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Release Date: October 12, 2007

World Premiere Announced for Sanctuary at the National Gallery of Art on November 18, 2007; Presented in Celebration of Rauschenberg Exhibition

Washington, DC—The complete and expanded percussion piece Sanctuary, by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Roger Reynolds, will make its world premiere in the National Gallery of Art's East Building Auditorium and ground-floor atrium on Sunday, November 18, 2007, at 6:30 p.m. Sanctuary will be presented in conjunction with the exhibition Let the World In: Prints by Robert Rauschenberg from the National Gallery of Art and Related Collections, which is on view at the National Gallery of Art from October 28, 2007, through March 30, 2008.

Just as Rauschenberg challenged fixed assumptions regarding the nature of art through his experimentation and collaborations, Reynolds in Sanctuary reframes percussion performance as a tool for extending sonic color and distributing sounds in a multi-channel space. His work is informed by theater, dance, video, and perceptual psychology.

Performed by "red fish blue fish," the resident percussion ensemble at the University of California, San Diego, Sanctuary contains three movements and features four percussionists, assisted by real-time computer processing written specifically for the composition. Using the inherent theatricality of playing percussion, the performance also incorporates gesture, movement, and lighting to create an experience that is both aural and visual. The percussionists act as members of a quartet, combining each player's contribution into the larger piece in a call-and-response pattern.

Limited seating at the event will be first come, first seated, beginning at 6:00 p.m. The East Building entrance remains open for concertgoers until 6:30 pm. No late entry or reentry is allowed after 6:30 pm. The East Building is located at 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW on the National Mall.


The National Gallery of Art is collaborating with the Contemporary Music Forum and the National Endowment for the Arts to make possible the creation and performance of Sanctuary, which is presented with support from the Randy Hostetler Living Room Fund of Washington, DC.

About the Composer

Roger Reynolds studied music and science at the University of Michigan. His compositions incorporate both aspects of his education, as they are not only musical but highly technological. Consistently on the cutting edge of music technology, Reynolds was among the first to embrace quadraphonic sound in his VOICESPACE series in the 1970s, and his 1998 Watershed was the first DVD to feature music specifically written for Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.

In 1988 Reynolds won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Whispers Out of Time, a response to a John Ashbery poem. Today he is the Distinguished Professor of Composition in the music department at the University of California, San Diego.

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at Follow the Gallery on Facebook at, Twitter at, and Instagram at

Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.
For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000B 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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World Premiere Announced for Sanctuary

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