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Release Date: August 28, 2009

National Gallery of Art Concerts in 2009–2010 Present Music Relating to the Visual Arts

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art presents its 68th season of the longest-running free concert series in the nation's capital from September 18, 2009, through May 23, 2010. Nearly all of the concerts will relate to a Gallery exhibition, an aspect of the permanent collection, or themes common to music and visual arts.

Among the few exceptions are concerts by celebrity guest performers Emma Kirkby, Till Fellner, and Sharon Isbin. Kirkby, who is considered one of the greatest sopranos since the emergence of recordings, will perform with lutenist Jakob Lindberg for "Orpheus in England," a concert of music by John Dowland and Henry Purcell presented as part of Kirkby's 60th birthday tour. On November 1, 2009, and February 7, 2010, Fellner plays the fourth and fifth concerts of his seven-part exposition of Ludwig van Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas. Isbin will present a selection of her favorite repertoire for the guitar, including works of Albéniz and Granados on December 27, 2009.

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 West Building is located at Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue NW and the East Building entrance is at Fourth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Sunday concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. in the West Building West Garden Court, unless otherwise indicated. Entry is not permitted after 6:30 p.m.

For Wednesday midday performances, the 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

Concerts in Honor of Exhibitions

Twenty-four musical programs were selected by the head of the Gallery's music department, Stephen Ackert, to highlight Gallery exhibitions. Highlights among these concerts include three in honor of The Art of Power: Royal Armor and Portraits from Imperial Spain, on view in the West Building through November 1, 2009. The National Gallery Brass Quintet will play their favorite Spanish repertoire on September 18 at 5:30 p.m. in the Sculpture Garden. One week later, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet will follow suit, performing Hispanic music at the same time and location. On October 11, the Choral Arts Society of Washington will feature pianist Douglas Riva to perform music by Enrique Granados and other Spanish composers to honor the exhibition.

The early music ensemble Arco Voce joins soprano Rosa Lamoreaux on October 4 to celebrate An Antiquity of Imagination: Tullio Lombardo and Venetian High Renaissance Sculpture, on view in the West Building through November 1, 2009.

Four concerts honoring The Darker Side of Light: Arts of Privacy, 1850–1900, on view in the West Building October 1, 2009–January 18, 2010, explore the theme of symbolism. The Poulenc Trio (September 27), the National Gallery Wind Quintet (October 7), the Chiara String Quartet (October 14), and the National Gallery Piano Trio (October 18) will devote their concerts to the theme. The early music ensemble Carmina celebrates the exhibition Judith Leyster, 1609–1660 by playing 17th-century music on period instruments, some of which have been inspired by the instruments in Leyster's paintings (October 21).

Four concerts in the late fall will be dedicated to Renaissance to Revolution: French Drawings from the National Gallery of Art, 1500–1800, on view October 1, 2009–January 31, 2010. On October 28 (Wednesday), Masques will perform music by Couperin and Rameau; Pro Musica Rara performs on November 4; Zephyrus Ensemble will play music by Couperin, Rebel, and Rameau on November 11; and the National Gallery Vocal Arts Ensemble performs on November 15, featuring music by Gevaert, Janequin, Rameau, Sermisy, Tessier, and other French composers of the time.

The 64th American Music Festival, which focuses upon American composers who flourished in the 1970s and 1980s, will commence on November 22 honoring The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: Selected Works, on view October 1, 2009–May 2, 2010. Clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and pianist Yehudi Wyner will perform pieces by Carter, Reich, and Wyner. The Ensō String Quartet will perform at the second concert in the festival on November 25; and the National Gallery Orchestra performs works by Aikman, Corigliano, and Lerdahl on November 29. December 2 marks the final concert of the 64th American Music Festival, where American pianist Joel Fan will play a selection of works by Carter, Bolcom, Gandolfi, and Kirchner.

The new year 2010 ushers in not only the National Gallery Orchestra's traditional New Year concert on January 3, but also a 400th anniversary performance, on January 17, of Claudio Monteverdi's monumental Vespers in Honor of the Blessed Virgin, composed in 1610. This concert is followed at the Gallery in rapid succession by concerts of masterworks from 1710 (January 20), 1810 (January 24), and 1910 (January 27). In each case, the program notes will introduce the audience to significant works of art in the Gallery's permanent collection that date from those years. The series culminates on January 31 with a concert titled "2010," which will feature the world premiere of a choral work by Carlos Carillo that uses the same text as the Monteverdi Vespers.

Concurrent with From Impressionism to Modernism: the Chester Dale Collection, on view from January 31 to July 31, 2010, several concerts in March, April, and May 2010 honor Chester Dale, one of the original National Gallery benefactors and a personal friend of George Gershwin. The composer's music will be performed by pianist Dan Franklin Smith, the Virginia Virtuosi, and soprano Karin Paludan-Sorey.

March 7, 2010, brings a program designed to highlight both The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: Selected Works and Editions with Additions: Working Proofs by Jasper Johns, as the Verge Ensemble presents music newly composed for the occasion by Roger Reynolds. The German male vocal ensemble Amarcord sings a program of German Renaissance music on March 17, 2010, inspired by the Northern Renaissance paintings and sculpture in the Gallery's permanent collection.

Concerts in late May 2010 honor American Modernism: The Edward and Deborah Schein Collection and German Drawings from the Wolfgang Ratjen Collection, both of which open May 16, 2010. Performing ensembles include the Teiber String Trio, the National Gallery Orchestra, and the National Gallery Piano Trio.


Solo piano recitals continue as an essential part of the Gallery concerts. Austrian pianist Till Fellner continues his performances of Beethoven's complete piano sonatas on November 1 with sonatas nos. 4, 15, 24, 25, and 27, and on February 7 with sonatas nos. 12, 13,14, 21, and 22.

On November 18, Thomas Mastroianni will perform Debussy's Suite bergamasque, with commentary by Stephen Ackert titled "A Suite bergamasque in Art and Music." Danish pianist Jens Elvekjaer will continue the individual piano concerts on December 6 with a combination of Schumann, Sørensen, and Ravel; Oni Buchanan plays music by women composers of the 21st century on March 10 in honor of Women's History Month; Polish pianist Eva Poblocka celebrates the 200th birth year of Frédéric Chopin on March 17 with an all-Chopin recital; and Diane Walsh plays music by Couperin, Haydn, Schubert, and Ravel on May 2.

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.

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