"Out my one window," an aria from Later the Same Evening: an opera inspired by five paintings of Edward Hopper,commissioned to coincide with the Edward Hopper exhibition at the Gallery. The opera was performed this fall at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. "Out my one window," music by John Musto and lyrics by Mark Campbell, is used by kind permission of Peermusic Classical, New York.
- Diamonstein-Spielvogel Lecture Series
- Sydney J. Freedberg Lecture on Italian Art
- Elson Lecture Series
- A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts
- Wyeth Lectures in American Art
- Conversations with Artists
- Collecting of African American Art
- Conversations with Collectors
- Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE)
- Rajiv Vaidya Memorial Lecture
Program: Locus iste (Bruckner), Prevent us, O Lord in all our doings (Byrd), Ave maris stella (Grieg), Psalm 121, Above all praise and majesty (Mendelssohn). One of the most renowned choirs in the world, the Choir of St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, presented a brief concert at the National Gallery of Art on October 25, 2007, in honor of the centenary of the birth of Paul Mellon (1907–1999), founding benefactor of the Gallery and an ardent Anglophile. In his memoir, Reflections in a Silver Spoon, Mellon suggested that his love of Great Britain was foreshadowed during his first visit with his parents, when he was baptized in St. George's Chapel on December 22, 1907. The performance took place in the Gallery's East Garden Court.
Leon Major, professor of music, University of Maryland. The world of music merges with the visual arts in Later the Same Evening: an opera inspired by five paintings of Edward Hopper. The performance is a joint project of the National Gallery of Art, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, and the University of Maryland School of Music. Music professor Leon Major, talks about the opera and artist Edward Hopper with Tempchin.
Program: Maurice Ravel's Piano Trio in A Minor. The National Gallery of Art Piano Trio, the resident trio at the National Gallery, features violinist Luke Wedge and cellist Ben Wensel, both of whom have performed as members of the National Gallery Orchestra. The third member of the trio, pianist Danielle DeSwert Hahn, is also the Gallery's music program specialist. Listen to the four movements of Maurice Ravel's Piano Trio in A Minor, from a performance in the West Garden Court of the National Gallery on February 24, 2008.
Program: Songs by William Grant Still for soprano and piano. Listen to music by William Grant Still, known as the dean of African American composers, and one of the country's most celebrated figures in music. A prolific composer, Still wrote more than 150 works, including symphonies, ballets, operas, chamber pieces, and vocal works. The concert features performances by Celeste Headlee, W. G. Still's granddaughter, and Danielle DeSwert.
Program: Music from the 16th and 17th centuries that explores the theme of travel. National Gallery of Art Chamber Players perform a concert in honor of Fabulous Journeys and Faraway Places: Travels on Paper, 1450–1700. On this occasion, the ensemble includes tenor Wolodymyr Smishkewych, recorder virtuoso Kathryn Montoya, harpist Keith Collins, dulcian player Anna Marsh, viola da gambist Loren Ludwig, and harpsichordist Stephen Ackert.
Program: Felix Mendelssohn's Ein Sommernachtstraum (A Midsummer Night's Dream), op. 61, arranged by Ulf-Guido Schäfer; György Ligeti's Six Bagatelles; Samuel Barber's Summer Music, op. 31 (1956); Astor Piazzolla's Suite, arranged by Ulf-Guido Schäfer; Scott Joplin's Ragtimes, arranged by Ulf-Guido Schäfer. Formed in 1986, the Ma'alot Wind Quintet has won prizes in major international festivals and established a reputation as a leading proponent of new music. In addition to works written especially the ensemble, the group also performs arrangements by quintet members Ulf-Guido Schäfer (clarinet) and Volker Grewel (horn). The other members of the quintet are Stephanie Winker (flute), Christian Wetzel (oboe), and Volker Tessmann (bassoon). This performance took place on January 11, 2009, and was the inaugural concert of Mendelssohn on the Mall, a festival presented jointly by the Library of Congress, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Gallery of Art.
Contemporary arrangements of 18th- and 19th-century American choral music, sung by the Central Bucks County (Pennsylvania) High School West Choir, the Eighteenth Street Singers (Washington, DC), and ProMusica of Columbia Union College (Takoma Park, Maryland). Choral music has been an important part of music at the National Gallery ever since the very first concert at the Gallery in December 1942, sung by the United States Navy Music School Chorus. In April 2009, the Gallery celebrated the reopening of the American Galleries in the West Building with a three-day festival of American choral music presented by six outstanding choirs. Listen to the some of the music sung by three of those choirs.
Program: Music from the 19th century that explores "The Darker Side of Light." The National Gallery of Art Wind Quintet performs a concert in honor of The Darker Side of Light: Arts of Privacy, 1850–1900. The ensemble consists of flutist Sara Nichols, oboist Ronald Sipes, clarinetist Christopher Hite, bassoonist Danny Phipps, and French horn player Theodore Peters.
Program: Music by Brahms and Schubert. The National Gallery of Art String Quartet performs a Brahms piano quintet with renowned pianist Menahem Pressler and a quartet by Franz Schubert. The ensemble consists of violinists Claudia Chudacoff and Teri Lazar, violist Osman Kivrak, and cellist Diana Fish.
Program: Music by Stephen Hough. This piece of music, composed by Stephen Hough for the exhibition The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture, 1600–1700, is based on the 1605 Requiem by the great Spanish composer Tomás Luís de Victoria. Stephen Hough recast and reworked this requiem, reimagining its six voices for a string sextet. He selected five sections to make five movements: the fourth movement (Versa est) is a simple transcription with nothing altered; the first movement (Tadeat animum) takes the four-part original and floats it around the six instruments in antiphonal waves; the second movement (Kyrie eleison) keeps all the notes the same but changes their register–removing the linear mosaic of the vocal lines and making them soar and plunge in jagged, overlapping intervals. The third (Graduale) movement is more radically altered. The final, longest movement (Libera me) reproduces the polyphonic sections fairly faithfully, but takes the original plainsong interludes as if themes for variations in various modern styles.
Program: Music by Couperin, Rameau, and other 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-century French composers. The National Gallery of Art Vocal Ensemble and the early music ensembles Masques, Pro Musica Rara, and Zephyrus play music from concerts presented at the Gallery in honor of Renaissance to Revolution: French Drawings from the National Gallery of Art, 1500–1800.
Program: Music by de Wert, Hacquart, Sweelinck, and other 17th-century composers performed by the National Gallery of Art Vocal Arts Ensemble and Chamber Players. The National Gallery of Art Vocal Arts Ensemble and Chamber Players perform 17th-century Dutch music in honor of the exhibition Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered.
Program: Music by Dvorak, Mozart, and Villa-Lobos. The Ritz Chamber Players, the only all-African American professional chamber music ensemble, play masterworks of 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century chamber music in concert at the National Gallery of Art. Members of the ensemble performing in this podcast are Kelly Hall-Tompkins, violin, Amadi Azikiwe, viola, Tahira Whittington, cello, Judy Dines, flute, and Terrence Wilson, piano.
Program: Music by Flagello and Ruggles. Pianist Peter Vinograde plays American music from the 1950s and 1960s in honor of the exhibition Looking In: Robert Frank's "The Americans."
Program: Music composed by Ludwig van Beethoven in the year 1810. National Gallery of Art resident ensembles perform music of Ludwig van Beethoven that was written exactly 200 years ago. The National Gallery of Art String Quartet plays the Quartet no. 10 in E-flat Major ("Harp"); the National Gallery of Art Wind Quintet plays an arrangement of the Sextet, op. 71; and the National Gallery of Art Piano Trio plays the Piano Trio in B-flat Major, op. 97.
Program: Music by Hassler, Isaac, Senfl, and other German Renaissance composers. Amarcord, one of Germany's outstanding male vocal ensembles, sings a special program of Renaissance music to complement the works by German and Netherlandish Renaissance masters in the Gallery's collection. The internationally acclaimed five-voice male ensemble draws from its repertoire of music by Hans Leo Hassler, Heinrich Isaac, Ludwig Senfl, and other Renaissance composers.
Program: Music by Glass and Szymanski. The Del Sol String quartet plays music by Philip Glass and Pawel Szymanski in honor of the exhibition The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: Selected Works. Two-time winner of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP First Prize for Adventurous Programming, the San Francisco-based Del Sol String Quartet has received enthusiastic response from critics and audiences for its lively interpretation of new music. Their concert at the National Gallery was presented in celebration of the Meyerhoff Collection and late twentieth-century American masters.
Program: Norwegian vocal music. Nordic Voices is a six-voice a capella ensemble from Norway, considered one of the leading international vocal ensembles of its type. The group specializes in vocal music of contemporary Norwegian composers, including settings of Latin texts, traditional Norwegian texts, and contemporary arrangements of folk songs. For its Gallery concert on October 10, 2010, Nordic Voices sang music by Kvaerno, Kverndokk, Ødegaard, and Thoresen.
Program: Music by Grieg, Saeverud, and other composers. Trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth and pianist Steffen Horn play a concert at the National Gallery of Art as part of the annual Norwegian Christmas Festival at Union Station in Washington, DC. In addition to transcriptions of familiar works by Frédéric Chopin and Edvard Grieg, the duo plays original works for trumpet and piano by Georges Enescu, Maurice Ravel, and Harald Saeverud.
Program: Music by Laszlo Weiner and Ernst von Dohnányi. The National Gallery of Art Piano Trio joins forces with Hungarian violinist Vilmos Szabadi and violist Szilvia Kovács to perform music by Laszlo Weiner and Ernst von Dohnányi. The concert was a part of Extremely Hungary, a festival of art exhibitions, films, and concerts staged in New York City and Washington in 2009.
Program: Music by Laszlo Weiner and Ernst von Dohnányi. The dramatic story of Jewish life in the 20th century has given rise to a large body of music, including some outstanding chamber music. The Poulenc Trio, augmented by violinists Sally McClain and Anton Lande, violist Nicholas Citro, cellist Steven Honigberg, and clarinetist Rié Suszuki, play music by Jakoulov, Klein, Prokofiev, and Schulhoff that they performed in concert at the National Gallery on December 5, 2010.
Program: Claudio Monteverdi: Vespers of the Blessed Virgin (1610). Washington's National Gallery of Art Vocal Ensemble, New York's early music ensemble ARTEK, and Philadelphia's period-instrument wind band Piffaro join forces to perform Claudio Monteverdi's Vespers of the Blessed Virgin in honor of the 400th anniversary of its composition in 1610. The concert was one of a series titled "1610, 1710, 1810, 1910, 2010."
Program: Music by Godefroid, Piazzolla, and other composers. Flutist Karen Johnson and harpist Astrid Walschot-Stapp are heard together in concert at the National Gallery, playing Etude de concert by Félix Godefroid, Café 1930 by Astor Piazzolla, and music by other composers in a program that was recorded at the Gallery in January 2010.
Program: Music for barytons by Beethoven and Haydn. The renowned Lithuanian cellist David Geringas performs on the baryton, an 18th-century derivative of the cello, with fellow cellists Jens Peter Maintz and Hartmut Rohde. The baryton, which enjoyed considerable popularity in its day, was a favorite of Haydn's patron Prince Nicolaus Esterházy, and the composer wrote a large body of baryton trios for the prince to play in ensemble with other musicians from his court orchestra.
Program: Music by Han Kun Sha, Sicong Ma, and Franz Schubert. Chinese violinist Dan Zhu and Israeli pianist Renana Gutman play in concert at the Gallery, performing works for violin and piano by Chinese composers Han Kun Sha and Sicong Ma, as well as Franz Schubert's Fantasia for Violin and Piano in C Major. Zhu appeared recently at the Fontainebleau and Casals music festivals; he is one of a number of performers who have played at the Gallery and gone on to find success on the international concert stage.
Program: Music for piano quartet by Mahler and Fauré. The Fauré Piano Quartet plays Gustav Mahler's Piano Quartet in A Minor and Gabriel Fauré's Piano Quartet no. 1 in C Minor, op. 15, which they performed at the National Gallery of Art on October 27, 2010. Almost all of the great 19th-century composers tried their hand at writing chamber music for piano quartet, which consists of violin, viola, and cello, in addition to the piano. One of the outstanding ensembles that keep this repertoire alive in the present day is the Fauré Piano Quartet, named after the composer of one of the best piano quartets in the repertoire.
Program: Music by Arcadelt, Cara, Donato, Tromboncino, and others. The National Gallery of Art Chamber Players searched its repertoire for Italian 16th-century compositions that represent in music the mannerism that manifests itself in the art of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, which was showcased at the Gallery in the exhibition Arcimboldo, 1526–1593: Nature and Fantasy. The podcast includes music by Arcadelt, Cara, Donato, Tromboncino, and other composers. Their work, like that of Arcimboldo, is marked by ambiguity, virtuosity, and elegance.
Program: Music for Advent and Christmas by Bach, Buxtehude, and Praetorius. German-speaking Europe in the 18th century was replete with small duchies and kingdoms, each of which maintained resident musical ensembles with great pride and fostered outstanding composers. The National Gallery's resident vocal ensemble and chamber players present music that would have been heard around Christmastime in the baroque era in Leipzig, Lueneburg, and Wolfenbuettel, Germany—the homes, respectively, of Johann Sebastian Bach, Dietrich Buxtehude, and Michael Praetorius.
Program: Music by Caldara, Gabrielli, Legrenzi, Vivaldi, and other Venetian composers. During the run of the exhibition Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals, the National Gallery presented four concerts of Italian music from the time of Canaletto (1697–1768), coinciding with the end of the baroque era in music. Venice was abounding with musical as well as artistic talent at this time, as attested by the large number of composers and the high quality of the music featured in these concerts.
Program: Music for solo piano by Brubeck, Chopin, Copland, Gershwin, and Previn. Pianist Dan Franklin Smith performs music from the great romantic tradition in the form of nine short pieces by Frédéric Chopin, music inspired by Chopin by American composers Gershwin and Copland, and music inspired by jazz by Dave Brubeck and André Previn. Based in New York City, Smith heads an international festival in Germany called "Elysium: Between Two Continents."
Program: St. John Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach. The Stanford University Chamber Chorale and Chatham Baroque. Picking up on a theme of the National Gallery exhibition The Sacred Made Real, which featured sculptures depicting the crucifixion of Jesus and the sufferings of Mary and the saints, the conductor of the Stanford University Chamber Chorale, Stephen Sano, led his group in singing selections from J. S. Bach's Saint John Passion for a concert at the Gallery in March 2010, while the exhibition was on view. Visitors reported being similarly moved by both the music and the art, though the art reflected religious life in 16th-century Spain and the music reflected religious life in 18th-century Germany.
Program: Music by Praetorius and arrangements of traditional carols. Founded in 1990, Ensemble Galilei has made a name for itself through innovative chamber music concerts that incorporate images and words as well as music. Taking a cue from programs that the ensemble presented with curators at the National Geographic Society and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gallery music department head Stephen Ackert combined the ensemble's holiday repertoire with images of paintings from the Gallery's permanent collection, which have in past years been featured on Christmas stamps issued by the Unites States Postal Service.
Program: Music by Gershwin, Milhaud, Porter, Stravinsky, and other composers. To honor From Impressionism to Modernism: The Chester Dale Collection, violinist Bruno Nasta and pianist Danielle Hahn called upon clarinetist David Neithamer, bassist Jonathan Nazdin, and pianist Ronald Chiles to join them for performances of works that music historians now recognize as belonging to the "modern" period in music. The ensemble played a suite for violin, clarinet, and piano by Darius Milhaud; Stravinsky's famous Soldier's Tale; and a medley of songs by Gershwin and other Broadway composers, noting that Gershwin and Chester Dale knew each other personally.
Program: Music by Steve Antosca and Judith Shatin. Music composed and arranged by Steve Antosca and Judith Shatin for performance in the West Building Rotunda on the occasion of the National Gallery of Art's 70th anniversary. Selections include the world premiere performances of Antosca's Echoic Landscape and Shatin's Sic transit, both composed in 2011, as well as Antosca's in every way I remember you, featuring saxophonist Noah Getz.
Program: Music by Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. National Gallery of Art resident ensembles play the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in a concert dedicated to the memory of Milton M. Gottesman. The string quartet performs Mozart's Quartet in C Major, K. 465 ("Dissonant"), the wind quintet plays Johann Sebastian Bach's Fugue in G Minor, BWV 593 ("Little"), and the piano trio presents two movements from Mozart's Piano Trio in B-flat Major, K. 502.
Jenny Lin, pianist, and Roger Reynolds, University Professor, University of California, San Diego. For this multimedia creation conceived for the National Gallery of Art on the occasion of the John Cage Centennial Festival Washington, DC, Roger Reynolds discusses American poet John Cage as a composer, writer, philosopher, visual artist, and performer. Recorded on September 9, 2012, the presentation offers a personalized perspective on (and around) Cage and his work. Passages recorded from a 1985 conversation between Cage and Reynolds are included, as well as some of the signature one-minute Indeterminacy stories as recorded by Cage. The live and recorded readings interpenetrate each other and coexist with projected images and videos. Guest pianist Jenny Lin performs Cage's Seasons (excerpts), Quest, and ONE, which intermingle and overlap with other elements in the presentation.
A discussion of Intermedia work, in particular Roger Reynolds’s FLiGHT Project and the video “operas” of the late Robert Ashley. Participants include Tom Hamilton, a collaborator of Ashley’s, and Ross Karre, percussionist and Intermedia artist for performances of various works by Reynolds. Moderated by Roger Reynolds, Pulitzer prize-winning American composer and University Professor, University of California, San Diego. To inaugurate the 66th American Music Festival: Personal Visions on March 8, 2015, at the National Gallery of Art, guest festival director Roger Reynolds joined Tom Hamilton and Ross Karre to discuss artistic collaboration in the creation of multimedia experiences. Samuel Taylor Coleridge famously wrote about “the suspension of disbelief”—of giving oneself over to a constructed illusion. This discussion considers the ways contributors work together to reach an optimal balance among media in creating such experiences. Hamilton talks about altering vocal quality and assembling electronic aspects of the late American composer Robert Ashley’s idiosyncratic “operas.” Karre describes collaborating as projection designer for Reynolds’s works, including the image and light projections for the FLiGHT Project portion of the JACK Quartet concert held later that day.
Starting in the late 1950s, with my work on a sound/music score for a production of King Lear, I became infatuated with the notion of composing music as a studio art. I was convinced that an imminent technology explosion would offer, for the first time in history, an alternative to the centuries-old, three-person model of the solitary composer, alone at a desk writing music with pen and paper, the performer reading and performing the music on an instrument, and the audience listening to that music in an auditorium. This was the dream that prompted Ramon Sender and me to search for someone to create an electronic music easel; that someone became Don Buchla, resulting in the design and building of the first “Buchla Box,” the first analog synthesizer. I began my life’s work of creating a new music in a technologically impacted world; a world yet to come. The dream was realized in a series of works starting with Silver Apples of the Moon and ending with A Sky of Cloudless Sulphur; my version of a new “chamber music,” music created specifically for the turntable and intended to be heard in the privacy of one’s home. I also worked on studio art’s anti-matter twin — public performance music that depended on spontaneity; the performance would somehow invoke the techniques and aesthetics of musical studio art. I went through numerous approaches, and, as technology became more sophisticated, I ended up with an approach that finally feels right. For each season of performances, I create a new hybrid Ableton-Buchla “instrument” loaded with prepared samples from all my previous works and performances, as well as new materials developed specifically for the new season; this allows me to transform the samples while performing brand new sound gestures, creating a new and ongoing palette for performances; The work always has the same title, From Silver Apples of the Moon to A Sky of Cloudless Sulphur. In this version I have created new material especially for the three instrumentalists from the National Gallery of Art New Music Ensemble.
-Program Notes by Morton Subotnick