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Release Date: November 5, 2009

National Gallery of Art Presents 64th American Music Festival in Honor of The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: Selected Works

Washington, DC—The American Music Festival at the National Gallery of Art is the longest- running festival of its kind. Since its inception in 1944 by the Gallery's first head of music, Richard Bales, the festival has hosted more than 150 world premieres of works by American composers. The 64th festival honors the exhibition The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: Selected Works, which prominently features six American masters—Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Brice Marden, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Stella—while also representing leading abstract expressionists and several younger artists. The music festival focuses on music written by four acknowledged American master composers of the late 20th century and also shines a spotlight on several younger composers.

The Gallery has drawn on the expertise of two American music specialists in planning and organizing the festival. Composer and music consultant Peter Robles, guest artistic director, brings years of experience in creating tours and commissions for living composers. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and Princeton University, Dr. Robles is also guest curator of the Mile High Voltage Festival at the University of Denver, scheduled for February 2010. For the main concert of the Gallery's festival, featuring the National Gallery of Art Orchestra on November 29, he chose the theme "Lines in Motion." The concert will include Symphony no. 2 by John Corigliano, one of America's most noted composers and winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in Music, as well as Waves by Fred Lerdahl, the Fritz Reiner Professor of Musical Composition at Columbia University. The concert will also include the premiere United States performance of a violin concerto by James Aikman, Lines in Motion. The festival features chamber music by Pierre Jalbert, Steve Reich, and Yehudi Wyner, and solo piano works by William Bolcom, Elliott Carter, and Leon Kirchner.

The 64th American Music Festival will also feature guest music director Maestro Vladimir Lande. An oboist who was one of the youngest principal players in the history of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Saint Petersburg, Russia, Lande is now principal guest conductor of the Saint Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. Also music director of the Chamber Orchestra of Southern Maryland, the Hopkins Symphony Chamber Orchestra, the Maryland Conservatory Orchestra, and the Washington Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Lande now makes his home in Baltimore and frequently guest-conducts the National Gallery of Art Orchestra, as he will in the festival on November 29.

Concert dates and programs:

Richard Stoltzman, clarinetist
Yehudi Wyner, pianist
Carter: Pastorale and Gra; Bernstein: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano; Foss: Dedication; Reich: New York Counterpoint; Wyner: Commedia; Gershwin: Three Preludes
Sunday, November 22, at 6:30 p.m.
East Building Auditorium

Ensō String Quartet
Reich: Different Trains; Jalbert: Icefield Sonnets; Corigliano: Snapshot circa 1909;
Moravec: Vince and Jan
Wednesday, November 25, at 12:10 p.m.
East Building Auditorium

National Gallery of Art Orchestra
Vladimir Lande, festival music director and guest conductor
Lerdahl: Waves; Aikman: Lines in Motion; Corigliano: Symphony no. 2
Sunday, November 29, at 6:30 p.m.
A panel discussion with the composers in the East Building Auditorium precedes the concert in the East Building Atrium.

Joel Fan, pianist
Bolcom: Nine New Bagatelles; Kirchner: Piano Sonata No. 3 ("The Forbidden"); Bermel: Funk Studies; Carter: Piano Sonata
Wednesday, December 2, at 12:10 p.m.
East Building Auditorium

Concert Information

Concerts at the National Gallery of Art are free of charge and open to the public on a first-come, first-seated basis. Seating begins thirty minutes prior to the concert. The entrance to the East Building entrance is at Fourth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Sunday concerts begin at 6:30 p.m., unless otherwise indicated. Entry is not permitted after 6:30 p.m.

For Wednesday midday performances, seating begins at 12:00 p.m. and the concert starts at 12:10 p.m. Monthly listings of concert programs may be obtained by calling (202) 842-6941 or by visiting the Gallery's Web site at

The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: Selected Works

Ten themes—Scrape, Concentricity, Line, Gesture, Art on Art, Drip, Stripe to Zip, Figure or Ground, Monochrome, and Picture the Frame—illuminate specific works across the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection. The resulting juxtapositions, often surprising and provocative, provide a new way to tell the story of postwar American art, and of a great collection. Through their remarkable acuity, exhaustive study, and close relationships with the artists, the Meyerhoffs amassed one of the outstanding collections of modern art with an emphasis on six American masters: Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Brice Marden, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Stella, in addition to important works by leading abstract expressionists and younger artists. The exhibition is on view in the East Building Mezzanine from October 1, 2009 through May 2, 2010.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

American Café

Continuing its popular themed menus inspired by exhibitions, the Garden Café at the National Gallery of Art will be transformed once again, this time as the American Café, in honor of The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: Selected Works. The American Café and the renowned contemporary American masterpieces presented in the Meyerhoff Collection together showcase a rich and varied American tradition in both the visual and culinary arts. Created by Chef David Rogers of Restaurant Associates at the National Gallery of Art, the new menu highlights regional American cooking along the East Coast, from New England to Florida, and will be served November 2, 2009 – January 27, 2010.

Selected desserts and cheeses from this menu will be served on the Sunday Concert menu in the Garden Café from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on performance evenings.

For more information about the Gallery and its restaurants, please visit

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]

The Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.

Press Release