Release Date: August 10, 2015
Seventy-Fourth Concert Season at the National Gallery of Art Includes Concerts in Honor of Four Exhibitions, Holiday Caroling, World-Class Local Musicians, and Beethoven Trio Festival
Washington, DC—The 74th season of concerts at the National Gallery of Art—the longest-running free Sunday concert series in the nation's capital—kicks off in September with three afternoon jazz brunch concerts at 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden on September 13, 20, and 27. Regularly scheduled concerts in the West Garden Court of the West Building begin on Sunday, October 4, 3:30 p.m.
Concerts in Honor of Exhibitions
Four special exhibitions will be honored by musical performances throughout the season. On November 15, the National Gallery of Art Wind Quintet will celebrate Louise Bourgeois: No Exit with works by some of the artist's favorite composers. One week later, on November 22, the National Gallery of Art New Music Ensemble will pay tribute to The Serial Impulse at Gemini G.E.L.with music by Morton Subotnick. On January 31, 2016, the National Gallery of Art Vocal Ensemble will perform a concert of songs of the 19th and 20th centuries inspired by the myth and grandeur of Hellenistic discoveries, in celebration of Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World. In keeping with the Gallery's commitment to presenting American musicians and the music of American composers, The Rose Ensemble will perform music from its Roots of Bluegrass program on April 10 to celebrate Three Centuries of American Prints. The program will highlight the history of America's folk and gospel traditions.
Special Honorary Concerts
Two concerts will recognize National Hispanic Heritage Month: on September 27, the famed Washington Saxophone Quartet performs Latin dance music to accompany Sunday brunch in the Sculpture Garden at noon and 1:00 p.m., and the Pablo Ziegler Quartet for New Tango returns to Washington for a special performance on Sunday, October 4, in the West Garden Court. The United States Army Chorus will perform its first complete concert at the National Gallery of Art on Wednesday, November 11, in honor of Veterans Day, at 12:10 p.m. The historic spiritual ensemble Fisk Jubilee Singers appears in concert on January 17, the eve of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. In honor of African American History Month in February, the sensational piano duo Cann Sisters performs; and in recognition of Women's History Month in March, Fry Street Quartet will offer a special concert of music by women composers. On May 1, PostClassical Ensemble will perform a newly composed concerto for pipa, a four-stringed Chinese instrument, in honor of Asian–Pacific American Heritage Month.
In addition to special performances by resident ensembles, the Gallery's 74th concert season features several world-class musicians from the DC area, including the aforementioned Washington Saxophone Quartet performing on September 27; Baltimore-based Poulenc Trio performing music by Copland, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and Weinberg on October 18; and National Symphony Orchestra musicians David Hardy (cellist) and Lisa Emenheiser (pianist) presenting music by Britten and Rachmaninoff on November 8. Howard University's premiere vocal jazz ensemble Afro Blue will deliver holiday tunes in the Rotunda on December 12; Inscape Chamber Orchestra will perform high-energy, classical music by Dallapiccola, Górecki, Hallman, Scriabin, and Young on November 1; on April 3, the Washington Toho Koto Society will perform Japanese koto music in celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival; and on April 17, the PostClassical Ensemble performs music by film producer Bernard Herrmann.
Composers Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius 150 Anniversaries
This special concert series celebrates the 150th birthdays of the renowned violinists and composers Jean Sibelius (Finland) and Carl Nielsen (Denmark). On the final weekend of October, National Gallery of Art resident ensembles will celebrate these composers with a mini festival that showcases some of their rarely performed music. On Friday, October 23, the National Gallery of Art String Quartet performs a concert at 12:10 p.m.; on Saturday, October 24, the National Gallery of Art Piano Trio performs at 12:10 p.m.; and on Sunday, October 25, the National Gallery of Art Orchestra (guest conducted by Peter Wilson) delivers a full concert of music by Sibelius and Nielsen at 3:30 p.m. All performances will take place in the West Garden Court.
Returning to its tradition of community caroling in the Rotunda, the Gallery's music department will present four holiday caroling events on Saturdays, December 12 and 19, and Sundays, December 13 and 20 at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. unless noted otherwise. In addition to these performances, world-renowned violinist Mark O'Connor performs on Sunday, December 6, with a six-piece ensemble in his touring production of An Appalachian Christmas, and Trio Sefardi celebrates Hanukkah on Sunday, December 13. On December 20, the Eric Mintel Quartet performs music in recognition of the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas. The New York Opera Society rings in the New Year with singers and a pair of ballroom dancers in a Viennese-style New Year concert on Sunday, January 3, 3:30 p.m., in the West Building, West Garden Court.
Beethoven Trio Festival
Concertgoers will have the opportunity to hear the full complement of trios for instrument composed by Beethoven in one weekend. In the final weekend of February 2016, all of Beethoven's piano and string trios will be performed in a four-day period, ending with a performance of his Triple Concerto, performed by the National Gallery of Art Piano Trio and the National Gallery of Art Orchestra on February 28.
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 at Fourth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Sunday concerts begin at 3:30 p.m. in the West Building's West Garden Court unless indicated otherwise. 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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