An exclusive experience for everyone. All are welcome!

Labels are boring. Music should bring us together and open our minds to discovery, innovation and reflection— it resists categorization. We find the labels put on music to be boring, restrictive and tiresome... don’t you? For an audience without inhibitions, this year brings a stellar roster of performers, ensembles and scholars directly to you. You will be treated to musical experiences that you can’t get anywhere else—100% free and all donor-supported. Join us, activate your mind, learn something new and be inspired.

Celebrating the 150th Birthday of Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge

Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge’s generous endowment to fund the Library of Congress concert series required an Act of Congress, signed into law on January 23, 1925. The 2014-2015 season honors the 150th birthday of Mrs. Coolidge, celebrating the vision, passionate commitment and long-lasting artistic legacy of a brilliant woman recognized today as one of the 20th century’s most influential music patrons. Learn more about Mrs. Coolidge

Elizabeth Sprague CoolidgeA serious pianist and composer, Mrs. Coolidge funded and supervised the building of the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium, wiring it for the then-new medium of radio. A champion of contemporary music, she commissioned many significant composers, among them Stravinsky, Ravel, Copland, Bartók, Schoenberg, Britten and many others, establishing a groundbreaking concert series that would quickly earn respect and recognition from the international music world.

She advanced the cause of music both new and old in many ways, providing funds for lectureships and public programs at major institutions and subsidizing musicological studies. Perhaps the most visible single benefactor of chamber music even today, she created chamber festivals both in Europe and in the U.S., offered long-term support for individual artists and ensembles, introduced American radio audiences to chamber music in partnerships with major networks, and underwrote thousands of free concerts for a vast audience of music lovers, still growing today.

Pictured above: Concerts from the Library of Congress founder, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, Charcoal Portrait by artist John Singer Sargent, 1923

2014-2015 Commissions and Premieres

Continuing the Library’s great tradition of supporting the creation of new music, this season Concerts from the Library of Congress will present five new works commissioned or co-commissioned by the Library. Representing a wide range of compositional voices, these commissions of new works by George Lewis, Jefferson Friedman, John Adams, Jennifer Higdon and Kaija Saariaho will be performed by a stunning array of artists who share our belief in music’s bright future.

St. Lawrence String Quartet Project

St. Lawrence String Quartet

The St. Lawrence String Quartet holds an undisputed place among the world’s finest chamber ensembles. Spontaneous, passionate, dynamic, and committed champions of new music. In a special three-concert project this season, they will perform on the Library’s Stradivari instruments, collaborate with pianist Pedja Muzijevic and violist Hsin-Yun Huang as guest artists, and present the regional premiere of a new Library co-commission from John Adams.