Concerts from the Library of Congress, 2011-2012


Unless otherwise indicated, events are held in the Coolidge Auditorium at 8:00 pm. All concerts are free but require tickets; see page 23 for ticket information. Programs and dates are subject to change without prior notice. Check this Web site frequently for the most up-to-date information.

Season-at-a-Glance  2011: September | October | November | December  2012: January | February | March | April | May


Image: Lucille Ball and Desi ArnazLECTURE/RECITAL: "What the Autograph Can Tell Us:
Beethoven's Piano Sonata in E Major, opus 109"

with William Meredith, Ph.D, lecturer and Shin Hwang, piano
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2011 at 12:00 noon - Coolidge Auditorium

One of the treasures of the autograph collection of the Library of Congress is the manuscript of Beethoven’s late Piano Sonata in E Major, Opus 109. Setting aside its status as a treasure, however, the manuscript is worth careful investigation for the record of its compositional history embedded on its pages. More, perhaps, than any other composer, Beethoven is famous for his notoriously illegible manuscripts. As musicians and scholars, we should be grateful for that illegibility, not because it seems to record the heat of composition, but rather because it demonstrates that Beethoven often prematurely began writing out what often became the final score. This talk and performance focus on two elements of the creative process visible in this autograph, one abstract, the other practical.
» View program (PDF, 1.37MB)


Image: Antonin DvorakDVOŘÁK IN THE NEW WORLD: Symposium and manuscript display
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2011 from 1:00-4:30pm - Whittall Pavilion and Coolidge Auditorium

Michael Beckerman, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music, New York University
Eva Velická, Dvořák Museum, Prague

For the first time in more than a century, Antonín Dvořák’s original manuscripts will return to the United States for a special one-day display at the Library of Congress. Dvořák scholar Michael Beckerman has organized a symposium with presentations about the composer’s years in America. Beckerman will speak on the role of African American sources in Dvořák’s conception of an American music. Eva Velická, the Dvořák Museum’s Director, will join him for a discussion, “Manuscripts as Storytellers.”

1:00   Lecture and discussion
         (reservations are required for this lecture; please rsvp to 202-274-9105)
3:00   Dvořák manuscript display is open for viewing
         Coolidge Auditorium foyer - (no reservations required)
3:30   Lecture and demonstration, “Dvořák and Black Music”
         Tenor Reginald Bouknight sings arrangements of spirituals by Henry Burleigh,
         as well as other fragments of black music that Dvořák encountered during his years in America,
         with commentary by Dr. Beckerman - (no reservations required)

Presented in collaboration with the Embassy of the Czech Republic

BABALU! Celebrating the Library’s Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Collection
Image: Lucille Ball and Desi ArnazLucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr.
Raúl Esparza and Valarie Pettiford
and the
Desi Arnaz Orchestra, Ron Abel, Music Director
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2011 at 8:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

The Coolidge becomes the Tropicana in a spectacular Opening Night show honoring the legacies of two American entertainment legends. Image: Lucie ArnazLucie Arnaz headlines an evening that brings to life her father’s snazzy, sparkling orchestrations of the 1940’s and 50’s, exuberant songs that gave the American Songbook a Latin beat.

I Love Lucy: An American Legend, a special exhibit of items from the Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Collection, will be open in the foyer of the Library’s Performing Arts Reading Room, LM 113, James Madison Building through January 28, 2012. Hours for the exhibit are Monday through Saturday, 8:30 am - 6:00 pm.


Please note: The ticket supply for this concert, via Ticketmaster, has been exhausted; however, there are often up to 80 empty seats available for "sold out" concerts at start time. Interested patrons are strongly encouraged to come to the Library by 6:00 pm on concert nights to join the standby line for no-show tickets.

CMA LogoLOUIS LORTIE, piano     Franz Liszt 200th Anniversary Event
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“…Glorious… virtuosic playing and music that revolutionized the piano repertory.” Los Angeles Times

The monumental Années de pèlerinage suites are a vivid sketchbook, a reflective autobiographical narrative, a journey of spiritual introspection. Critic Zachary Woolfe has called them “profound explorations of memory.” Canadian pianist Louis Lortie has given masterly performances of these works in many of the world’s great music centers, including Carnegie Hall, the Weimar Festival and the Vienna Konzerthaus.

LISZT: Années de Pèlerinage [Years of Pilgrimage]: Deuxième Année and Troisième Année (complete)

Pre-concert presentation - 6:15 pm - Whittall Pavilion (no tickets required)
Panel discussion, On the Nature of Celebrity: Franz Liszt, Niccolò Paganini, Lady Gaga - Denise Gallo, Head, Acquisitions and Processing, Music Division; Mathieu Deflem, Department of Sociology, University of South Carolina; Robert Aubrey Davis, WETA

A post-concert discussion with the artist will follow the performance

Image: Martin Bruns and Christoph HammerMARTIN BRUNS, baritone        
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“a rich voice and expressive phrasing…” Ottawa Chamber Music Festival
“phrasing and poetic insight… of extraordinary quality.” La Nazione

Liszt 200th Birthday Liederabend   » View concert program [PDF, 188K]
Swiss baritone Martin Bruns and period keyboard expert Christoph Hammer draw on the Library’s rich manuscript resources for a recital evoking the intimacy of a Hausmusik evening of Liszt’s day. Texts by Goethe, Hugo, Heine and Petrarch underline the composer's love of literature, with his dazzling keyboard transcriptions – of his own and others’ works – presented alongside their originals, including songs by Beethoven and Richard Wagner.

Pre-concert presentation - 6:15 pm - Whittall Pavilion (no tickets required)
Exhibit and Talk: Treasures from the Library’s Liszt Holdings - Music Division curator Raymond White introduces a display of manuscripts, letters, photographs and memorabilia drawn from the Heineman, Moldenhauer, Rosenthal and other collections.

Image: Ivan Fischer and Jeno JandoTHE LISZT LEGACY AND BÉLA BARTÓK
Soloists from the Budapest Festival Orchestra with Jenő Jandó, piano / Introduced by Maestro Iván Fischer
Violetta Eckhardt, Gábor Sipos, and István Kádár, violins
Cecilia Bodolai, viola  /  Rita Sovány, cello  /  Ákos Ács, clarinet   
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2011 at 8:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“The sheer power of the Budapest players took the breath away.” The Scotsman

The splendid Budapest Festival Orchestra sends a group of top players for a special chamber concert tracing Liszt’s musical legacy in the work of another towering figure in Hungarian culture. Béla Bartók’s almost unknown, strongly Liszt-influenced 1903 Piano Quintet was the gem of this ensemble’s Edinburgh Festival Bartók project, recreated here with the esteemed Hungarian pianist Jenő Jandó. » View concert program [PDF, 209K]

BARTÓK: Duos for two violins – excerpts from 44 Duos
BARTÓK: Rhapsody no. 1. for violin and piano
BARTÓK: Contrasts for clarinet, piano and violin
BARTÓK: Piano Quintet

Pre-concert presentation - 6:15 pm - Whittall Pavilion (no tickets required)
"Liszt, Bartók, and music in modern Hungarian culture" - Károly Dán, Consul General of Hungary

Image: Daniel Hope, East Meets WestDANIEL HOPE: EAST MEETS WEST
Daniel Hope, violin  /  Gaurav Mazumdar, sitar
Simon Crawford-Phillips, piano  /  Vishal Nagar, tabla     
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2011 at 8:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“…technically brilliant, highly engaging performances.” Gramophone

Faraway places, fantasies and a musical journey beginning and ending in India. East Meets West conjures a sound world spiced with imagination – with a nod to the famous Yehudi Menuhin-Ravi Shankar collaboration – and restores to life the luthéal, a nearly extinct piano attachment whose cimbalom-like timbres inspired Maurice Ravel. » View concert program [PDF, 175K]

DE FALLA: Popular Spanish Songs
TAKEMITSU: Distance de Fée
RAVEL: Tzigane and Alborada del gracioso, from Miroirs, op. 43
MAZUMDAR: Homage to Ravi Shankar
BARTÓK: Romanian Folk Dances
RAVEL: Kaddish, (arr. Hope)
MAZUMDAR: Homage to Yehudi Menuhin

Image: Martin Bruns and Christoph HammerTAMÁS ZÉTÉNYI, cello
LECTURE-RECITAL: "Gray Clouds: Late Chamber Music of Franz Liszt"
with Sabrina Tabby, Scott Moore, violin / Dávid Tóth, viola / Anna Bikales, harp
Zsólt Balogh, piano

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

Tamás Zétényi presents a program developed in a year-long residency as Visiting
Hungarian Fellow at Bard College, through research in the Library’s Liszt collections.
Harmonically visionary transcriptions and chamber works – elegies, prayers and
meditations – that stretch the boundaries of tonality and foreshadow music written
a century later.

LISZT: transcriptions of Angelus!, R.W. - Venezia for piano trio; and Am Grabe Richard Wagners for string quartet; and, for cello and piano, Unstern: sinister, disastro; Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth (Elegie); Nuages gris; Schaflos, Frage und Antwort; Wagner/Liszt, La lugubre gondola I and II; and O du, mein holder Abendstern.

Presented in cooperation with the Bard College Conservatory

Image: Martin Bruns and Christoph HammerGENOVA & DIMITROV, piano duo     Founder's Day Concert
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2011 at 8:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“…a pianistic fireworks display…” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Hailed for sparkling technique and the visceral excitement of their performances, Bulgarian-born pianists Aglika Genova & Liuben Dimitrov dazzle with a concert of showstoppers, bookended by fantasies –– Liszt’s opera transcription on themes from Don Giovanni, and the beautiful Schubert Fantasy as an opener. » View concert program [PDF, 150K]

SCHUBERT: Fantasy in F minor, op. 103, for piano, four hands
ARENSKY: Suite no. 1, op. 15
LISZT: Concerto pathétique
MILHAUD: Scaramouche
LISZT: Réminiscences de Don Juan - Fantaisie

Pre-concert presentation - 6:15 pm - Whittall Pavilion (no tickets required)
"Franz Liszt: Staging Opera at the Keyboard" - Denise Gallo, Head, Acquisitions and Processing, Music Division

Presented in collaboration with the National Gallery of Art


Image: Martin Bruns and Christoph HammerMOZART PIANO QUARTET
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011 at 8:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“...a freshness and spontaneity that sparkle in everything they play.” The Strad
“surpassing expressiveness”
The Ottawa Citi zen

Passion and technical brilliance are hallmarks of this impeccable German group, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice Award from Gramophone for its crystalline Mozart recordings. Two out-of-the-ordinary works –– a quartet by Camille Saint-Saëns and one by Gustav Mahler, with a glimpse of the composer at 16. » View concert program [PDF, 155K]

MOZART: Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478
MAHLER: Piano Quartet Movement in A minor
Piano Quartet in B-flat Major, op. 41


Image: Roberto DiazROBERTO DÍAZ, viola and KWAN YI, piano
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

DÍAZ ~ “…flawless intonation, impeccable high notes, and emotional range gave the impression that this was exactly the way Brahms intended this music to be played.” The Boston Musical Intelligencer
KWAN YI ~ “ravishing control…”
Chicago Sun-Times

The Tuscan-Medici Stradivari viola takes a bow in this matinée concert by one of the world’s top violists – who also currently holds the prestigious position of President and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music. This remarkable 1690 instrument, one of only 11 existing Stradivari violas, is on loan to the Library of Congress from the Tuscan Corporation. » View concert program [PDF, 144K]

LISZT: Romance oubliée
Sonata for viola and piano in F minor, op. 120, no. 1
Cello Suite no. 1 in G Major, arr. for viola
Sonata for viola and piano in E-flat Major, op. 120, no. 2

Patty Loveless, Tim Nichols and Clint BlackCOUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION Songwriters Series
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2011 at 8:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

Image: Bob DiPieroBob DiPiero hosts an intimate evening of country in the Coolidge with top-tier country stars: Patty Loveless, Tim Nichols, and Clint Black.





Image: Gretchen Parlato and Gerald ClaytonGRETCHEN PARLATO and the GERALD CLAYTON TRIO
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 at 8:00 pm - Atlas Performing Arts Center

PARLATO ~ “a singer with a deep, almost magical connection to the music.” Herbie Hancock
CLAYTON ~ “…an enthusiastic feeling of exhilaration.”
Los Angeles Times

A great double header with two of the fastest-rising stars on the jazz scene today. Parlato has an instrumentalist’s approach, and a subtle, spare delivery informed by her intimate grasp of jazz, R&B and world music. Scion of a famous jazz tribe, Clayton has been dubbed a modernist Oscar Peterson; he and his colleagues are masters of “some of jazz’s current obsessions, neogospel harmony, aerodynamic rhythm, the exaltation of the vamp – even when they’re refurbishing a standard.” (Nate Chinen).

Pre-concert interview - 6:15 pm - Atlas Lobby (no tickets required)
Larry Appelbaum talks with Gretchen Parlato and Gerald Clayton.

This tour engagement of Gretchen Parlato and the Gerald Clayton Trio is funded through the American Masterpieces program of the MidAtlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Image: Borromeo String QuartetBORROMEO STRING QUARTET with SEYMOUR LIPKIN, piano    
Stradivari Memorial Concert
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“…a musical experience of luminous beauty…” The San Diego Reader

Image: Seymour LipkinThe critically acclaimed Borromeo String Quartet continues to redefine the quartet medium “through the perfection of its ensemble and intonation, through its poise and its passion” (Gramophone). Celebrating the birthday of Antonio Stradivari, they will play the Strads given to the Library by Gertrude Clarke Whittall in 1935.

SCHULLER: String Quartet no. 4
BEETHOVEN: Sonata no. 7 for violin and piano in C minor, op. 30
SCHUBERT: Quartet in D minor, D. 810 (“Death and the Maiden”)

Pre-concert presentation - 6:15 pm - Whittall Pavilion (no tickets required)
Violinist Nicholas Kitchen talks with composer Gunther Schuller



Images: Paolo PandolfoMASTER CLASS with PAOLO PANDOLFO, viola da gamba
FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

Considered one of the world's finest gambists, Paolo Pandolfo offers a free master class  in the Library's Coolidge Auditorium, working with three young students: Amy Dominguez, Niccolo Seligman, and Lucine Musaelian. This 90-minute event is open to the public, no tickets required. Seating is first-come, first-served. For further information, please call 202-707-8432.

Presented in cooperation with the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Washington. Co-sponsored by the Greater Washington Viola da Gamba Society.

Images: Paolo PandolfoPAOLO PANDOLFO, viola da gamba
SATURDAY, JANUARY 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“Brilliant… poetic… Paolo Pandolfo stands alone in his generation as the master of his instrument.” Gramophone

If you missed Paolo Pandolfo’s mesmerizing Coolidge concert last February, you’ll want to clear your calendar for his return, in a solo recital of J. S. Bach’s viola da gamba suites and “marvelously intricate, inventive and playful” works by Carl Friedrich Abel. You’ll admire Pandolfo’s extraordinary range of colors on his 17th century Nicolas Bertrand instrument, and the Library’s handsome 1708 viola da gamba, made by Pieter Rombouts.


Image: Gretchen Parlato and Gerald ClaytonCYGNUS ENSEMBLE with guest artists Miranda Cuckson, violin; Daniel Panner, viola; and Blair McMillen, piano
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2012 at 8:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

From the Library’s Fritz Kreisler Collection – seldom-heard chamber music by the Austrian master, presented with a new Library commission by Harold Meltzer, co-founder of the Sequitur ensemble. The poignant 1919 String Quartet, Kreisler said, “is my gift to Vienna.” Alongside it, Meltzer’s Kreisleriana, for violin and piano, and his “haunting, continually inventive” sextet Brion, which made several “best of 2010” lists. Plus a guest artist, Kreisler’s incomparable Guarneri del Gesù violin.Image: Meltzer and Kreisler

KREISLER: violin and piano pieces
MELTZER: Kreisleriana (World Premiere - Library of Congress McKim Fund commission)
MELTZER: Brion (Washington Premiere)
KREISLER: String Quartet in A minor

Pre-concert presentation - 6:15 pm - Whittall Pavilion (no tickets required)
Harold Meltzer talks about his new work with Cygnus founder William Anderson.


Image: U.S. Army BluesU.S. ARMY BAND “Pershing’s Own”
Concerts from the Collections - BIG BAND
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2012 at 8:00pm - Atlas Performing Arts Center

The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” continues its excellent family-friendly Concerts from the Collections series. The Army Blues explores big band music from the era of Ella Fitzgerald and Nelson Riddle.


Image: Carolina Chocolate Drops** Tickets Available January 11 **
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“The Carolina Chocolate Drops may be reclaiming the black string band
tradition, but more importantly, they’re just making great music.”


Winners of a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album, the Chocolate Drops are “sophisticated musicians… channeling a dark history through a beautiful medium” (Robin Wheeler). With voice, banjo, fiddle, and guitar, plus jugs and bones, they have rediscovered and renewed traditions from 150 years of American musical history -- jigs, reels, ballads, blues and worksongs from the pre-Civil War South to Tom Waits and Blue Cantrell, with North Carolina’s Piedmont region as the starting point.

Presented by the Music Division and the American Folklife Center

Image: The Saiyuki TrioTHE SAIYUKI TRIO with RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA, alto saxophone
Nguyên Lê, electric guitar & laptop; Mieko Miyazaki, koto & vocals;
Prabhu Edouard, tablas & vocals
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012 at 8:00 pm - Atlas Performing Arts Center

“ …daring and rewarding fusion…a genuinely international music.”
The New York Times

“Sound magic” from a trio whose name means “Journey to the West.” French jazz guitarist Nguyên Lê studied visual arts and philosophy before working with artists like Ornette Coleman, Ray Charles, and Mauricio Kagel. Influences from Jimi Hendrix to the traditional music of Viêt Nam meld harmonies Image: Mahanthappa and Lefrom East and West to paint “an Asia without borders.”

Part of Intersections: A New American Arts Festival at the Atlas Performing Arts Center

Presented under the auspices of the Maison Française, Embassy of France, and the French American Cultural Foundation.




MARCH 7 and 8, 2012 - Inaugurating the Dina Koston and Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music

Image: Samuel BeckettThe Library of Congress
Samuel Beckett

Directed by JOY ZINOMAN      Featuring TED VAN GRIETHUYSEN, actor
Tara Helen O’Connor, flute / Robert Ingliss, oboe / Calvin Wiersma, violin / Susannah Chapman, cello / William Anderson, guitar, mandolin, theorbo / Oren Fader, guitar
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2012 at 8:00pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“...first rate” The New York Times

An extraordinary evening of theater and music begins the life of a new endowment for contemporary music at the Library of Congress, through a generous bequest from the composer and pianist Dina Koston. Seeing a performance of Samuel Beckett’s play Ohio Impromptu inspired Koston’s last composition, Distant Intervals. Joy Zinoman, founding Emeritus Director of The Studio Theatre, directs the master minimalist’s haunting and rarely seen short work, deeply rooted in Beckett’s personal and imaginative life. Following it, the Cygnus players offer a work by Frank Brickle: "Farai un vers", for 2 guitars, cello and soprano, set to a text by Guillaume d'Aquitaine, the first troubador – a gesture to Koston’s thoughtful programming style – and the world premiere of a new song cycle by Mario Davidovsky, commissioned for the occasion. Image: Zinoman and Van Griethuysen

DINA KOSTON: Distant Intervals; and A Short Tale
CHESTER BISCARDI: Resisting Stillness
FERRUCCIO BUSONI: Berceuse élégiaque
DAVID CLAMAN: Gone for Foreign
MARIO DAVIDOVSKY: Ladino Songs (World Premiere)

Pre-concert presentation - 6:15 pm - Whittall Pavilion (no tickets required)
Joy Zinoman talks about Samuel Beckett and the genesis of the Library’s special production of Ohio Impromptu.

OHIO IMPROMPTU is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

Image: Leon Fleisher and Katherine Jacobson FleisherLEON FLEISHER, piano & conductor
Musicians from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University
THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“The musical spell he cast was extraordinary.” Chicago Classical Review

One of today’s preeminent concert artists, master pianist Leon Fleisher curates an elegant evening honoring his long musical friendship with Dina Koston, and the pathbreaking Theater Chamber Players ensemble they co-founded in 1968. Liebeslieder by Brahms and Ligeti’s two sets of quirky, radical “imaginary operas” frame a solo Koston piano gem, Messages, from 2002.Image: Dina Kosten

BRAHMS: Liebeslieder Waltzes for voices and piano, four hands, op. 52
DINA KOSTON: Messages (written for Leon Fleisher)
LIGETI: Aventures for 3 voices and 7 instruments
LIGETI: Nouvelles Aventures for 3 voices and 7 instruments

Pre-concert presentation - 6:15 pm - Whittall Pavilion (no tickets required)
Leon Fleisher and soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson talk about their long friendship with Dina Koston, and the history of the Theater Chamber Players.

Image: Julianne Baird and Preethi de Silva~ CON GIOIA ~   
PREETHI DE SILVA, harpsichord and fortepiano
FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2012 at 8:00pm - Coolidge Auditorium

BAIRD ~ “wondrous voice guided by an extraordinary musical intelligence” New York Times
DE SILVA ~ “…a musician of great accomplishment and imagination”
The Daily Telegraph

Commemorating an Originalgenie:
A Birthday Tribute to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Acclaimed soprano Julianne Baird partners with the early music scholarperformer Preethi de Silva, known for vividly imaginative performances of Baroque repertoire. Their program spans the eclipse of the harpsichord and the rise of the fortepiano, and acknowledges the influence of C.P.E. Bach, in form and style, on later masters.

C.P.E. BACH: Fantasia in A Major, H. 278
C.P.E. BACH: Sonata in G minor, H. 47
HANDEL: Selected arias from operas and oratorios, arr. John Walsh

C.P.E. BACH: “Hamlet” Fantasia with voice
C.P.E BACH: Sonata in A Major, H. 186
HAYDN: Cantata Arianna a Naxos

Pre-concert presentation - 6:15 pm - Whittall Pavilion (no tickets required)
Chamber Music in Berlin, ca. 1750: Daniel Boomhower, Head of the Reader Services Section in the Library's Music Division, offers a pre-concert talk on German chamber music of the mid-18th century with a performance of trio sonatas of the period. A slightly expanded version of this talk will also be offered as a Thursday Noontime Lecture at the Library on April 5, also in the Whittall Pavilion.

Image: L'Arpeggiata~ L’ARPEGGIATA ~
Christina Pluhar,
Artistic Director   Lucilla Galeazzi, vocalist
MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2012 at 8:00pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“It has been a long time since classical music has been lavished with such surprises or has embraced such vast perspectives.” Le Figaro

La Tarantella
Harpist and lutenist Christina Pluhar brings her arrestingly virtuosic ensemble to Washington for the first time. La Tarantella is a sensual, festive journey in time and geography, with enchanting, spellbinding improvisations that dissolve the boundaries between conventional notions of “early music,” traditional music, and jazz. Famed Italian singer Lucilla Galeazzi and a dancer versed in teatrodanza and commedia dell’arte styles join this captivating “luxury continuo band,” tracing the tarantella’s Southern Italian origins from a cure for a tarantula's bite to a vivid tradition still alive today.Image: L'Arpeggiata

GALEAZZI: “Ah, vita bella!”
CAZZATI: Ciaccona
Tarantella napolitana; Tono hypodorico
“Pizzicarella mia”; “La Carpinese”
SALVATORE (20th century):
“Lamento dei Mendicanti” Improvisations,
Bergamasca and Canario

Tarantella a Maria di Nardò; Moresca
“Sogna fiore mio”
Tarantella Italiana
“Voglio una casa” Improvisation; Jacaras
La Suave Melodia
“Lo povero 'Ntonnuccio”
Antidotum Tarantulae

Pre-concert presentation - 6:15 pm - Coolidge Auditorium (no tickets required)
L'Arpeggiata director Christina Pluhar and vocalist Lucilla Galeazzi join 7 colleagues from the ensemble and moderator Alberto Manai, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute of Washington for a conversation about tonight's program, "La Tarantella: Antidotum Tarantulae."

Presented under the auspices of the Maison Française, Embassy of France, and the French American Cultural Foundation.

Image: Modigliani String QuartetMODIGLIANI STRING QUARTET
FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2012 at 8:00pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“gripping and persuasive…awesome individual and communal brilliance” The Strad

Demonstrating the sophistication and elegance that has taken them to the world’s top concert halls, the Modigliani projects a refined sense of musical identity that is distinctively French. Laureates of the prestigious Young Concert Artists Auditions, they have appeared in Vienna’s Musikverein, the Brussels Palais des Beaux-Arts, and La Fenice, and collaborated with the Emerson, Jerusalem and Takács quartets. Aficionados will admire their matched set of instruments, “The Evangelists,” crafted in 1863 by the Paris maker Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume.

ARRIAGA: Quartet no. 3
Quartet in F Major, op. 18, no. 1
DOHNÁNYI: Quartet no. 3 in A minor, op. 33

Image: Jonathan Biss and Elias QuartetELIAS QUARTET with JONATHAN BISS, piano
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2012 at 8:00pm - Coolidge Auditorium

ELIAS ~ “…immensely talented…the rare quality of unforced spontaneity.” The Sunday Telegraph
BISS ~ “a keen musical intellect with a strong communicative personality to match”
The Baltimore Sun

Newcomers to U.S. audiences, this young British quartet founded at Manchester’s Royal Northern Music Conservatory has formed an artistic partnership with a poetic pianist whose reputation for virtuosity and musical integrity continues to grow exponentially. Biss takes a solo moment to shine in this lush all-Czech program.

SUK: Meditation, for quartet
JANÁCEK: Selections from In the Mists, for solo piano
JANÁCEK: String Quartet no. 1 (“Kreutzer Sonata”)
DVORÁK: Piano Quintet in A minor, op. 81

LECTURE: LOUIS ARMSTRONG: The Making of a Great Melodist
THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2012 at 12:00 noon - Coolidge Auditorium

Thomas Brothers, Professor of Music, Duke University

Presented in partnership with the American Musicological Society


Image: Arditti String QuartetARDITTI STRING QUARTET
with guest artist STEPHEN DRURY, piano
TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012 at 7:00pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“Magnificent” The London Times

The Arditti Quartet has earned a firm place in music history for its spirited and technically refined interpretations of contemporary music. Since its founding in 1974 several hundred quartets and other chamber works written for the ensemble have left a permanent imprint on 20th century repertoire, with milestone collaborations with such composers such as Andriessen, Carter, Denisov, Ferneyhough, Gubaidulina, Kurtág, Reynolds, Stockhausen and Xenakis.

To mark the Cage Centennial, Irvine Arditti and Stephen Drury perform a 1991 Cage violin and piano work commissioned by the McKim Fund Library of Congress, opening the program with this work at 7:00 pm; the concert will have two intermissions.

CAGE: Two4 (McKim Fund commission)
Grosse Fuge, op. 133
String Quartet, op. 3
Four Quarters
Quartet no. 4 in C Major

Image: Bach and FriendsBACH AND FRIENDS, filmscreening
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2012 at 7:00pm - Mary Pickford Theater

“Magnificent” The London Times

“Transformative”... A beautifully photographed two-hour documentary by Michael Lawrence, captivating not only for Bach-lovers but anyone who loves music. Reflections and performances by more than two dozen worldclass artists, including Philip Glass, Joshua Bell, Simone Dinnerstein, Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck, Jake Shimabukuro and Hilary Hahn.

Image: Quatuor DiotimaQUATUOR DIOTIMA
FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2012 at 8:00pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“Driven…dazzling…memorable.” The New York Times

“Definitely the most serious hope for chamber music in France” is the verdict from Le Figaro. And for Gramophone, the young Diotima Quartet is “one of the 5 quartets you should know about.” With 4 Diapason d’Or awards and 41 premieres so far, Diotima has built an impressive international reputation for its insightful and energetic approach to both contemporary and classical repertoire. Recent tours have taken them to major festivals and venues – Cité de la Musique, Berlin Philharmonie, and the Sydney and Athens Festivals, to name a few.

SCHUBERT: Quartet no. 7 in D Major, D.94
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in C-sharp minor, op. 131
SMETANA: String Quartet in E minor (“From my Life”)

Presented under the auspices of the Maison Française, Embassy of France, and the French American Cultural Foundation.

Image: Juilliard BaroqueBACHFEST with performances by JUILLIARD BAROQUE
SATURDAY, APRIL 14, 2012 at 8:00pm - Coolidge Auditorium
Lecture-Demonstration (11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m)
"Bach and the Landowska Legacy," SKIP SEMPÉ, harpsichord
Preconcert Performance (6:00 p.m.)
PIUS CHEUNG, marimba
*please note time change from 6:15pm

“Vital…sheer virtuosity” The New York Times

A marathon day exploring the legacy of harpsichordist and Bach scholar Wanda Landowska. At 11:00, harpsichordist Skip Sempé performs on Wanda Landowska's unique Pleyel instrument and also on her clavichord, with a talk on her Bach performances and the Library's substantial Landowska archives.  (No tickets are required for the Lecture-Demonstration; seating is first-come, first-served.)

JUILLIARD BAROQUE / Monica Huggett, Artistic Director
Monica Huggett and Cynthia Roberts, violins / Robert Mealy, violin and viola / Sandra Miller, flute
Phoebe Carrai, cello / Gonzalo Ruiz, oboe / Roberto Nairn, double bass / Kenneth Weiss, harpsichord

Image: Pius CheungAn impressive all-star line-up from the Juilliard School: nine sought-after period instrumentalists, familiar names for early music lovers worldwide. Their Bach performances are powerful – “an explosion of energy” – but also reveal a “transparency that brings every strand of Bach’s counterpoint into focus” (The New York Times).

J.S. BACH: Concerto in A minor for flute, violin and harpsichord, BWV 1044
J.S. BACH: from A Musical Offering, BWV 1079, 3-part ricercare for solo harpsichord; canons; and 6-part ricercare
J.S. BACH: Brandenburg Concerto no. 5 in D Major, BWV 1050

Pre-concert presentation - 6:00 pm - Whittall Pavilion (no tickets required)
The young Chinese-Canadian marimbist PIUS CHEUNG, a winner of the Young Concert Artists Auditions, has already been recognized as a master soloist, touring worldwide since his 2003 debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra. His recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations elicited a New York Times feature praising his technical command and deeply expressive interpretation.

Image: Concerto KolnCONCERTO KÖLN with JAN FREIHEIT, guest cellist
FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012 at 8:00pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“…energy, beauty, thrills and pathos… magnificent.” Classics Today

Superlatives are in order for this exceptional ensemble, appearing this season at the Library, Alice Tully, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. With these masters of historically informed performance practice, and an orchestra of beautiful period instruments, you could come intriguingly close to hearing what might have been the true sound of the Baroque.

DALL’ABACO: Concerto op. 5 no. 3 in E minor
VIVALDI: Concerto for cello, strings and basso continuo in D minor, no. 23, RV 407
BACH: Suite for orchestra in C Major, BWV 1066
BACH: Concerto for oboe d'amore, strings and basso continuo, BWV 1055
          (reconstruction after the harpsichord concerto, BWV 1055)
SAMMARTINI: Sinfonie in A Major
BACH: Brandenburg Concerto no. 2 in G Major, BWV 1049

Pre-concert presentation - 6:15 pm - Whittall Pavilion (no tickets required)
Stephan Sänger, co-artistic director of Concerto Köln

CONCERTO KÖLN - Special Meet-the-Orchestra Workshop -- FREE -- NO TICKETS REQUIRED
SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 2012 at 11:00am - Coolidge Auditorium

An unusual opportunity for an informal encounter with one of the world's top period instrument orchestras: the entire 22-member Concerto Köln.

Join us for a friendly Saturday morning event moderated by the ensemble's co-artistic director, Stephan Sänger. You can hear demonstrations of the group's period instruments, get the chance to hear the players discuss the evolution of performance practice, and their ideas on how French and Italian styles influenced the music of J.S. Bach.  

This event is being presented at the Library through the generous support of the Goethe Institut, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MBL High End Audio and TÜV-Rheinland.

Image: Tanya TomkinsTANYA TOMKINS, Baroque cello
SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2012 at 12:00 & 3:00pm - Coolidge Auditorium

“…spontaneous and heartfelt musicmaking which seemed to leave the audience exalted.” San Francisco Classical Voice

A virtuosic traversal of J.S. Bach’s technically demanding works for unaccompanied cello, by a master of the performance practice of his day. A rare chance to experience a comprehensive performance of the six suites, the last on a rare 6-stringed instrument.

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm ~ PART ONE
Suite no. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 / Suite no. 4 in E-flat Major, BWV 1010 / Suite no. 5 in C minor, BW 1011
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ~ PART TWO
Suite no. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008 / Suite no. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009 / Suite no. 6 in D Major, BWV 1012

Pre-concert presentation - 2:00 pm - Whittall Pavilion (no tickets required)
The Many Rooms of Bach’s Suites - Daniel Boomhower, Head, Reader Services, Music Division



Image: Gretchen Parlato and Gerald ClaytonU.S. ARMY BAND “Pershing’s Own”
Colonel Thomas H. Palmatier, Leader and Commander
Concerts from the Collections - AMERICAN MAVERICKS
SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” continues its excellent family-friendly Concerts from the Collections series with music by American mavericks. NO TICKETS REQUIRED.

WALKER: The Anthony Gell Suite
ROCHBERG: Electrikaleidoscope 
IVES: The Unanswered Question
IVES : Adagio Sostenuto
CAGE: Third Construction

Image: Jose JamesJOSÉ JAMES
SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2012 at 8:00pm - Atlas Performing Arts Center

“Maximum seductiveness.” NPR Music

Singer and songwriter José James has been called precocious, goldenthroated, unexpected, “a saviour of jazz.” Recordings with Chico Hamilton and Junior Mance, and his debut disc “The Dreamer” reveal a sophisticated musical worldview that takes in hip-hop and cutting-edge performance poetry. For this Atlas appearance James and his colleagues explore the universe of underground beats, soul, jazz standards and the legacy of John Coltrane. What you’ll hear, most of all, is what defines jazz at its best.

Pre-concert presentation - 6:00 pm - Atlas Performing Arts Center (no tickets required)
José James talks with Larry Appelbaum, Music Division

Please note: The ticket supply for this concert, has been exhausted; however, there are often up to 50 empty seats available for "sold out" concerts at start time on a SPACE AVAILABLE basis. Interested patrons are strongly encouraged to come to the Atlas at 6:00 pm on concert night to join the standby line for a SPACE AVAILABLE pass.

SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm - Coolidge Auditorium

"He producers a powerful and color sound in all registers, nails every shif and flashs all the virtuoso's tricks with insolent ease. He should have a stellar career."
Washington Post

A recital by 23-year-old Armenian cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, a Young Concert Artists laureate who captured the 1st Prize and Gold Medal at the 14th International Tchaikovsky Competition in June 2011. Pianist to be announced.

This concert is being presented in conjunction with a special exhibit, To Know Wisdom and Instruction: The Armenian Literary Tradition at the Library of Congress. Opening April 19, 2012, the exhibit commemorates the 500th anniversary of the first Armenian printing press and book at Venice in 1512, and the designation of Yerevan, Armenia as UNESCO’s Book Capital of the World, 2012. The exhibition and accompanying book To Know Wisdom and Instruction: The Armenian Collections of the Library of Congress will feature manuscripts, fabrics, and printed books from the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division, Near East Section, as well as items from the Library’s other custodial divisions.

Concerts are presented in the Library’s historic Coolidge Auditorium, located in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 1st and Independence, S.E., unless otherwise noted (view Library of Congress maps & floor plans). All events are free of charge to the public, but tickets are required, available through TicketMaster for a nominal service charge, and from the Atlas Performing Arts Center box office for onLOCation at the Atlas events. For updated concert listings, and details about repertoire and preconcert presentations, please visit this Web site frequently and subscribe to the concert series mailing list. All programs are subject to change without notice.