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Press Release


Release Date: January 22, 2013

Spring 2013 Concerts at National Gallery of Art Highlight Composer-in-Residence Jeffrey Mumford, Music for Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, Festival of Music from the European Union, and More


Music by Composer-in-Residence Jeffrey Mumford will be performed on Sundays, February 3, 10, and 17 at the National Gallery of Art in honor of African American History Month. Image courtesy Ronald Jantz

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art continues its 71st season of the longest-running free Sunday concert series in the nation's capital through June 30, 2013. The spring season's offerings highlight the appointment of Jeffrey Mumford as composer-in-residence in February, the European Month of Culture in May, music for young audiences, and the Gallery exhibitions Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909–1929: When Art Danced with Music; Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848–1900; and Color, Line, Light: French Drawings, Watercolors, and Pastels from Delacroix to Signac.

Composer-in-Residence: Jeffrey Mumford

The National Gallery of Art announces the appointment of Jeffrey Mumford as composer-in-residence in February 2013, African American History Month. This continues a relationship between the music community and the Gallery that began in 1943, when composer Richard Bales was appointed as the Gallery's first head of music programs. Mumford, a Washington, DC, native who teaches at Lorain County Community College in Ohio, brings to the project a personal connection with the Gallery, a frequent destination during his formative years. The residency will include free Sunday concerts on February 3, 10, and 17, as well as a "Works in Progress" lecture on February 19 at 12:10 p.m. and 1:10 p.m. The February 3 and 17 concerts will include the world premiere performances of works Mumford has composed especially for this residency.

Music for Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909–1929: When Art Danced with Music

This exhibition of portraits, costumes, and scenery from the famed Ballets Russes provides an ideal opportunity to present related music. On May 15, Robert Berkman, one of the few modern practitioners of the instrument known as the pianola, will demonstrate it in concert, playing music that was created for Ballets Russes productions before the introduction of recording devices. On May 19, the Sunday closest to the 100th anniversary of the premiere performance in Paris of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, the Alexandria Symphony—conducted by Kim Kluge—will present the concert version of the work, along with another masterpiece used as ballet music by the Ballets Russes—Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. On June 16, pianist Michael Arnowitt will play music by Satie and other composers who worked with Serge Diaghilev to create ballet scores.

Other Concerts in Honor of Exhibitions

On April 10 and 14, in honor of Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848–1900, the National Gallery of Art Vocal Ensemble will present two programs of music by British composers who were contemporaries of the Pre-Raphaelite painters. The music will include excerpts from Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta Patience, in which the librettist has some fun at the expense of the followers of that school. French music written between 1815 and 1915 will be the rich source of repertoire for concerts in honor of Color, Line, Light: French Drawings, Watercolors, and Pastels from Delacroix to Signac. Music from the period will be featured in recitals by pianist Nima Sarkekich (April 17) and the Leroy-Moubarak cello and piano duo (April 24).

Festival of Music from the Countries of the European Union

As part of a city-wide celebration of May as the European Month of Culture, the Gallery will host eight concerts by performers from countries that belong the European Union in collaboration with the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. On May 1, Spanish harpsichordist Ignacio Prego will play music of Scarlatti and other Italian and Spanish composers. On May 5, Austrian pianist and conductor Paul Badura-Skoda will be the guest conductor of the National Gallery of Art Orchestra and perform an all-Mozart program. On May 8, guitarist Mak Grgić will perform music by composers from his native Slovenia and by J. S. Bach, and on May 12, the guest ensemble will be the Czech Republic's Vlach String Quartet, with Swedish pianist Helena Sucharova Weiser. On May 22, Finnish soprano Meri Siirala joins Belgian-born pianist Danielle Deswert Hahn to perform music by Sibelius and other composers; on May 26, Lithuanian pianist Gabrilius Alekan plays music by compatriot composers; and on May 29, the National Gallery of Art Chamber Players present music by composers from Denmark, Malta, and other European Union countries.

Music for Young Audiences

Continuing its commitment to young audiences, the Gallery music department will present a special concert on Sunday, March 10, consisting of a musical based on a children's book, Anna and the Hermitage Cats, by Mary Ann Allin. The musical, titled Hermitage Cats, was recently composed by Chris Brubeck and is performed by a mixed Russian-American ensemble. On Saturday, April 6, at 3:30 p.m., the West Building Lecture Hall will resound with the artistry of the winners of the Feder Memorial String Competition, ranging in age from 11 to 18 years. The event is presented in collaboration with the Washington Performing Arts Society.

Beethoven Piano Concertos

Continuing a collaboration that began with the appointment by the Phillips Collection of a resident chamber music ensemble, the National Gallery and the Phillips Collection have scheduled five concerts in March and April 2013 that will give their audiences an opportunity to hear all five Beethoven piano concertos (in chamber music arrangements by Vincenz Lachner) in the course of a few weeks. The pianists who will join with members of the National Gallery of Art String Quartet and the Phillips Camerata in this project are Irina Nozuva (March 24 at the Phillips Collection), Edvinas Minkstimas (March 27 at National Gallery of Art), Danielle DeSwert Hahn (April 7 at National Gallery of Art), Thomas Pandolfi (April 14 at the Phillips Collection), and Mykola Suk (April 21 at National Gallery of Art).

Other Pianists in Recital

California-based pianist Paul Posnak brings a program of jazz-based music by Gershwin and other composers to the Gallery's East Building Auditorium on Wednesday, March 20; on Sunday, March 24, as part of the Gallery's observance of the 2013 National Cherry Blossom Festival, Yoshikazu Nagai plays piano music by Japanese and European composers; and on May 28, Katherine Chi plays works by Bach, Beethoven, Mallia, Scriabin, and Vonorov.

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 30 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 weekday 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

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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