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Release Date: October 19, 2008

National Gallery of Art Announces Performances for first Half of 2007–2008 Concert Season through December 30

Washington, DC—Concerts by acclaimed American and international musicians make up the first half of the spectacular 66th season of free concerts at the National Gallery of Art—through December 30, 2007. Presented under the direction of Stephen Ackert, head of the music department, this season’s concerts include programs chosen especially to highlight Gallery exhibitions; a performance in celebration of Beethoven’s birthday presented in cooperation with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Embassy Series; a concert performed in conjunction with the Norwegian Christmas Festival; a performance that celebrates the 80th birthday of a world-renowned pianist; and a holiday concert of jazz, blues, and folk music on the day before Christmas Eve. A performance schedule for the second half of the concert season—January through June 2008—will be forthcoming.   


On December 2, in honor of the Edward Hopper exhibition, on view through January 21, 2008, the National Gallery Orchestra and members of the University of Maryland Opera Studio will perform the Washington, DC, premiere of Later the Same Evening: an opera inspired by five paintings of Edward Hopper. Written by Pulitzer Prize-nominated composer John Musto with award-winning librettist Mark Campbell, the performance brings to life iconic works by the great American artist, whose urban scenes are among the most enduring and popular images of the 20th century.

Five of Hopper’s paintings that capture moments of profound loneliness and a sense of estrangement are deftly woven into the set design through projections—Room in New York (1932), Hotel Window (1955), Hotel Room (1931), Two on the Aisle (1927), and Automat (1927).  Admission is free; seating is limited.  Call (202) 842-6941 for details.

The opera is cocommissioned by the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and the University of Maryland School of Music.  It premieres at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center from November 15 through 18, 2007, in conjunction with the first comprehensive survey of Edward Hopper’s career to appear in American museums outside New York in more than 25 years.

J.M.W. Turner

Two concert performances will celebrate the J.M.W.Turner exhibition, on view through January 6, 2008.  It is the largest and most comprehensive Turner retrospective ever in the United States. Soprano Amanda Pitt and pianist David Owen Norris will present a concert of music from the 18th and 19th centuries. On November 4, the Alexandria Symphony, under the direction of Kim Allen Kluge, will perform music by Ludwig van Beethoven, one of Turner’s most famous contemporaries.

Additional Concerts

World-renowned pianist Paul Badura-Skoda, a legendary artist who has been heard in all the world’s greatest concert halls, returns to the Gallery on November 11, 2007, to perform a recital in celebration of his 80th birthday.

The Contemporary Music Forum, Washington, DC’s, longest-running contemporary music ensemble, will cosponsor a performance by the percussion group red fish blue fish of music by classical composer Roger Reynolds on November 18 in honor of the exhibition Let the World In: Prints by Robert Rauschenberg from the National Gallery of Art and Related Collections, on view October 28, 2007–March 28, 2008.

Winter Season

Highlights of the Gallery concerts in the holiday season will include the National Gallery Orchestra’s concert performance in conjunction with the Norwegian Christmas Festival on December 9.  In celebration of Beethoven’s birthday, the Leipzig String Quartet presents a concert in cooperation with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Embassy Series on December 16.  The December 23 performance features a lively holiday “blues” concert by Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play.  The first half of the 2007-2008 concert season concludes with the National Gallery Orchestra’s traditional New Year concert on December 30.

Concert Information
Gallery concerts are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-seated basis. For evening performances held in the West Building and the East Building, seating begins at 6:00 pm and concerts start promptly at 6:30.  For concerts in the West Building, the entrance at Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue NW remains open until 6:30 p.m.  For concerts held in the East Building, the entrance at Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW remains open until 6:30 p.m.  There is no entry or reentry to either building after 6:30.  The Garden Café, in the West Building, is open until 6:00 p.m. for visitors’ convenience. 

General Information

For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]

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