Concerts from the Library of Congress, 2009-2010

Music and the Brain II “In music one must think with the heart and feel with the brain” -- George Szell

The Library's popular Music and the Brain series continues this season, examining the central role of music across cultures; the relationship of music to spirituality; music as a tool in fighting the deterioration of the aging brain, promoting mental fitness, and treating disease; and how musical training and practice literally change the brain. Wide-ranging conversations, live and on film, explore answers to the question, “Are musicians different from the rest of us?” All events are free and open to the public. No tickets required. Seating is limited.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27 at 7 pm, Coolidge Auditorium
Guzelimian, Jamison and De Paulo
“Music and Grief”- Panel Discussion and Booksigning

Series advisor Kay Redfield Jamison returns with a new presentation based on her forthcoming book, Nothing Was the Same, a haunting meditation on mortality, grief and loss. She is joined by two other distinguished speakers: Ara Guzelimian, Provost and Dean of the Juilliard School, and J. Raymond DePaulo, Jr., MD, Director, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The panelists will delve into the distinctions between grief and depression, the consolations of music and literature, and crosscurrents related to arts and the brain.


All pre-concert presentations take place in the Whittall Pavilion (adjacent to the Coolidge Auditorium) and begin at 6:15pm. Admission is free; tickets are required for concerts which follow.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2009 at 6:15pm -- CANCELLED
Images of lecturers: Limb, Cytowic, Slvan, Krash, Middleton, Amor
Beethoven's Deafness: A Medical Mystery

Dr. Charles J. Limb, Peabody Institute and School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University with Patrick J. Donnelly (to be rescheduled in Spring 2010)

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2009 at 6:15pm
Wednesday Is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia

Dr. Richard E. Cytowic, MD, George Washington Medical Center
(Booksigning will follow the presentation)
New Location: Congressional Members Room (view map)

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2009 at 6:15pm
Trance Formation: Music, Trance, Religious Experience, and the Brain

Dr. Robin Sylvan, Director of the Sacred Center, El Cerrito, California

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2009 at 6:15pm
Dangerous Music III: Suckers, Firestarters, & Cultural Anarchists, Oh My!

Jessica Krash, George Washington University and Norman Middleton, Music Division, Library of Congress

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2009 at 6:15pm
States of Mind: Music in Islamic Sufi Rituals

Dr. Taoufiq ben Amor, Gordon Gray J. Lecturer, Arabic Studies, Columbia University

Images of lecturers:  Schlaug, Janata, Hannesson, Stein, Spiegel, Huron
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2009 at 6:15pm
Making Music Changes

Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, MD, PhD, Director of the Music, Neuroimaging and Stroke Recovery Laboratories, Beth Deaconess Israel Medical Center and Harvard Medical School

THURSDAY, JANUARY 21, 2010 at 6:15pm
Music, Memories, and the Brain

Dr. Petr Janata, Center for Mind and Brain, University of California, Davis

THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 2010 at 6:15pm
The Icelandic Edda: Myth and the Mind---Wagner, Tolkien, and Beyond

Hjálmar W. Hannesson, Ambassador of Iceland; Alexander Stein, Psychoanalyst; and, Taru Spiegel, European Division, Library of Congress

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2010 at 6:15pm
Why Do Listeners Enjoy Music that Makes Them Weep?

Prof. David Huron, Head of the Cognitive and Systematic Musicology Laboratory, Ohio State University (new location - LJ-119 on the first floor, Jefferson Building)

FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 2010 at 6:15pm
Images of lecturers: Tomaino, Standley, Brandes
The Positive Effects of Music Therapy on Health

Concetta M. Tomaino, Executive Director, Institute for Music and Neurologic Function

FRIDAY, APRIL 9, 2010 at 6:15pm
I'm Frozen and I Can't Play a Thing!: Stage Fright and the Brain

Norman Middleton, Music Division, Library of Congress

FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2010 at 6:15pm
Wellness and Growth: Acoustic Medicine and Music Therapy

Dr. Jayne Standley, Director of the Music Therapy Program, Florida State University and Dr. Vera Brandes, Director, Research Program Music Medicine, Paracelsus Medical Private University, Salzburg


SATURDAY, MAY 15, 2010 from 2:00-4:00pm
Image: Parker and DuRousseau
"Managing Stress and Enhancing Wellness with Music Therapy"

Mumford Room (Reservations required -- please call 202-707-8432)
Anne B. Parker, music therapist
Donald DuRousseau, Human Bionics, Purcellville, Virginia
Co-sponsored by American Music Therapy Association


Conversations and interviews with composers and performers from the concert season's lineup, and glimpses of some profound composers from the past century in Frank Scheffer's brilliant film portraits of 20th century composers.
(These events are free; however, most concerts require tickets)


A post concert conversation with pianist Guy Livingston focusing on the creation of One Minute More--aspects of mental velocity and versatility and the perception of speed and tempo (following the concert in the Coolidge Auditorium). » Go to concert description

SATURDAY, APRIL 24, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Host of WPFW's "Sound of Surprise" Larry Appelbaum, Music Division, interviews Cuban drummer and composer Dafnis Prieto before a concert his Sí o Sí Quartet at the Atlas Center for the Performing Arts. » Go to concert description

FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Composer Caleb Burhans talks about his new work before its premiere by the Jack Quartet for whom it was
written (Whittall Pavilion, Library of Congress). » Go to concert description

SATURDAY, MAY 22, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Pianist composer Uri Caine talks with Larry Appelbaum before appearing with his Trio at the Atlas Center for the Performing Arts. » Go to concert description


The Dutch documentary filmmaker Frank Scheffer is internationally recognized as a master of sound and image. His films paint not only compelling portraits of major musical thinkers but also a view of the history of modernism in 20th-century music. In addition to numerous critical and festival awards, Scheffer has been honored with complete retrospectives of his films by the Holland Festival and the Mumbai Festival.

Frank Scheffer and images of his films

Thursdays at 7:00 pm Mary Pickford Theater
(Reservation required; please call 202-707-5677)

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2009 at 7:00pm - Double Bill
Conducting Mahler (1996) (75 minutes)
Double Bill Wagner's Ring (1987) (3 minutes, 50 seconds)

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2009 at 7:00pm
From Zero: Four Films on John Cage (1995) (110 minutes)
Fourteen / 19 Questions / Paying Attention / Overpopulation and Art

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2009 at 7:00pm - Double Bill
Karlheinz Stockhausen: Helicopter String Quartet (1995) (77 minutes)
In the Ocean (2001) (54 minutes)

“Music and the Brain II” is presented by the Music Division and the Science, Technology and Business Division, Library of Congress; in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Clinic; and with the generous support of the Dana Foundation.