Concerts from the Library of Congress, 2008-2009

Highlights of the Eighty-third Season (2008-2009)

Image: Elliot CarterELLIOTT CARTER
in celebration of the 100th birthday of America’s most distinguished composer, concerts by Sequitur (Dec. 12) and the Verge Ensemble (Dec. 11), a screening of Frank Scheffer’s documentary A Labyrinth of Time (Dec. 09), and the world premieres of two new McKim commissions written in his honor by Judith Shatin and Steve Antosca.

A new work by this eminent Hungarian composer makes a gesture of homage to Béla Bartók, commissioned by the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation and premiered by the composer and his wife, Márta in a concert co-sponsored by the Hungarian Cultural Center New York, the Hungarian Cultural Ministry, and the Embassy of Hungary. Part of "Extremely Hungary---Art and Culture Beyond Your Expectations," a year of performances and exhibitions in New York City and Washington, DC, celebrating Hungary’s contemporary arts and their impact on American culture. See concert on February 7 (HOMMAGE À BARTÓK).

Image: Olivier Messiaen, Charles WuorinenOLIVIER MESSIAEN
Honoring his centenary, performances of his evocative song cycle Harawi and his monumental Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus for piano. In addition, Paul Festa’s documentary, Apparition of the Eternal Church, will be shown on October 31 at 7:00 pm – Mary Pickford Theater.

Adding to the Library's gallery of composer portaits, American Creativity, the composer presents a concert featuring a septet of distinguished artists and members of “The President’s Own” Marine Band (Dec. 5). The concert includes a McKim commission -- Sonata for Violin and Piano -- along with The Winds, Viola Variations and A Winter's Tale for soprano and six players.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 7:00 pm – Coolidge Auditorium (no tickets required)
Soldiers of Music: Rostropovich Returns to Russia
Emmy-award winning documentary produced by Peter Gelb and Susan Froemke

Image; Haydn AutographFROM THE COLLECTIONS
Haydn: The autograph score of Haydn’s Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, Hob.XV:52, his last work in the genre, is among the treasures in the Library’s collections. Marking the 200th anniversary of the composer’s death, this and another of his late keyboard sonatas will be performed on a fortepiano by Jacob Bertsche built around 1815 and restored in 2003, courtesy of Orchestre de la Nouvelle France. See concert on May 1 (LUDWIG SÉMERJIAN, fortepiano).

Mendelssohn: More than 300 letters, drawings, autograph scores, and other unique materials relating to Felix Mendelssohn are found in various special collections in the Music Division. A selection of these items will be displayed in the foyer of the Coolidge Auditorium during February 2009, in conjunction with concerts celebrating the 200th birth anniversary of the composer and featuring works by Mendelssohn and his sister, Fanny Hensel, an extraordinarily gifted pianist and composer in her own right. See Mendelssohn on the Mall.

A series of lectures, pre-concert talks, and a symposium by prominent scholars in the fields of cognitive neuroscience and musical creativity co-sponsored by the Dana Foundation. See Music and the Brain.

Returning to the nation's air waves, the historic radio series launched by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge in 1925 now reaches more than 180 cities across the country. A new thirteen-program season, recorded live in the Coolidge Auditorium, airs in Spring 2009. See Concerts from the Library of Congress on the Radio.

In commemoration of the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, the Norman P. Scala Memorial Fund in the Library of Congress is commissioning three works for wind ensemble by Quincy C. Hilliard, Gay Holmes Spears, and Paul W. Whear.