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Release Date: January 17, 2017

Washingtonians on Wednesdays, a Concert Series Featuring Local Musicians and Music by American Composers, Launched at the National Gallery of Art

Lisa Emenheiser and friends from NSO perform at National Gallery of Art on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 12:10 p.m., in the West Building, East Garden Court during the new noontime concert series Washingtonians on Wednesdays.

Lisa Emenheiser and friends from NSO perform at National Gallery of Art on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 12:10 p.m., in the West Building, East Garden Court during the new noontime concert series Washingtonians on Wednesdays.

Updated: March 29, 2017

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art kicks off its new midday concert series Washingtonians on Wednesdays on the third Wednesday this January with programs featuring local musicians performing works by mostly American composers. The concert series runs every Wednesday, January 18 through April 26, 2017, and is designed to highlight the rich cultural life of Washington, DC. The hour-long concerts begin at 12:10 p.m. in various locations in the East and West Buildings, and features musicians from diverse backgrounds who present music by composers that were born in or immigrated to America, or who have a special connection with Washington, DC. The concert schedule, which is updated regularly, can be found at
This series is sponsored through the generous support of the Billy Rose Foundation.

Schedule of Concerts:

Musical Migration
Carlos César Rodríguez, piano; Peter Joshua Burroughs, tenor
January 18
West Building, West Garden Court

Take a musical journey from the songs and hymns of the Civil War through songs of the Americas and 21st-century composers. The recital includes works by Charles Ives, Duke Ellington, Aaron Copland, and Richard Hundley, as well as DC-based composers Jeffrey Mumford and Sam Post.

American Works for Saxophone, Viola, and Piano
Noah Getz, saxophone; Osman Kivrak, viola; Danielle DeSwert Hahn, piano
January 25
East Building Auditorium

The National Gallery’s head of music programs, Danielle DeSwert Hahn, joins American University musicians-in-residence Noah Getz and Osman Kivrak in a concert of newly composed and rarely performed works for saxophone, viola, and piano, including a DC premiere of Baljinder Sekhon’s Sonata of Puzzles.

From Bartok to Bebop with Marcolivia
Olivia Hajioff, violin; Marc Ramirez, viola
February 1
West Building Lecture Hall

Bebop, Klezmer, and the music of Bela Bartok and Toru Takemitsu have much in common despite their clear diversity: all were influenced by jazz music. Bebop was born out of the difficulties faced by jazz musicians during World War II. As musicians went overseas for war, the surge in smaller ensembles led to this innovative style. And Yiddish musicians arriving in the United States from Eastern Europe were strongly influenced by jazz and assimilated the style in their Klezmer compositions. Bartok drew inspiration from jazz when he fled to the United States, as is clearly demonstrated in Contrasts, which he wrote for Benny Goodman. Takemitsu grew up listening to his father's jazz records and asserted that his two greatest influences were Japanese music and jazz, particularly Duke Ellington.

Edvinas Minkstimas, pianist
Music by Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, Nathaniel Dett, and Edvinas Minkstimas
February 8
West Building, East Garden Court

Lithuanian-born and DC-based pianist Edvinas Minkstimas performs ragtime pieces by Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, and Nathaniel Dett, interspersed with his own compositions and others based on Lithuanian folk songs.

American Roots: Branches from Beginning
Atlantic Reed Consort
February 15 at 12:10
West Building Lecture Hall

Celebrating the diversity of American culture and music by exploring blues, jazz, funk, rock, and even death metal, this program offers two national premieres by composers rooted in the American tradition—Jessie Montgomery and John Howell Morrison. Also featured are jazz-inspired works by Leonard Bernstein and Charlie Parker, as well as the boundary-pushing contemporary works of Andy Akiho and Ned McGowan.

Works by Jeffrey Mumford
February 22
West Building, West Garden Court

The Heart of a Woman
Carmen Balthrop, soprano; José Cáceres Danielsen, piano
March 1
West Building, West Garden Court

The spirit of America has always been revealed through song. Composers of American music— whether religious, blues, comedy, or deeply plaintive—have always known how to write it down. Journey with us to the heart of America through the music of some of its greatest composers: Camille Nickerson, David DiChiera, Samuel Barber, Leslie Adams, Charles Davidson, and Lee Hoiby.

Return to Camelot: Music from the Kennedy White House Concerts 1961—1963
Alexander Wu and the Serendip Trio
Christiana Liberis, violin; Caleigh Drane, cello; Alexander Wu, piano and arranger
Music by Felix Mendelssohn, Aaron Copeland, Dave Brubeck, Pablo Casals, and others
March 8
West Building, East Garden Court

The musical reputation that the Kennedy White House enjoyed was due primarily to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, national hostess and cultural leader. Through their leadership and engaging style, the Kennedys led the way in encouraging Americans to explore and enjoy music in its many forms.

March 15
Music by Julia Adolphe, Rebecca Clarke, Jennifer Higdon, and Joan Tower
West Building, Lecture Hall

Music of Amy Beach
Three by Three
March 22
West Building, East Garden Court

Celebrating women in the arts, women of the National Symphony Orchestra—Rachel Young, cello; Alexandra Osborne, violin; and Lisa Emenheiser, piano—perform three works by composer Amy Beach: Cello Five Pieces, Violin Sonata, and Piano Trio.

Arianna Zuckerman, soprano with Joy Schreier, piano
March 29
Program TBA
West Building, East Garden Court

Ben Williams Trio
April 5
Program TBA
West Building, East Garden Court

John Kilkenny and Tobias Werner
April 12
East Building Auditorium
Music by Nick Didkovsky, Stephen Gorbos, Osvaldo Golijov, and Mark Mellits
John Kilkenny, percussion; Tobias Werner, cello

Sound Impact
April 19   
East Building Auditorium

Sound Impact presents a program centered around two new works honoring Holocaust survivors David Arben and Mirko Tuma by award-winning composer Polina Nazaykinskaya. Theresienstadt is a song cycle based on the poetry of Tuma, born in Prague in 1921. During World War II he spent three and a half years in the Czech concentration camp Theresienstadt, where he wrote numerous poems. The other featured piece, Haim, is inspired by Arben, who survived six concentration camps because of his gift with the violin. He later immigrated to the United States and became associate concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

West Garden Trio
April 26
Music by Kenji Bunch, Charles Ives, and Paul Schoenfield 
West Building, East Garden Court

Tonality of Culture
May 3
Multi-disciplinary Estonian Concert
Presented as part of the European Month of Culture
East Building Auditorium

Laura Falzon, flute; Rupert Boyd, guitar
May 10
Music for flute and guitar
Presented as part of the European Month of Culture
West Building, East Garden Court

Tomas Kaco, piano
May 17
Music by Bach, Chopin, Paganini, and others
Presented as part of the European Month of Culture
West Building, East Garden Court

Full program information can be found at a later date at .

Press Contact:
Sarah Edwards Holley, (202) 842-6359 or [email protected]

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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Press Release

Sarah Edwards Holley
(202) 842-6359
[email protected]