Concerts from the Library of Congress, 2010-2011

highlights of the eighty-fifth season

Image: Mrs. Coolidge and son AlbertThe legacy of Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, founding patron of the Library’s concerts, reflects the breadth of her vision: from her advocacy of Early Music long before it became fashionable, to her passionate support of music by living composers through innumerable commissions, many of which have entered the canon of chamber music.

The season is launched in October, her birth month, with some of today’s distinguished Early Music groups—Ensemble 415, The English Concert, and for our Founder’s Day concert, the U.S. debut of Helsinki Baroque. The second half of the season features three period instrumentalists—the celebrated harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock, virtuoso gambist Paolo Pandolfo with Thomas Boysen on theorbo and guitar, and Baroque cellist Tanya Tomkins, in the first ever performance in Coolidge Auditorium of the complete unaccompanied suites by J.S. Bach.

At the other end of the musical spectrum, this season sees a number of distinguished and rising composers representing the rich fabric of 20th- and 21st-century music across genres, from classical, jazz, and pop to postclassical, postrock, and electronica: John Adams, Louis Andriessen, Tyondai Braxton, Philip Glass, John Harbison, Missy Mazzoli, Brad Mehldau, Bright Sheng, Wadada Leo Smith, and composer collectives.

This season turns the pages of an ever-growing American Songbook with works by Samuel Barber, George Crumb, and the Gershwins; Broadway musicals; and a new Country Music Association Songwriters' Series showcase.

Commissions, Premieres, Exploring the Collections

Image: Leonora McKim

From the Collections

Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

Image: Gershwin medal and prize winners: Paul McCartney (2010); Stevie Wonder (2009); Paul Simon (2007)Established in 2007 the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song celebrates the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding.

Photo of medal: Michaela McNichol
Photo of Simon: Scott Suchman

OnLOCation at the Atlas and Music and the Brain Lectures

The Library continues its successful collaboration with the Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H. St. N.E., Wshington, D.C.), offering four diverse concerts, featuring the West African harmonies and jazz rhythms of the Lionel Loueke Trio; a broadway cabaret with vocalist Sue Mathys and pianist John Bell; Music for the Twenty-first Century with the NOW Ensemble and Victoire; and, the Roots of the American Songbook with chamber musicians from the United States Army Band "Pershing's Own."
» Read more about the On LOCation series

Music and the Brain Lecture Series

The Library of Congress and the Dana Foundation bring this fascinating two-year project to a close with three presentations in the Library's Whittall Pavilion (no tickets required):

Image of a brain with music in the backgroundSaturday, November 6 at 2:00pm
Music Therapy, Alzheimer's and Post-Traumatic Stress
Dr. Alicia Clair, University of Kansas School of Music
(Presented in cooperation with the American Music Therapy Association)

Saturday, December 18 at 6:15pm
The Future of Music
Tod Machover, composer and Director, MIT Media Lab

Thursday, March 3 at 6:15pm
Dr. Deforia Lane, author of Music as Medicine; Director of Music Therapy, Univeristy Hospitals of Cleveland
(Presented in cooperation with the American Music Therapy Association)