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Release Date: June 22, 2018

Fall Season of Free Concerts Features New Pop-Up Concert Series, Music by Gordon Parks, and Washington Premiere by Theremin Virtuoso Carolina Eyck

Julie Fowlis will perform at the National Gallery of Art on October 7, 2018, at 3:30 p.m. Photo by Donald Macleod.

Julie Fowlis will perform at the National Gallery of Art on October 7, 2018, at 3:30 p.m. Photo by Donald Macleod.

Washington, DC—The fall season of concerts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington features performances of diverse genres, from music of the Scottish islands to Mexican brass and African gospel. Kicking off in September, this year's Sunday concert series will also celebrate special exhibitions—Corot: Women; Water, Wind, and Waves: Marine Paintings from the Dutch Golden Age; Rachel Whiteread; and Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950. Music-lovers can enjoy two new series—one exploring music from the interwar period, beginning with a concert commemorating Armistice Day, and Fourth Friday Sound Sketch, which invites a range of musicians to connect with art from the permanent collection and perform in galleries and special exhibitions. In December, holiday offerings include a performance by Hot Club of San Francisco, music from A Charlie Brown Christmas, and eight holiday caroling concerts.

Performances take place in various locations throughout the Gallery, including the West Building's lush West Garden Court, the grand central Rotunda; and the 500-seat East Building Auditorium. Concerts at the National Gallery of Art are open to the public free of charge. Admittance is on a first-come, first-seated basis 30 minutes before the concert begins. 2018 marks the 77th season of concerts at the Gallery, which began during World War II, when the Gallery's first director, David E. Finley, kept the museum open on Sunday nights to accommodate the armed forces personnel in Washington at the time. The Gallery has presented more than 3,000 free concerts since the music program began in 1942.


A brand new series of pop-up concerts around the Gallery will engage musicians with works from the permanent collection. Concerts take place on the fourth Friday of every month at 12:10 p.m. in various locations (check for details).

New York Opera Society
September 28, 12:10 p.m.
The New York Opera Society will perform music inspired by the exhibition Sense of Humor.

Trio Sefardi
October 26, 12:10 p.m.
Performers Howard Bass, Tina Chaney, and Susan Gaeta share a love of, and wide-ranging experience with, Sephardic music.

Project Trio
November 23, 12:10 p.m.
Project Trio, a chamber music ensemble from Brooklyn, New York, comprises double bassist Peter Seymour, floutist Greg Patillo, renowned for his unique beat boxing style, and cellist Eric Stephenson.

Eric Mintel Quartet
December 28, 12:10 p.m.
Featuring composer Eric Mintel on piano, Nelson Hill on saxophone and flute, Jack Hegyi on bass, and Dave Mohn on drums, the Eric Mintel Quartet has played to audiences at venues including the White House, Kennedy Center, and United Nations. For the holiday season, the Quartet will perform music from A Charlie Brown Christmas.



interLACEd: Corot and His Circle
Living Art Collective Ensemble and Elisa Monte Dance Company
September 16, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
In Camille Corot's paintings, music, opera, and theater play a role almost as important as that of nature. Presented in celebration of Corot: Women, Living Art Collective Ensemble (LACE) together with the Elisa Monte Dance Company will bring to life the world of music into which the French painter was thoroughly absorbed. This performance will highlight the women who not only inspired Corot's work, but also made immeasurable contributions of their own to music and art. Music by Louise Farrenc, Clara Schumann, and Pauline Viardot will be featured.

Emilio Solla Tango Ensemble
September 23, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Grammy-nominated pianist and composer Emilio Solla will present a Tango ensemble.

Water, Wind, and Waves: The Wind Band at Sea
Piffaro, The Renaissance Band
September 30, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, delights audiences with highly polished re-creations of the rustic music of the peasantry and the elegant sounds of the official wind bands of the late medieval and Renaissance periods. Its ever-expanding instrumentarium includes shawms, dulcians, sackbuts, recorders, krumhorns, bagpipes, lutes, guitars, harps, and a variety of percussion—all careful reconstructions of instruments from the period. Inspired by Water, Wind, and Waves: Marine Paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, Piffaro will present a program of 17th-century seafaring music.


Music of the Scottish Isles
Julie Fowlis
October 7, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Julie Fowlis's exquisite voice, interpretation of Scottish Gaelic culture, and ability to bring folk music out of the past are what have made her an award-winning crossover star. Her roots may be firmly in folk music and the Scottish Gaelic culture in which she grew up, but her talent and style have brought her into the mainstream, where her unique ability to interpret her culture in a way that resonates with everyone has won her broad new audiences. Fowlis performed two songs of the 2012 Disney movie, Brave.

Curtis on Tour
Jason Vieaux and Nigel Armstrong
October 14, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Curtis on Tour, the Nina von Maltzahn Global Touring Initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music, returns to the Gallery with solos and duos for violin and guitar. The program includes Piazzolla, Histoire du tango; Giuliani, Gran Duetto Concertante, op. 52; Jobim, medley of three tunes (guitar with violin improvisation); and De Falla, 7 Canciones Populares Española.

Funeral Music for a Prince and a Queen
Vox Luminis
October 21, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
The Belgian early music ensemble will present a program of works by Thomas Morley, Martin Luther, Henry Purcell, and Heinrich Schütz.

with Ian Rosenbaum, percussion
October 28, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
PUBLIQuartet's genre-bending programs span the classical canon and also feature open-form improvisations that expand the techniques and aesthetic of the traditional string quartet. This program in celebration of Rachel Whiteread features three original works from the quartet's MIND|THE|GAP initiative—developed to generate an interest in new music and keep traditional classical music relevant to modern audiences, as well as composer Andy Akiho's LIgNEouS for string quartet and marimba, featuring percussionist Ian Rosenbaum, for whom the piece was written.


Flophouse Crew
November 4, 4:00 p.m.
East Building Auditorium
In addition to being a successful photographer and filmmaker, Gordon Parks was also a composer, even before he picked up a camera. The Flophouse Crew will perform music written by Gordon Parks on the opening day of the major exhibition Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work, 1940–1950.

Music Between the Wars
Lessons of Darkness: Armistice Day 1918
November 11, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
On November 11, 1918, Armistice Day found people throughout the world singing and dancing in the streets, once again hoping for peace. In turns celebratory and solemn, this program will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and kick off a series of performances focused on music made between World War I and II. The vocal ensemble Tapestry will present works of composers affected by the war, including Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Claude Debussy, and Maurice Ravel. The program will also touch on iconic works created during other wars, such as songs by Stephen Foster (the American Civil War) and Simon and Garfunkel (the Vietnam War).

November 18, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Nobuntu, a female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe whose name comes from the African concept that values humbleness, love, unity, and family from a woman's perspective, has drawn international acclaim for its inventive performances that range from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro jazz and gospel. The ensemble's concerts are performed with pure voices augmented by minimalistic percussion, traditional instruments such as the mbira (thumb piano), and organic, authentic dance movements. The ensemble represents a new generation of young African women singers who celebrate and preserve their culture, beauty, and heritage through art. The ensemble's mission is the belief that music can be an important vehicle for change, one that transcends racial, tribal, religious, gender, and economic boundaries.

M5 Mexican Brass
November 25, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Founded in 2005, M5 Mexican Brass has gained international recognition and has established itself as Latin America's most successful brass quintet. Performing virtuosic chamber music in a broad variety of styles with a sound that is theirs alone, M5 adds audience interaction, showmanship, a sense of humor, and an inimitable Latin American charm to their concerts, each a unique musical-theatrical experience.


Carolina Eyck with American Contemporary Music Ensemble
December 2, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Theremin virtuoso and composer Carolina Eyck joins the American Contemporary Music Ensemble for the Washington, DC premiere of their collaborative project Fantasias. For this work Eyck composed six minimalist-inspired string quartet pieces, over which she improvises a solo theremin part. Fantasias was released to critical acclaim on Butterscotch Records in 2016. With these pieces Eyck strives to "sonically investigate the interplay between nature and human imagination." Her musically daring and physically challenging compositions defy easy classification, while her uncanny mastery of the theremin and use of electronic effects brings a fresh sonic pallet to the forefront.

Mettis String Quartet with Gabrielius Alekna, piano
Presented in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania
December 9, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Named for the ancient Greek mythological figure Metis, the Mettis Quartet from Vilnius, Lithuania, will perform a program of Remigijus Merkelys, MiKonst for piano and string quartet; M. K. Ciurlionis, string quartet; Phillip Glass, String Quartet No. 2 or Company; and Robert Schumann, Piano Quintet, op. 44.

Hot Club Cool Yule
Hot Club of San Francisco
December 16, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Kicking off the holiday season, Hot Club Cool Yule is a swinging gypsy wagon trip to the North Pole featuring many favorite holiday tunes as well as some rarer seasonal gems. Performed by The Hot Club of San Francisco in their inimitable style, reminiscent of Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France, this dazzling holiday offering has something for everyone.

Music Between the Wars
Part I: Poulenc and Weill
Daniel Schlosberg, piano
Jessica Aszodi, soprano
Russell Rolen, cello
December 23, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Music by two composers—Kurt Weill and Francis Poulenc—known primarily for song, each with a populist streak, is juxtaposed in both vocal and instrumental repertoire, much of it rarely performed. The trio will perform Weill's Intermezzo for piano, Cello Sonata, and excerpts from the Seven Deadly Sins as well as Poulenc's Priez pour Paix, Tel Jour Telle Nuit, and Les Soirées de Nazelles.

A Toast to Vienna in 3/4 Time
Suchertorte Chamber Ensemble
Jeffrey Schindler, conductor
December 30, 3:30 p.m.
This untraditional Viennese New Year Concert will honor Leonard Bernstein's legacy as an educator. Led by conductor Jeffrey Schindler, the Suchertorte Chamber Ensemble puts a modern twist on the Young People's Concert in which Bernstein explained the history of Viennese waltzes.

The Gallery's long-standing tradition of community caroling takes place in the West Building Rotunda at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. on December 8, 9, 15, and 16. Singing along is encouraged.

US Military Service Ensemble
December 8, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m

Encore Chorale
December 9, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m
Jeanne Kelly, director

Westminster Presbyterian Choir and Ringers
December 15, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m
Benjamin Hutchens, director

Saint John Paul the Great High School Choir
December 16, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m
Kelly Kingett, director


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

Press Contact:
Isabella Bulkeley, (202) 842-6864 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
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(202) 842-6804
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The Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.

Press Release

Isabella Bulkeley
(202) 842-6864
[email protected]