Release Date: September 13, 2013
72nd Season of Concerts at National Gallery of Art Includes Five World Premieres and the 65th American Music Festival
Cappella Romana performs music based on Byzantine chant on Sunday, October 27 at the National Gallery of Art in honor of Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections.
Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art begins the 72nd season of the longest-running, free, Sunday concert series in the nation’s capital on September 22, 2013. Highlights include the 65th American Music Festival, the world premiere of a new opera, and four concerts celebrating Gallery exhibitions. The Gallery dedicates four concerts this year to the holiday season, and continues the tradition of holiday caroling in the West Building Rotunda.
65th American Music Festival
Continuing the longest-running American music festival in existence, the Gallery presents five concerts in early November that feature music by American composers. On November 10, the Gallery’s resident new music ensemble presents the world premiere of Steve Antosca’s Habitat, written especially for performance in the East Building Atrium. On November 17, New Music Raleigh plays the world premiere performance of All Souls by Duke University faculty member John Supko. The other three concerts of the festival honor Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial. The Maryland Sinfonietta plays Charles Ives’ Three Places in New England and music by Cage and Copland on November 3; Rick Robinson and the CutTime Simfonica perform on November 6; and vocalist Lea Gilmore explores her African-American roots in music on November 13. The guest artistic director for this year’s festival is soprano and media personality Celeste Headlee, who frequently hosts the NPR talk show Tell Me More.
Other Concerts in Honor of Exhibitions
In honor of Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections, the a cappella vocal ensemble Cappella Romana sings music based on Byzantine chant on October 27. In early January, the spotlight returns to Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial as the music and film departments of the Gallery join forces to present the first viewing of the recently restored silent film The General (Buster Keaton) with a new musical score by Andrew Simpson.
NGA Resident Ensembles
The National Gallery Orchestra returns to the West Garden Court on October 20 under the leadership of its concertmaster, Claudia Chudacoff, with a program of works by Handel, Schubert, and Grieg that can be performed without a conductor. The Gallery’s resident vocal ensemble and chamber players perform Monteverdi’s Combat of Tancred and Clorinda on October 13, in a program that begins with lectures on related art and literature by Laura Benedetti and Peter Lukehart. The National Gallery of Art New Music Ensemble joins forces with the ensemble Pictures on Silence to perform works by Antosca, Belkot, and Simpson on September 29.
A wide variety of music for the holiday season is available to Gallery visitors in December. On December 1, the National Gallery of Art Piano Trio celebrates Hanukkah with music by Jewish composers; and on December 8, the United States Navy Band Commodores present Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite. Holiday caroling takes place in the Rotunda on the weekends of December 14–15 and 21–22, with sing-along programs each day at 1:30 and 2:30 pm. For the Gallery’s traditional New Year concert on December 29, the National Gallery of Art Vocal Ensemble sings favorite arias from Viennese operettas by Lehár and Strauss.
Chamber Ensembles and Pianists
The Forough-Kim-Lipman Trio launches the season on September 22 with music of Schubert and Reza Vali, including the world premiere of Vali’s Khojasteh: Calligraphy No. 10. Pianists José Caceres and José Ramos-Santana celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month on October 6 with music by Hispanic composers for piano four hands. Medieval and Renaissance music will echo through the galleries when Lucidarium and Ensemble Galilei perform on November 20 and December 22, respectively.
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 Constitution Avenue NW. Sunday concerts begin at 6:30 pm in the West Building, West Garden Court, unless otherwise indicated. Entry is not permitted after 6:30 pm.
For Wednesday midday performances, seating begins at noon, and concerts start at 12:10 pm. Monthly listings of concert programs may be obtained by calling (202) 842-6941 or by visiting the Gallery’s website at www.nga.gov/programs/music.htm.
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