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Release Date: August 16, 2019

Fall Season of Free Concerts Features Gaelynn Lea, Cherokee Chamber Singers, and Music by Julius Eastman

2016 NPR Tiny Desk Contest Winner Gaelynn Lea will perform at the National Gallery of Art on October 29 at 12:10 p.m. as part of the series 'Versatile Violin, Fantastic Fiddle: A Showcase of Women on Strings'. Photo by Paul Vienneau

2016 NPR Tiny Desk Contest Winner Gaelynn Lea will perform at the National Gallery of Art on October 29 at 12:10 p.m. as part of the series Versatile Violin, Fantastic Fiddle: A Showcase of Women on Strings. Photo by Paul Vienneau

Washington, DC—During the fall 2019 season of concerts, the National Gallery of Art embraces a wide range of genres from Brazilian folk music to J.S. Bach's complete sonatas for violin and harpsichord. This season also includes a series titled Versatile Violin, Fantastic Fiddle: A Showcase of Women on Strings, showcasing the brilliance and stylistic versatility of the instrument from jazz and bluegrass to baroque and contemporary. Music-lovers can enjoy a range of performances that connect with both the Gallery's permanent collection and special exhibitions, including By the Light of the Silvery Moon: A Century of Lunar Photographs and The Eye of the Sun: Nineteenth-Century Photographs from the National Gallery of Art. Wrapping up the year, the Gallery offers holiday caroling in the West Building Rotunda and an international selection of Christmas carols from around the world.

Performances take place in various locations throughout the Gallery, including the West Building's lush West Garden Court and its 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. 2019 marks the 78th season of concerts, which began in 1942 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. The Gallery has presented more than 3,000 free concerts since the music program began.


Moonstruck: Re-imagining the 'Pierrot Lunaire' Ensemble
United States Army Band "Pershing's Own"
September 15, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Arnold Schoenberg's seminal work Pierrot Lunaire has inspired dozens of chamber pieces with its flexible and colorful instrumentation. Celebrating Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire along with the Gallery's By the Light of the Silvery Moon: A Century of Lunar Photographs, the United States Army Band performs Shulamit Ran's composition Under the Sun's Gaze: Concerto da Camera III (2004), David Clay Mettens's Without Air (2017), Jennifer Higdon's Zaka (2003), and Sebastian Currier's Flow (2012).

Mau Quiros
September 19, 12:10 p.m.
East Building Auditorium
Born in Costa Rica, Mau Quiros is a Brooklyn-based pianist and composer. After winning a contest at age 17, Quiros wrote a piece for Costa Rica's National Symphony Orchestra and continued his musical journey through a full scholarship to Florida International University School of Music with the Big Band of Costa Rica. Quiros has composed and produced recordings for a diverse range of artists, including the Contemporary Youth Orchestra of Cleveland, Ben Folds, and Graham Nash. As musical director and keyboardist of Migguel Anggelo and the Immigrants, Quiros was part of a recent 10-city concert tour of Russia as a cultural attaché for the U.S. Department of State.
Presented in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month

A Portrait: Julius Eastman
wild Up
September 22, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Providing audience members with provocative performances, wild Up is a chamber orchestra unlike any other, based in Los Angeles. In their Washington debut, the orchestra performs two works by Julius Eastman: Joy boy and Femenine. Eastman rose to prominence in New York during the 1970s and early 1980s as a composer, conductor, singer, pianist, and choreographer, but died at the age of 49 in relative obscurity. Following a recent rediscovery of his work, this program will celebrate the late composer and help solidify Eastman's contribution to American contemporary music.

Fourth Friday Sound Sketch
Challenging Convention: Spanish Modernism in Art and Music of the 1930s
New York Opera Society
September 27, 12:10 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Singers from the New York Opera Society perform works by Rodrigo, de Falla, and Llorca—music that intertwines with the Gallery's collection of Spanish art.

Victory Hall Opera
September 29, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
In celebration of The Eye of the Sun: Nineteenth-Century Photographs from the National Gallery of Art, the Victory Hall Opera transports listeners to mid-nineteenth-century life with Victorian sounds of domestic tranquility, Wagnerian heroics, church hymns, spirituals, and songs about proper Victorian etiquette. The program includes works by Amy Beach, Brahms, Chopin, Stephen Foster, Carrie Jacobs-Bond, George F. Root, Schumann, and others. The program also features mezzo-soprano Brenda Patterson, tenor Will Ferguson, baritone Carlton Ford, and pianists Renate Rohlfing and Timothy McReynolds.


Versatile Violin, Fantastic Fiddle: A Showcase of Women on Strings
J.S. Bach's Masterpieces for Violin and Harpsichord
Rachel Barton Pine, violin, and Jory Vinikour, harpsichord
October 6, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Together for the first time, critically acclaimed artists and close friends Rachel Barton Pine and Jory Vinikour perform J.S. Bach's complete sonatas and partitas. The two play their respective instruments—violin and harpsichord—in the first of a series of performances by female violinists.

Vamos Juntos
Brandon Ridenour with Cuatrombon and Cordeone
October 13, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of John Lennon's 1969 song "Come Together," Vamos Juntos is a gathering of virtuoso musicians from Venezuela, Portugal, Greece, and the United States. Come together and hear this intriguing ensemble cleverly fuse Brazilian folk tunes with music from Bach to the Beatles! Featuring Brandon Ridenour, trumpet, Achilles Liarmakopoulos, trombone, Cordeone, accordion and vocals, Jorge Glem, cuatro, and Bam Bam Rodriguez, bass.

Ran Dank and Soyeon Kate Lee, pianists
October 20, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Husband and wife piano duo Ran Dank and Soyeon Kate Lee perform a multitude of works—solo and duet. Featuring a debut of new work composed just for them by Marc-André Hamelin, the program also includes the Bach-Busoni Chorale Preludes, the Liszt-BusoniFantasy on Themes from Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, selections from Goyescas by Enrique Granados, and Sinfonietta op. 49 by Nikolai Kapustin.

Fourth Friday Sound Sketch
Lamentations, Prayers, and Meditations in Contemporary Art and Music
Jacqueline Pollauf, harp
October 25, 12:10 p.m.
East Building Library
This program of 20th-century works for the harp is inspired by three 20th-century American works of art in the Gallery's collection, which are not currently on view: Benton Spruance's Lamentation, Albert Urban's Prayer, and Felrath Hines's Meditation. Harpist Jacqueline Pollauf performs Paul Hindemith's well-known Sonata for Harp, The Crown of Ariadne by Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer, and the world premiere of Harper's Ferry, created for Pollauf by Scottish composer Nicky Hind. The program concludes with Israeli composer Sergiu Natra's Prayer, a work of great longing.

Far East Suite
Slavic Soul Party!
October 27, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Slavic Soul Party! (SSP) reimagines Duke Ellington's iconic Far East Suite as an Eastern European brass band discovering an exotic American sound. Ellington's Suite, created with Billy Strayhorn, was inspired by a 1963 State Department tour that was cut short—they didn't make it to the "Far East"—and serves as a perfect foil for SSP's blend of East European, Romani, and American sounds.

Versatile Violin, Fantastic Fiddle: A Showcase of Women on Strings
Gaelynn Lea
October 29, 12:10 p.m.
West Building Lecture Hall
Ever since Gaelynn Lea won NPR's Tiny Desk Contest in 2016, she has been on the road playing her unique mix of haunting original songs and traditional fiddle tunes, while also addressing topics such as accessibility in the arts, finding inner freedom, and disability rights. This program recognizes an artist who in recent years has used her music as a platform to advocate for people with disabilities and to promote positive social change.
Presented in honor of Disability Employment Awareness Month


Versatile Violin, Fantastic Fiddle: A Showcase of Women on Strings
Parlour Game
Jenny Scheinman, violin, and Allison Miller, drums
November 3, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Violinist Jenny Scheinman and drummer Allison Miller dig into the rootsier elements of jazz along with the formidable pianist Carmen Staaf and bassist Tony Scherr. The repertoire explores swing, go-go, backbeats, and ballads. Scheinman and Miller are artists with eclectic backgrounds, having collaborated with such diverse musicians as Bill Frisell, Brian Blade, Ron Miles, Nels Cline, Jason Moran, Lucinda Williams, Natalie Merchant, Toshi Reagon, and Renee Rosnes. In Parlour Game, they explore the classic format of the piano quartet and strive for the perfect groove.

Gewandhaus Woodwind Quintet
November 10, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
One of the oldest existing chamber ensembles in the world, the Gewandhaus Woodwind Quintet was founded in 1896. The Quintet, originating from Leipzig, Germany, has performed extensively across Germany and abroad. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, this program features a finale to the year of German-American friendship, Wunderbar Together. This concert is made possible by support from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Winners from Washington Performing Arts 48th Annual Joseph and Goldie Feder Memorial String Competition
November 16, 3:00 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Come hear winners of the 48th Annual Joseph and Goldie Feder Memorial String Competition! The Competition is open to students in grades K–12 who study violin, viola, cello, or bass. Winners represent young talent from all over the DC Metropolitan area, and give audiences a glimpse at the next generation of musicians. This competition is a staple program of Washington Performing Arts that allows the organization to provide opportunities to budding musicians. Presented in collaboration with Washington Performing Arts.

Curtis Winds and Strings
Curtis on Tour
November 17, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
A unique chamber ensemble of winds and strings performs expansive works by Beethoven and Penderecki in this concert featuring Curtis on Tour, the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music. Curtis alumni Benjamin Schmid, one of today's most versatile violinists, and Gabriel Kovach, principal horn of the Phoenix Symphony, lead the ensemble in this performance.

Fourth Friday Sound Sketch 
Reflecting Pool: Music that Mirrors Art on the Mezzanine
Atlantic Reed Consort
November 22, 12:10 p.m.
East Building, Mezzanine
This performance will explore the connection between two separate yet always intertwined art forms, the visual arts and music. Discussing National Gallery of Art works on display in the East Building, Mezzanine galleries, the Atlantic Reed Consort will take you on a virtual tour, sonically mirroring the collection's post-impressionist, abstract expressionist, minimalist, and modern artists. The program includes works by Richard Strauss, Louis Andriessen, Marc Mellits, and the premiere of a commissioned piece by Ben Robichaux.

Winners from Washington Performing Arts 5th Annual Misbin Family Memorial Chamber Music Competition
November 23, 3:00 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
The Misbin Family Memorial Chamber Music Competition is jointly sponsored by Washington Performing Arts and Levine Music and generously supported by Dr. Robert Misbin. This annual competition is open to student and adult instrumental chamber music ensembles in the DC metropolitan area. The winners of the 2019 Competition surely will not disappoint as the audience hears groups of different ages and varying instrumental makeup. Presented in collaboration with Washington Performing Arts.

Si Otsedoha (We're Still Here)
Cherokee Chamber Singers
November 24, 3:30 p.m.
The Cherokee Chamber Singers are the premier performing ensemble from Cherokee High School. Under the direction of Michael Yannette, the ensemble represents both their school in Cherokee, North Carolina, and the Eastern Band Cherokee community. The ensemble offers a traditional and modern glimpse of Native American music while extending their range across choral, classical, musical theater, and pop/rock genres. The singers are proud to present William Brittelle's Si Otsedoha, a work which reflects the feelings of the Cherokee Chamber Singers and their fellow students from the Cherokee Central Schools about what it means to be Cherokee in the past, present, and future.
Presented in honor of Native American Heritage Month


Versatile Violin, Fantastic Fiddle: A Showcase of Women on Strings
Beregovski Suite: Reimagining a long-lost klezmer archive
Alicia Svigals, klezmer fiddle, and Uli Geissendoerfer, piano with special guest William Schimmel, accordion
December 1, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Alicia Svigals is the world's foremost klezmer fiddler and a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics. 20 years ago, she released her groundbreaking album Fidl, the first contemporary recording of the deep and ecstatic klezmer fiddle music beloved across Jewish Eastern Europe for hundreds of years. In 2018, she paired up with Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Uli Geissendoerfer on Beregovski Suite to reimagine the long-lost melodies collected from Moshe Beregovski's early 20th-century fieldwork. They are joined by William Schimmel, the world's foremost classical and new music accordionist.

Holiday Caroling in the Rotunda 
December 7, 14, 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
West Building Rotunda
The Gallery continues its long-standing tradition of community caroling in the West Building Rotunda. Singing along is encouraged.

Modern Medieval
JACK Quartet
December 8, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
JACK Quartet performs a diverse range of works from medieval plainsong to the present day.

Thought-provoking and timeless, the program pairs older works by Thomas Morley, Solage, and Rodericus with newer works by Chaya Czernowin, Marcos Balter, and John Zorn.

Carols from around the World
Calmus Vocal Ensemble
December 15, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
The first-prize winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, Calmus Vocal Ensemble, performs an international selection of Christmas carols including songs from Denmark, Germany, England, France, Ireland, Croatia, North America, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Sweden, and Spain, as well as "Silent Night" in several languages. Founded in 1999, the German a cappella quintet embodies the rich choral tradition of its hometown of Leipzig, the city closely associated with Bach and Mendelssohn. The Calmus Vocal Ensemble captivates audiences and critics through their diverse repertoire and charming stage presence.

Solstice: Darkness Is Your Candle
East of the River
December 21, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
The East of the River ensemble merges the music of the Mediterranean, Balkans, Armenia, and the Middle East to present their own blend of melodies. In an unforgettable musical journey for the New Year, the program celebrates the winter solstice and new beginnings. Taking its name from the work of the Persian poet Rumi, Solstice: Darkness Is Your Candleexplores a lunar atmosphere for the first half of the program, while the second part shifts into rebirth and daylight.

Inscape Chamber Orchestra
DC Youth Orchestra
December 22, 3:30 p.m.
West Building, West Garden Court
Founded in 2004, Inscape Chamber Orchestra is a critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated orchestra. This program features a brilliant and energetic performance of classical music.

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
[email protected]

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]