Sept. 2, 2015, patrons can order tickets for any events or films from September through December. Starting on Jan. 6, 2016, patrons may order tickets for events or films scheduled between January and May. A special ticketing policy will apply to select programs.
“Concerts from the Library of Congress” 2015-2016
Unless otherwise noted, all events and concerts will be held at 8 p.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium located on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street, S.E., Washington, D.C. Pre-concert presentations will be at 6:30 p.m. in the Whittall Pavilion unless otherwise noted. All programs are subject to change without notice.
Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015
Dubbed “mesmerizing” by the New York Times, this bold quartet of two pianists and two percussionists explores intriguing repertoire by 20th-century master composer Luciano Berio, as well as works by some ingenious contemporary composers. Yarn/wire will perform Berio: “Linea”; Murail: “Travel Notes” (Washington, D.C. Premiere); Mochizuki: “Le monde des ronds et des carrés” (Washington, D.C. premiere); Mincek: “Pendulum VI”; and Franszon: “Negotiation of Context B.” Pre-concert lecture: Concerts from the Library of Congress at 90: The staff unwraps a stunning season overview.
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, 7 p.m., Montpelier Room, James Madison Building
American Musicological Society Lecture
Ryan Raul Bañagale, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Music, Colorado College on “The Ongoing Composition of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’.” Presented in association with the American Musicological Society.
Friday, Oct. 16, 2015
Germany’s acclaimed ATOS Trio brings impeccable musicianship and an exploratory edge to its renditions of piano trios old and new. The strings are featured in the premiere of a new Library of Congress commission by composer Michael Hersch. Program: L. Kirchner: Trio (1954); Hersch: “Carrion-Miles to Purgatory: Thirteen Pieces after Texts of Robert Lowell” (World Premiere); Bloch: “Three Nocturnes”; Beethoven: Piano Trio in B-flat major, op. 97 (“Archduke”). Presented in association with the Embassy of Germany. Pre-concert Conversation: Michael Hersch and Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D, Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, 2 p.m.
Nicholas Phan, tenor and Myra Huang, piano
Tenor Nicholas Phan continues to distinguish himself in opera, symphonic and chamber music and the intimate realm of the recital. Performing with pianist Myra Huang, Phan offers a program pairing major cycles by Schumann and Britten with songs by American composers Ned Rorem and Paul Bowles. Program: Schumann: “Dichterliebe,” op. 48 (“A Poet’s Love”); Britten: “Winter Words”; works by Ned Rorem; works by Paul Bowles.
Monday, Oct. 19, 2015
The Music of Marvin Hamlisch: Capathia Jenkins, Lindsay Mendez, Ted Sperling
American composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch had a prolific career from Broadway and the concert hall to Tinseltown. This dazzling evening celebrates his legacy and the arrival of the Hamlisch collection at the Library of Congress. Recognized with the Pulitzer Prize, three Oscars®, four GRAMMYs®, four Emmys, three Golden Globes and a Tony, Hamlisch’s music exudes lyric and melodic ingenuity. Broadway Stars Lindsay Mendez (“Wicked,” “Godspell,” “Grease”) and Capathia Jenkins (“Caroline, or Change”, “The Civil War”, “Newsies”, “Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me”) join Hamlisch’s friend and music director Ted Sperling for an unforgettable night.
Friday, Oct. 23, 2015
Pavel Haas Quartet
The Library has long been a destination for the world’s great string quartets. Leading off this season’s lineup is the Pavel Haas Quartet, known for bold, compelling performances. Its rich sound embodies what “Gramophone” defines as “the best qualities of the Czech tradition—warmth, sonorousness, individuality, intensity… .” Program: Martinů: String Quartet No. 3, H. 183; Dvořák: String Quartet in D minor, op. 34 and String Quartet in F major, op. 96 (“American”). Pre-concert lecture: Michael Beckerman, Ph.D, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music & Collegiate Professor of Music, New York University.
Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015
The vibrant musicians of WindSync are on a fast trajectory to the top of the chamber-music circuit. Its programs frequently feature the premieres of new works, such as Paul Lansky’s “The Long and Short of it,” commissioned by the Library. Program: Reicha: Quintet in E-flat, op. 88, No. 2; Mozart: “Adagio” from the Serenade in B-flat major, K. 361 (“Gran Partita”), arr. WindSync; Lansky: “The Long and Short of it” for wind quintet (World Premiere); Barber: “Summer Music,” op. 31; Adam Schoenberg: “Winter Music”; Maslanka: “Chaconne,” from Quintet for Winds No. 2. Pre-concert conversation with Paul Lansky and the artists.
Founder’s Day Weekend (Oct. 30-31, 2015)
Honoring Music Division benefactor Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge
Friday, Oct. 30, 2015
Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble
Called “a magician of the voice” by the New York Times and “one of America’s coolest composers” by Time Out New York, the visionary artist Meredith Monk creates works that expand the boundaries of musical composition, using the voice as an instrument in sonic landscapes that unearth feelings, energies and memories for which there are no words. In this concert Monk and her acclaimed vocal ensemble illustrate her range as a composer, and her engagement with performance as a vehicle for spiritual transformation. Program: works by Monk. Pre-concert panel discussion: “A Leading Role: Women in the Music World,” featuring Chairman Jane Chu, National Endowment for the Arts, President and CEO Margaret Lioi of Chamber Music America and Astrid Schween, cellist, Juilliard String Quartet. There will be a “Nightcap Conversation” with Meredith Monk following the performance.
Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, 2 p.m.
Pomerium, Alexander Blachly, director
Pomerium takes its inspiration from the renowned chapel choirs of the Renaissance, reviving the golden age of a cappella singing. “Marvels of blend, interplay, clarity and enunciation” characterize the concerts of this esteemed 15-voice ensemble. The group will present pieces drawn from the Library’s impressive holdings of early printed scores. Program: Desprez: “Benedicta es, caelorum regina,” “Agnus Dei” from “Missa Malheur me bat,” “Praeter rerum serium,” “Gloria” and “Agnus Dei” from “Missa L’homme arme sexti toni,”; Ockeghem: “Introitus,” from the “Requiem”; Palestrina: “Gloria,” from “Missa sine nomine”; Lassus: “Regina coeli,” “Ave verum corpus”; A. Gabrieli: “O sacrum convivium”; Victoria: “Vexilla regis prodeunt”; G. Gabrieli: “Exultavit cor meum.” Pre-concert lecture: Marjorie Short, filmmaker and creator of “The Great Lady of Music: Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge” joins Robin Rausch and Caitlin Miller, Music Division, for a discussion, “Coolidge Uncut: Curators Talk Coolidge” and talk about the new exhibit “Chamber Music: The Life and Legacy of Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge.”
Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015
Bach Collegium Japan
Joanne Lunn, soprano; Masaaki Suzuki, conductor and artistic director; Masamitsu San’Nomiya, oboe; Guy Ferber, trumpet
Bach guru Masaaki Suzuki brings his critically acclaimed Bach Collegium Japan to the Library for a mixed program of works by J.S. Bach, Vivaldi and Handel. Soprano Joanne Lunn joins in the Handel Gloria and Bach Cantata BWV 51 to share her voice, dubbed “ravishing” by The Guardian. Program: J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047, Sonata for flute in E minor, BWV 1034, and Cantata BWV 51, “Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!”; Vivaldi: Concerto in C major for recorder, strings and continuo, RV 443 and Oboe Concerto in C major, RV 450; Handel: Gloria in B-flat major, HWV deest. Presented in association with the Embassy of Japan. Pre-concert lecture: Michael Turpin, recording engineer, Music Division on “An Archive of Legendary Performances: Recording the Library’s Concerts.” There will be a “Nightcap Conversation” with Masaaki Suzuki following the performance.
Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, 2 p.m.
Michelangelo String Quartet
Characterized by virtuosity, musicality and intensity of feeling, the Michelangelo String Quartet was formed in 2002 by artists already distinguished as both soloists and chamber musicians. Usually found in such venues as the Concertgebouw, the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, or Zürich’s Tonhalle, for this rare U.S. tour, the quartet offers a program centered on Shostakovich’s dramatic Third Quartet. Program: J. Haydn: Quartet in G major, op. 77, No. 1, H.III: 81; Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 3 in F major, op. 73; Beethoven: String Quartet in F major, op. 59, No. 1 (“Razumovsky”).
Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, 7 p.m., Montpelier Room, James Madison Building
Lecture: “Berlioz, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Charles Munch”
D. Kern Holoman, Ph.D, Distinguished Professor of Music (Emeritus), University of California at Davis; Conductor Emeritus, U.C. Davis Symphony Orchestra. This lecture is part of the “France à la Bibliothèque” mini-series.
Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, 7 p.m., Mary Pickford Theater, James Madison Building
Film Screening: Pierre Boulez and The Lucerne Festival Academy: Inheriting the Future of Music (2009)
A film by Günther Atteln and Angelika Stiehler, featuring music by Stravinsky, Boulez, Adamek and Stockhausen, plus concert excerpts from the Lucerne Summer Festival 2009: Debussy: “Jeux,” Boulez: “Notations I-IV, VII,” and “Répons.” This screening is part of the “France à la Bibliothèque” mini-series.
Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, 7:30 p.m., Coolidge Auditorium
Matthias Pintscher, music director; Dimitri Vassilakis, piano; Éric-Maria Couturier, cello; Hidéki Nagano, piano; Diégo Tosi, violin
Since its foundation by Pierre Boulez in 1976, Ensemble Intercontemporain has been dedicated to new music and 20th-century repertoire. A group of 31 core soloists make up the ensemble’s roster, and under the direction of composer/conductor Matthias Pintscher they will perform a special collection of masterworks by Varèse, Berg and Ligeti. As a bonus, two recently composed pieces of chamber music will also be featured; the world premiere of a new work for violin and piano by composer Hannah Lash, commissioned by the Library, and a Library co-commission for solo cello by Pintscher, presented as part of the triptych “Profiles of Light” for the first time in the United States. Program: Lash: New work for violin and piano (World Premiere); Varèse: “Octandre”; Pintscher: “Profiles of Light” (U.S. Premiere); Ligeti: Chamber Concerto for 13 instrumentalists; Berg: Chamber Concerto for piano, violin and 13 winds. There will be a pre-concert conversation with Directeur Général Hervé Boutry of the Ensemble Intercontemporain and Matthias Pintscher at 6 p.m. in the Whittall Pavilion.
Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, 10 a.m., Coolidge Auditorium
Contemporary Music Workshop with Ensemble Intercontemporain
Members of Ensemble Intercontemporain lead a workshop on performing and interpreting contemporary music for musicians and the general public.
This workshop is part of the “France à la Bibliothèque” mini-series.
Saturday Nov. 14, 2015, 2 p.m., Mary Pickford Theater, James Madison Building
Film Screening: Pierre Boulez “Éclat” and “Sur Incises” (2015)
Performances of “Éclat,” directed by Frank Scheffer, and “Sur Incises,” part of “Emotion and Analysis,” directed by Andy Sommer and written by Hélène Jarry and Andy Sommer. This screening is part of the “France à la Bibliothèque” mini-series.
Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, 7 p.m., Montpelier Room, James Madison Building
Lecture: “Debussy’s Fascination with the Exotic—from China to Spain”
Marie Rolf, Ph.D, Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of Music Theory, Eastman School of Music. This lecture is part of the “France à la Bibliothèque” mini-series.
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015
Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano; Jonathan Cohen, organ/harpsichord; Thomas Dunford, lute/theorbo
A radiant voice, elegant musicianship and adventurous programs—from works by Gustav Mahler and Peter Eötös to Elvis Costello and Brad Mehldau—have won Swedish mezzo Anne Sofie von Otter a large and growing fan base worldwide. She will perform with French lutenist Thomas Dunford and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Cohen. Program: Works by Charpentier, Dowland, Lambert, Monteverdi, Pärt, Purcell (Selections from “King Arthur”) and Simon and Garfunkel. Pre-concert lecture with James Wintle, Music Division on “Strike the viol, touch the lute: early Baroque song at the Library of Congress.” There will be a “Nightcap Conversation” with the artists following the performance. This concert is part of the “France à la Bibliothèque” mini-series.
Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015
Apollo’s Fire, Jeanette Sorrell, artistic director; Amanda Forsythe, soprano
Cleveland-based baroque group Apollo’s Fire offers a program the London Telegraph termed one the “Best Five Musical Moments” of the season. Under the direction of Jeannette Sorrell, soprano Amanda Forsythe offers a rich musical bouquet, including Sorrell’s arrangement of Vivaldi’s version of “La Folia.” Program: Vivaldi/Sorell: Concerto grosso in D major (adapted from RV 511), Concerto grosso “La folia” (adapted from RV 63); Vivaldi: Concerto in A minor for two violins, op. 3, No. 8, RV 522, Concerto in G minor for two cellos, RV 531; Handel: “Entrée” and “Chaconne” from “Terpsicore,” HWV 8c, “Il primo ardor” from “Ariodante,” “Tornami a vagheggiar” from “Alcina,” Piangerò la sorte mia” and “Da tempeste il legno infranto” from “Giulio Cesare.”
Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, 7 p.m., Montpelier Room, James Madison Building
Book Talk: “Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll”
Peter Guralnick, author.
Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, 12 p.m., Whittall Pavilion
Lecture: “Fritz Kreisler’s Violin and the Piano Version of the Sibelius Violin Concerto”
Jani Lehtonen, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Presented in association with the Embassy of Finland and the Library of Congress European Division. Free, no tickets required.
Dan Morgenstern Residency
December 3-10, 2015 and April 15-22, 2016
Presented in association with the Reva and David Logan Foundation
Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, 7 p.m., Montpelier Room, James Madison Building
Lecture: “Louis and Lil: A Couple Making Musical History”
An NEA Jazz Master and Director Emeritus of the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies, Dan Morgenstern comes to the Library as part of its new Jazz Scholars program, made possible by the Reva and David Logan Foundation. Morgenstern, previously editor of DownBeat magazine, is an eight-time GRAMMY® Award-winner for liner notes, and author of “Living with Jazz.” Over the course of his two-week residency, Morgenstern will discuss the meeting in King Oliver’s band of Louis Armstrong and his second wife, Lil Hardin Armstrong. Individually and together, Louis and Lil created an impressive body of music, which is preserved on recordings and in manuscript deposits held in the Library’s Music Division collections.
Friday, Dec. 11, 2015
Eric Ruske, horn; Jennifer Frautschi, violin; Gloria Chien, piano
Acclaimed horn player Eric Ruske comes to the Library for an eclectic program with violinist Jennifer Frautschi and pianist Gloria Chien. Once the associate principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra and a member of the Empire Brass, Ruske was inducted into the Illinois Hall of Fame in 2007 with Miles Davis and Richard Pryor. Chien is a member of the Chamber Music Society Two ensemble at Lincoln Center and has appeared at the Verbier Festival, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and at the Phillips Collection. Frautschi is a two-time GRAMMY® nominee and recipient of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Program: Hindemith: Sonata for Alto Horn and Piano; Ligeti: Trio; Persichetti: “Parable VIII” for solo horn, op. 120; Brahms: Trio in E-flat major, op. 40. Pre-concert lecture: Nicholas Alexander Brown, Music Division on “Contemporary Music for Horn.”
Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Stradivari Anniversary Concert
Borromeo String Quartet
Described as “the quintessentially American quartet,” the trailblazing Borromeo is Ensemble-in-Residence at New England Conservatory and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. A recent focus in the group’s intensive study of composers’ manuscripts is a concentration on the six magisterial quartets of Béla Bartók, including the Fifth Quartet, a landmark Library of Congress Coolidge Foundation commission. Join us for this unique event—a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear all six Bartók quartets on the Library’s Strads. Pre-concert lecture (6 p.m.): Nicholas Kitchen of the Borromeo String Quartet on “Bartόk: Paths Not Taken.”
Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, 2 p.m.
Alban Gerhardt, cello and Anne-Marie McDermott, piano
Two towering musicians join forces for a unique selection of great works for cello and piano. Including a wide range of 20th-century works, their program features original sonatas by Barber and Britten alongside a sprinkling of American vignettes that display the varied richness of the cello and piano repertoire. Program: Barber: Cello Sonata, op. 6; Foss: “Capriccio”; Bernstein: “Three Meditations” from “Mass”; Britten: Cello Sonata in C major for cello and piano, op. 65; Gershwin/Heifetz/Gerhardt: “Three Preludes”; Piazzolla: “Le Grand Tango.” There will be a “Nightcap Conversation” with the artists following the performance.
Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016
Musicians from Marlboro
Anthony McGill, clarinet; Emilie-Anne Gendron, violin; David McCarroll, violin; Daniel Kim, viola; Marcy Rosen, cello
This season, two “Musicians from Marlboro” concerts make a bow to the Library’s long relationship with the Marlboro Festival and its founders, recalling concerts performed here by Adolph Busch, Rudolf Serkin, Marcel Moyse and others. This program spotlighting New York Philharmonic principal clarinetist Anthony McGill is built around Krysztof Penderecki’s 1993 Quartet for clarinet and string trio. Meditative and nostalgic, with a final movement marked “Abschied” (“Farewell”) the work summons faint echoes of Vienna. The closing work is the autumnal Brahms Clarinet Quintet. Program: Beethoven: String Trio in C minor, op. 9, No. 3; Penderecki: Quartet for clarinet and string trio; Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor, op. 115. Pre-Concert Conversation with Michael Wilpers, Performing Arts programmer for the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries. Presented in association with the Bill and Mary Meyer Concert Series of the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries, commemorating the first Washington concerts presented by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge on behalf of the Library of Congress, at the Freer Gallery on Feb. 7, 8, and 9, 1924.
Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, 7 p.m., Montpelier Room, James Madison Building
Technofiles: The Printed Instrument
A panel of experts captures the latest knowledge on 3-D printing concepts and processes, and the startling paths they open to create the means of musical performance. A demonstration of Eric Goldemberg’s new 3-D printer-created guitar—by Scott F. Hall—follows the discussion. Speakers: Andrew Wheeler, guitarist and freelance journalist; Robert Howe, M.D., University of Connecticut-Storrs, School of Fine Arts; Tatjana Dzambazova, technology whisperer and product manager for reality capture and digital fabrication at Autodesk; Eric Goldemberg, architect, designer and co-founder of MONAD Studio.
Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, 7 p.m., Montpelier Room, James Madison Building
Lecture: “Love Songs: The Hidden History”
Ted Gioia, author
Gioia will speak about the “hidden history” of love songs, venturing widely through classes and cultures to explore the origins and influences of the genre. Contributions both artistic and political are examined, from early fertility rites to current online trends.
Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016
Handel and Haydn Society
Harry Christophers, artistic director
Boston’s famed Handel and Haydn Society (H+H), under the direction of British conductor Harry Christophers, travels to Washington for a special appearance in commemoration of its bicentennial. Over 200 years it has been a flagship ensemble for period performance in the United States, delivering the U.S. period-version premieres of such works as Handel’s “Messiah” and Mendelssohn’s “Elijah.” This intimate concert showcases H+H’s versatility and commitment to furthering the choral-instrumental repertory with Gabriela Lena Frank’s new oratorio, “My angel, his name is freedom,” a Concerts from the Library of Congress commission. Program: Anonymous: “Veni creator spiritus;” Byrd: “Laudibus in sanctis,” “Ye sacred muses,” “Agnus Dei” from “Mass for Four Voices,” “Ave verum corpus”; Kent: “Hear my prayer”; Chapple: “O come, let us sing unto the Lord”; Handel: Excerpts from “Messiah”: “He was cut off,” “But thou didst not leave,” “Lift up your heads”; Frank: “My Angel, his name is freedom” (Washington, D.C. Premiere); J.S. Bach: “Singet dem Herrn,” BWV 225. Pre-concert conversation with Gabriela Lena Frank.
Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, 2 p.m.
Juilliard String Quartet
The Juilliard String Quartet’s performances at the Library of Congress span an astonishing 67 of its 70 years. From its first appearance here in December 1948, Library audiences have experienced its fiercely energetic, committed music-making. The quartet has demonstrated an enviable mastery of the music of major figures like Henri Dutilleux and Elliott Carter, whose first quartet they perform in this program. Program: Schubert: “Quartettsatz” in C minor, D. 703; Carter: String Quartet No. 1; Beethoven: String Quartet in F major, op. 135. Pre-concert conversation (12:30 p.m.) with the artists.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Andreas Staier, harpsichord
Harpsichordist and pianist Andreas Staier takes a scholar’s pleasure in projects with themes like “Hamburg 1734” and “Delight in Disorder.” His program contemplates the concept of melancholy in music from 17th-century France and Germany. “… Meditative spaces open, symbolizing silence, emptiness or solitude …,” the artist writes. “Even the sound of a single note on the harpsichord as it decays can remind one of the transience of all earthly things. This was what the Antwerp harpsichord builder Andreas Ruckers meant when he placed on several of his instruments the inscription ‘Sic transit Gloria mundi’.” Program: Works by d’Anglebert, Clérambault, L. Couperin, Fischer, Froberger, and Muffat. Pre-concert conversation with Andreas Staier.
Friday, March 11, 2016
With a program that includes two U.S. premieres, one world premiere and three recent commissions from the Library of Congress, the Talea Ensemble will continue to expand musical boundaries with their performance of Brian Ferneyhough’s new commission. Further, in addition to new and recent pieces by Aperghis and Anderson, the ensemble will bring to life a work by one of its own—composer/pianist Anthony Cheung. Program: Aperghis: “Wild Romance” (U.S. Premiere); J. Anderson: New work (U.S. Premiere); A. Cheung: “Synchronicities”; Ferneyhough: “Contracolpi” (World Premiere). Pre-concert conversation with Brian Ferneyhough.
“Martha Graham at the Library” Festival
March 24-April 2, 2016
Thursday, March 24, 2016, 7 p.m., Montpelier Room, James Madison Building
Lecture: “Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi”
Hayden Herrera, Author, “Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi.”
Saturday, March 26, 2016, 2 p.m., Mary Pickford Theater, James Madison Building
“Isamu Noguchi: The Sculpture of Spaces” (1995, Directed by Kenji Hayashi and Charlotte Zwerin, 53 min.)
One of the 20th century’s most influential artists, Isamu Noguchi created a formidable body of work as sculptor, landscape architect and designer. “The essence of sculpture is for me the perception of space, the continuum of our existence,” he stated, a belief that animates his designs for public parks and gardens that nurture the spirit, including the UNESCO gardens in Paris, and his iconic designs for Martha Graham, shown in this meditative film narrated by the artist.
“Isamu Noguchi” (1972, Directed by Christian and Michael Blackwood, 30 min.)
A portrait of the artist from the 1970s presents him in locations that held for him personal and artistic significance, including Constantin Brancusi’s Paris studio and Spoleto, where Noguchi is filmed talking with his friend Buckminster Fuller.
“A Dancer’s World” (1957, Directed by Peter Glushanok, 31 min.)
This black-and-white film captures the essence of Martha Graham at the peak of her powers as a pioneering force in modern dance. Graham is featured in a rehearsal setting—informal, and, for the time, innovative in camera work that would influence later techniques for filming dance. The creator was Nathan Kroll, an award-winning television and film programmer and producer whose collection is now in the Library of Congress.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016, 7 p.m., Whittall Pavilion
Lecture: Cave of the Heart: Noguchi’s Set for the Graham Ballet
Janet Eilber, Artistic Director, Martha Graham Dance Company
Thursday, March 31, 2016, 7 p.m., Whittall Pavilion
Lecture: Sculpting Beyond the Pedestal: Isamu Noguchi’s Sets for Dance 1928-1988
Dakin Hart, Senior Curator, Isamu Noguchi Museum
Friday, April 1, 2016, 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 2, 2016, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Martha Graham Dance Company
The Martha Graham Dance Company presents three performances recreating a trio of the five landmark Graham ballets commissioned by the Library’s Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation: “Appalachian Spring” (Aaron Copland); “Cave of the Heart” (Samuel Barber) and an excerpt from “Dark Meadow” (Carlos Chávez). Paying tribute to this extraordinary legacy is a new Library of Congress commission by Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg, set to music by Irving Fine, including his “Serious Song, A Lament for String Orchestra.” Co-commissioned by the Verna and Irving Fine Fund in the Library of Congress and the Martha Graham Dance Company. Pre-concert conversation with Janet Eilber and choreographer Pontus Lidberg (April 1, 6:30 p.m.)
April 2, 2016, 5 p.m., Whittall Pavilion
Panel Discussion: On Pointe: Composing for Dance at the Library of Congress
Presented in association with the Isamu Noguchi Museum, made possible through the generous support of Dr. Sachiko Kuno.
Maria Schneider Residency
April 13-16, 2016
Presented in association with the Reva and David Logan Foundation.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 7 p.m., Montepelier Room, James Madison Building
Panel Discussion: “Artists’ Rights and the Digital Marketplace”
Composer and bandleader Maria Schneider convenes a panel discussion on the intersection between artists’ rights and the digital-music marketplace.
Friday, April 15, 2016
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Maria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization.” The multiple GRAMMY® award-winning composer and bandleader spends a week here this spring for a special residency project. On the agenda are explorations of the Library’s treasure-trove of scores and memorabilia, plus workshops for students and conversations with curators. Schneider conducts her terrific orchestra—a 17-member collective made up of many of the finest jazz musicians performing today—and unveils a new Library of Congress commission, created through the support of the Reva and David Logan Foundation. There will be a pre-concert conversation with Maria Schneider.
Saturday, April 16, 2016, 2 p.m., Coolidge Auditorium
Maria Schneider Workshop
Maria Schneider leads a jazz workshop with Washington-area bands: the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, directed by Brad Linde, and the Levine Music Premier Jazz Combo.
Abdullah Ibrahim Residency
April 15-21, 2016
Library of Congress Jazz Scholar, Made Possible by the Reva and David Logan Foundation
Monday, April 18, 2016, Time TBA, Coolidge Auditorium
Abdullah Ibrahim Workshop
Pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim conducts a workshop and Q&A session for students from the Duke Ellington School for the Arts. This event is presented by the Library of Congress in association with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 7 p.m., Montpelier Room, James Madison Building
A 50-Year Friendship: Abdullah Ibrahim and Dan Morgenstern
The Music Division’s Larry Appelbaum leads a conversation with Abdullah Ibrahim and jazz writer Dan Morgenstern.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Abdullah Ibrahim Mukashi Trio
Jazz pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim celebrates his Library of Congress residency with a captivating concert that will leave you in awe of his authenticity as a performer. A onetime protégé of Duke Ellington and global ambassador for jazz, Ibrahim has become a cultural icon in his native South Africa, through his commitment to expanding music education opportunities and developing the nation’s unique jazz scene. The program features Ibrahim’s music for piano, cello and woodwinds. Pre-concert lecture by Dan Morgenstern, “Freedom Now! Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement,” Presented in association with the Library of Congress exhibition “The Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
Friday, April 29, 2016, 9 p.m., Coolidge Auditorium
Library Late: Del Sol String Quartet
The Del Sol Quartet opens two evenings of performances using instruments from the Library’s collection with a classic American string quartet—Ruth Crawford Seeger’s remarkable contribution to the genre. The rarest of treats will follow: the premiere of a work by a major composer written over 60 years ago. Frederic Rzewski will join us for this belated hearing of his 1955 string quartet. Program: Crawford Seeger: String Quartet; Rzewski: String Quartet (1955) (World Premiere).
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Frederic Rzewski, piano; Jennifer Koh, violin; Benjamin Hochman, piano; Del Sol String Quartet
An all-star group of musicians will come together to perform chamber music by a trio of remarkable American composers. Composer-pianist Frederic Rzewski will open the concert with a selection of recently composed pieces for solo piano. The premiere of his new Library commission for violin and piano will follow in the capable hands of Jennifer Koh and Benjamin Hochman. The second half of the concert features the Del Sol String Quartet playing music by two composers they have championed: the first quartet of the self-styled “bad boy” of music, George Antheil, and a foray into the soundscapes of Ben Johnston’s 10th string quartet. Program: Rzewski: “DREAMS” Part I (Nos. 1-4, 2013), New Work (World Premiere); Antheil: String Quartet No. 1; B. Johnston: String Quartet No. 10.
There will be a pre-concert conversation with Frederic Rzewski.
The Library of Congress and The Phillips Collection have partnered to commission new works for violin and piano from Frederic Rzewski, in celebration of the anniversary seasons of each institution. The commissions will premiere on two consecutive days. Part two of this collaboration can be heard at The Phillips Collection on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/concerts/.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Yefim Bronfman, piano
Powerhouse pianist Yefim Bronfman will perform some of the most riveting piano music composed by Sergei Prokofiev: the “War” sonatas. Composed during World War II and premiered by Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels, these soulful works require equal amounts of artistic and technical control, along with the vision to achieve the pairing. Writing about a performance of Prokofiev’s eighth sonata, Steve Smith wrote “[t]he Prokofiev sonata, in Mr. Bronfman’s hands, was confirmed as a masterpiece of subtle ingenuity …” (The New York Times). In 2005 Bronfman was among the preeminent pianists selected for the “Great Conversations” program at the Library, where he appeared alongside other keyboard luminaries (Ax, Fleisher, Graffman, Istomin, and Rosen). Program: Prokofiev: Sonata No. 6 in A major, op. 82, Sonata No. 7 in B-flat major, op. 83; Sonata No. 8 in B-flat major, op. 84. Pre-concert lecture by David Henning Plylar, Ph.D. of the Library’s Music Division on “Prokofiev, the Sonata and the Fingers of Independence.”
Friday, May 6, 2016
Musicians from Marlboro
Francisco Fullana, violin; Joseph Lin, violin; Pei-Ling Lin, viola, Jay Campbell, cello; Ahrim Kim, cello; Zoltán Fejérvári, piano
Kaija Saariaho’s haunting Terra Memoria is featured in our second Musicians from Marlboro concert this season, her own quartet arrangement of a work originally conceived for string orchestra. “I love the richness and sensitivity of the string sound,” she has said. “I feel when writing for a string quartet that I’m entering into the intimate core of musical communication.” Saariaho was Composer-in-Residence during the 2014 season at the venerable Marlboro Festival, now celebrating more than half a century of “exuberant and charismatic” music-making (The New York Times). Framing her work, a late Haydn quartet and the Schumann D-minor piano trio. Program: J. Haydn: String Quartet in F major, op. 77, No. 2; Saariaho: “Terra Memoria”; Schumann: Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, op. 63. There will be a pre-concert presentation, “Rate the Record,” a unique interactive session in which audience members will listen to, and rate, a series of historical recordings made at the Library.
Presented in association with the Bill and Mary Meyer Concert Series of the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries.
Saturday, May 14, 2016, 9 p.m.
Library Late: The Pedrito Martinez Group
A consummate master of Afro-Cuban folkloric music, Pedrito Martinez doesn’t just play the obligatory handful of standard batá rhythms—he plays the monumentally complex “Oru seco” exquisitely on each drum, or on all three at once. He’s also the world’s first-call “rumbero”—playing, singing, and dancing with dozens of groups and on over 100 recordings, and in films including “Calle 54” (2000) and “Chico and Rita” (2010). Downbeat calls Martinez one of the “80 Coolest Things in Jazz Today,” equally at home in jazz, pop and folk styles. Tremendously infectious energy, humor, charisma, and great dance moves make him as formidable a front man as he is a percussionist.
Thursday, May 19, 2016, 7 p.m., Montpelier Room, James Madison Building
American Musicological Society Lecture
R. Larry Todd, Ph.D, Arts and Sciences Professor of Music at Duke University, discusses “Revisiting Mendelssohn’s Octet, or the Maturing of Precocity.”
Presented in association with the American Musicological Society
#DECLASSIFIED: Encounters with Artifacts and Ideas
All #DECLASSIFIED presentations are at 11 a.m. in the Jefferson Studio (LJ 32) in the Thomas Jefferson Building, unless otherwise noted. The events are free, but tickets are required. Seating is limited.
Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015
Fly Space 2: Beyond the Backdrop
Solomon E. HaileSelassie, production manager for the Library’s Music Division, presents an exploration of the Library’s latest theatrical collection acquisitions.
Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015
Schnabel Without Applause: Artur Schnabel as Composer and Editor
David Henning Plylar, Ph.D, Music Division
Artur Schnabel may be best known as a pianist and teacher, but his contributions to composition and music editing are also significant. We will explore some of the work held at the Library for which Schnabel deserves greater attention.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Oct. 30, 1944: Witness to the World Premiere of “Appalachian Spring”
Nicholas Alexander Brown, Music Division
The world premiere of Appalachian Spring brought many of the leading figures in American culture to the Coolidge Auditorium. Re-live this pivotal night in contemporary music and ballet history through the letters and stories of the people who comprised the audience.
Saturday, May 7, 2016, Whittall Pavilion
Portrait of Beethoven
Anne McLean, Music Division
Come for a close-up view of an iconographic treasure: the Library’s expressive 1815 painting by Johann Christoph Heckel. Tracing its provenance, with a look at letters and compositions from that year, this talk also offers a peek at just a few of the many Beethoven artifacts in our collections, including a somewhat surprising rarity: a lock of the composer’s hair.
High Noon Curator Lectures
Music Division curators present informal presentations and performances showcasing the Library’s collections. All lectures are Tuesdays at noon in the Whittall Pavilion, unless otherwise noted. No tickets or reservations are required; seating is first-come, first-served.
Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, Pickford Theater, James Madison Building: Larry Appelbaum on “Legends of Latin Jazz,” presented in association with the Library of Congress Hispanic Division
Feb. 9, 2016: Nicholas Alexander Brown on “Hair Gel and Groupies: Boy Bands in the Library of Congress,” Presented in association with LC-GLOBE
March 15, 2016: Janet McKinney on “Irish Stereotypes in Musical Theater”
May 3, 2016: James Wintle on “Wagner’s ‘Gleaming Sword’: Exploring the Helen Traubel Collection”
May 10, 2016: Laura Yust on “The Place of Music in a German Renaissance Liberal-Arts Education”
Thursday, May 12, 2016: David Henning Plylar, Ph.D on “D’Albertus Magnus: Romantic Riches in the Heineman Foundation Collection.”
All films will be shown in the Mary Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the Library of Congress James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave., S.E. Fridays at 7 p.m., except where noted. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the screening time. The films are free, but tickets are required.
“Time Capsule: 1966” Film Series with Pat Padua
From The Byrds to Ray Charles to jazz avant-garde saxophonist Ornette Coleman, the Library will take a look at a variety of music films made 50 years ago.
Jan. 8, 2016: “The Big T.N.T. Show”(1966, Directed by Larry Peerce, 93 min.)
Wall of Sound impresario Phil Spector produced this mid-‘60s variety program, a sequel to the successful “T.A.M.I. Show” (1964). “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’s” David McCallum hosts a legendary lineup that included Donovan, The Byrds, Ray Charles, The Lovin' Spoonful, Roger Miller, The Ronettes, Joan Baez and show-stoppers Ike and Tina Turner.
Jan. 15, 2016: “Blues for Lovers” (1966, Directed by Paul Henreid, 89 min.)
Casablanca star Paul Henreid directed this rarely-screened drama starring Ray Charles as a successful blind musician who offers to pay for an operation to help a recently blinded boy regain his sight. With two classic Charles performances of “What'd I Say” and “I Got a Woman.”
Jan. 22, 2016: “Chappaqua” (1966, Directed by Conrad Rooks, 82 min.)
Saxophone legend Ornette Coleman, who passed away last year, composed music for director Conrad Rooks’ impressionistic, semi-autobiographical relic of the ‘60s. The filmmakers instead went with a score by Ravi Shankar, but Coleman appears briefly in the film, along with street homeless musician Moondog and counterculture writers William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.
Jan. 29, 2016: “Thunderbirds Are Go” (1966, Directed by David Lane, 93 min.)
Cliff Richard and the Shadows, in marionette form, are a space-age pop combo in this gorgeous wide-screen vehicle for Gerry Anderson’s popular British sci-fi program.
“Music for Martians” Sci-Fi Film Series with Solomon HaileSelassie
In space, nobody can hear you scream—but with a good composer and sound designer, the audience can! Join Solomon HaileSelassie for a tour of five films with soundtracks that are essential to the movie’s sci-fi success.
Feb. 5, 2016: “Predator” (1987, Directed by John McTiernan, 107 min., *R-rated)
This classic “us vs. the unknown” survival flick introduced audiences to the unique and disturbing utterances of the Predator. The difference between the hunter and the hunted is obscured during one of the great cinematic buildups in human/alien encounters onscreen, enhanced by the music of Alan Silvestri. *Due to the R rating, no one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, 12:00 p.m.: Double Bill
“Alien” (1979, Directed by Ridley Scott, 117 min, R-Rated)
“Total Recall” (1990, Directed by Paul Verhoeven, 113 min., R-Rated)
Two films with music by Jerry Goldsmith make for an intense double feature. The genre-defining Alien is an intense thriller that shows that danger can come from within, while Total Recall suggests that memories may not be our own in a universe where virtual reality and a life on Mars suggests that all is not as it seems. No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Feb. 19, 2016: “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country”(1991, Directed by Nicholas Meyer, 113 min.)
In the final film of the Star Trek franchise focused on the original crew, composer Cliff Eidelman was given ample space to explore the frontiers opened by the iconic theme music written by Alexander Courage for the TV series.
Feb. 26, 2016: “Sunshine” (2007, Directed by Danny Boyle, 107 min.)
John Murphy scored this modern psychological thriller about the power of humanity to save itself—or not. Brilliant imagery is supported by excellent sound design in this ode to the power of the sun.