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Release Date: September 2, 2011

National Gallery of Art Announces Fall Concerts in its 70th Annual Concert Season, Including a Broadcast of From the Top with Christopher O'Riley

Washington, DC (Updated September 9, 2011) —The National Gallery of Art presents its 70th season of the longest-running free Sunday concert series in the nation's capital from September 18, 2011, through June 24, 2012. The fall season's offerings include a radio broadcast of From the Top with Christopher O'Riley from the Gallery's East Building Auditorium, a festival honoring the 170th birthday of Czech composer Antonin Dvořák ("Mutual Inspirations"), five concerts celebrating Gallery exhibitions, a presentation of three concerts from the Gallery's cycle of the complete Beethoven String Quartets, and four concerts noting the 200th birthday of Hungarian composer Franz Liszt. The Gallery celebrates the holiday season this year with two concerts,and continues the tradition of holiday caroling in the West Building Rotunda with performances by choirs from Washington, DC, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

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 Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Sunday concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. in the West Building's West Garden Court, unless otherwise indicated. 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 website at

From the Top with Christopher O'Riley

The William Nelson Cromwell and F. Lammot Belin concert series at the National Gallery of Art is proud to host From the Top with Christopher O'Riley in October 2011. This popular radio program, which tours each year to broadcast from the nation's most prestigious concert venues, will be the Gallery's Sunday concert on October 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the East Building Auditorium. The event is open to the public free of charge, but as seating is limited, concertgoers are advised to arrive early. The broadcast concert is presented in collaboration with the Washington Performing Arts Society and is made possible in part by grants from U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management and the Richard B. and Sarah J. Marsten Charitable Remainder Unitrust.

Mutual Inspirations Festival

For the opening concert of the season, on September 18, the Gallery collaborates with the Embassy of the Czech Republic in celebrating the 170th birth anniversary of composer Antonin Dvořák. Part of the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2011-Antonin Dvořák, the concert features Catholic University of America's Rome Trio in a program that includes the composer's famous Dumky Trio, opus 90. The concert will be preceded at 6:00 pm by a talk by Gallery music department head Stephen Ackert on Dvořák and art.

Concerts in Honor of Exhibitions

On September 25, soprano Kate Vetter Cain, tenor Ole Hass, and the early music ensemble Harmonious Blacksmith present Italian Arias from Monteverdi to Haydn in honor of Italian Master Drawings from the Wolfgang Ratjen Collection: 1525–1835. On November 2, the Monadnock Music Trio performs music inspired by architecture, including a newly-composed work by David Kirkland Garner, in honor of The Gothic Spirit of John Taylor Arms. Three concerts in November celebrate the exhibition Warhol: Headlines—the National Gallery of Art New Music Ensemble on November 9, playing music by Antosca, Karre, and Oliver; the indie-rock duo Dean & Britta on November 12, with 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests; and the Verdehr Trio on November 23, playing music by Warhol contemporaries Hovhaness and Menotti and the world premiere of a trio by David Winkler inspired by Warhol's print Beethoven.

Composer Anniversaries

Noting the 200th anniversary of the birth of Franz Liszt, the Gallery presents four concerts under the sponsorship of the Richard B. and Sarah J. Marsten Charitable Remainder Unitrust. On October 23 and 30, Gallery concertgoers will hear Liszt's music for two pianos four hands, played by the Hanson-Kong Duo on October 23 and the Genova and Dimitrov Duo on October 30. On November 16, pianist Alexandre Dossin and organist Stephen Ackert play music of Liszt for their respective instruments, and on November 27 pianist Steven Spooner adds his interpretations of Liszt's masterworks for solo piano. The Liszt concerts will feature special program notes on Liszt's relationship to the visual arts by Gallery lecturer David Gariff. On Friday, December 16, the world-renowned pianist Menahem Pressler will celebrate his 88th birthday with the Gallery concert audience as he plays Beethoven on the occasion of the composer's 241st birthday.

Beethoven String Quartets

Continuing and completing its cycle of the complete Beethoven String Quartets, the Gallery presents outstanding quartets from the United States and the Czech Republic on the first Sunday of October, November, and December 2012. Some of the composer's most sophisticated works will be heard, including the Eroica Quartet, op. 59, no. 2 on October 2 (National Gallery of Art String Quartet); the Liebquartett, op. 130 on November 6 (Talich String Quartet); and the Serioso Quartet, op. 95 on December 4 (Pacifica String Quartet).

Holiday Concerts

A wide variety of music for the holiday season is available to Gallery visitors in December. On December 11, the Rose Ensemble brings ancient music from three traditions—Arab, Christian, and Sephardic—and a preconcert talk by Washington baritone and former cantor Jerome Barry on Sephardic music begins at 6:00 p.m. on that Sunday. On December 18, countertenor Thomas Mark Fallon sings Christmas music arranged for his special voice range in A Countertenor Christmas. The tradition of holiday caroling in the West Building Rotunda continues on December 10, 11, 17, and 18, as choirs from the DC area as well as Annapolis, Maryland, and Buckingham, Pennsylvania fill the space with sounds of the season, with performances at both 1:30 and 2:30 p.m.

Concerts in January 2012

The new year ushers in a three-concert celebration of music from Brazil, presented in collaboration with the Embassy of Brazil. On January 8, pianist Jean Louis Steuerman plays music by Villa-Lobos and other composers; on January 15, the early music ensemble Americantiga combines with the National Gallery of Art Chamber Players to sing and play 18th-century Brazilian and Portuguese music; and on January 22, Quarteto Vivace Brasil plays string quartets by Villa-Lobos and other composers. On January 28 and 29, the Gallery will celebrate the reopening of the Impressionist Galleries with two afternoons of late 19th-century French music, performed by various ensembles in the East Garden Court, as well as the regular Sunday evening concert on January 29, featuring the National Gallery of Art Vocal Ensemble singing music by Fauré and other French composers.

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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