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NEWS from the LIBRARY of CONGRESS
Annual 'Concerts from the Library of Congress' Season Announced
Virtual Series to Include Commissioned Performances, Festival Celebrating Beethoven
The Library of Congress will continue its longstanding tradition of displaying America’s rich and diverse musical heritage during the 2020-2021 season of “Concerts from the Library of Congress.” The upcoming season will feature conversations with artists, performances of Library-commissioned work by Michael Abels, James Lee III and Igor Santos, and a festival titled “(Re)Hearing Beethoven.”
Consistent with social distancing and safety protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s season will be presented entirely in an online format for the first time. All events of the season are free. While tickets are not required, attendees may register in advance for events here. All performances and events of the season will be made available at 8 p.m. EST on the scheduled premiere date on loc.gov/concerts, the Library’s YouTube channel and the Performing Arts at the Library of Congress Facebook page.
While watching performances, viewers can enjoy a sampling of complementary materials from the Library’s collections, along with curator talks and conversations with featured artists and composers. Audiences can also visit the new Concerts from the Library of Congress LibGuide platform to further explore the best of the Library’s musical collections and past concert series, curated by Music Division specialists.
In celebration of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday, the “(Re)Hearing Beethoven” series will feature performances of all nine Beethoven symphonies in transcriptions for solo, due and chamber performance. Artifacts, including the famous 1815 portrait of Beethoven by J.C. Heckel and some of the composer’s manuscripts and letters, will be on display online alongside the performances.
The fall series includes the following performances and events:
Friday, Oct. 23
Conrad Tao and Caleb Teicher
Pianist and composer Conrad Tao has forged a brilliant partnership with tap dancer Caleb Teicher. Their collaboration — “Counterpoints” — combines both composed and improvised music and dance, including J.S. Bach’s “Goldberg Variations.”
Friday, Oct. 30
Tambuco Percussion Ensemble
Four of the world’s top percussionists, the Tambuco ensemble will perform new works by Mexican, Uruguayan and Costa Rican composers, including the world premiere of the newest work from Ricardo Gallardo. The quartet will also introduce items from their collection of over 100 percussion instruments in a special bonus video.
Friday, Nov. 13
Ensemble dal Niente
Chicago’s 24-player Ensemble dal Niente — including Ben Melsky, Carrie Shaw, MingHuan Xu and Winston Choi — will perform music by leading Latin American composers, including Nur Slim, Hilda Paredes, Tania Léon and a new Library commission from Igor Santos.
Thursday, Nov. 19
Jennifer Koh and Thomas Sauer
Jennifer Koh is joined by pianist Thomas Sauer for this concert which features commissions from the Library’s McKim Fund: Julia Wolfe’s “Mink Stole” and George Lewis’s “The Mange of Practice” as well as recent works for solo violin.
Friday, Nov. 20: (Re)Hearing Beethoven
The Takács Quartet will open the “(Re)Hearing Beethoven” series, performing works of Bartók and Schubert to frame Beethoven’s Op. 132. The evening also includes a lecture from violinist Edward Dusinberre, titled “Beethoven at a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet.”
Thursday, Dec. 3
The JACK Quartet will explore the Library’s collections and concert history, performing landmark commissions as well as new works by Tyshawn Sorey. Conard Tao will join the quartet as a guest artist.
Friday, Dec. 4: (Re)Hearing Beethoven
The United States Marine Band
The United States Marine Band continues the “(Re)Hearing Beethoven” celebration, performing Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony and Symphony No. 7 in uniquely rare arrangements for a chamber ensemble, including a nonet for wind instruments.
Saturday, Dec. 5: (Re)Hearing Beethoven
Borromeo String Quartet with Nicholas Cords
The Borromeo String Quartet will explore musical relationships in Beethoven’s late work; violist Nicholas Cords joins the quartet for a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in transcription.
Lecture by Nicholas Kitchen
Nicholas Kitchen will deliver his lecture, “Expression Marks in Beethoven’s Hand: Discovering New Layers in Op. 130 and the ‘Grosse Fuge.’”
Thursday, Dec. 10: (Re)Hearing Beethoven
Short for “20-finger orchestra,” ZOFO is one of a handful of duos devoted exclusively to piano duets. Hear Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi perform two symphonic transcriptions, Beethoven’s Symphonies No. 4 and 6.
Friday, Dec. 11: (Re)Hearing Beethoven
Adam Golka and the Verona Quartet
Pianist Adam Golka and the Verona Quartet present an intensive focus on Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” sonata: two visions of the work featuring the transcription by David Plylar — a music specialist at the Library — for string quartet followed by the original version for piano.
Saturday, Dec. 12: (Re)Hearing Beethoven
Ran Dank and Soyeon Kate Lee
The award-winning duo will relive a treasured 19th-century concert experience with a storied transcription of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor for two pianos.
Thursday, Dec. 17: (Re)Hearing Beethoven
Hear virtuoso pianist Christopher Taylor perform three of Franz Liszt’s symphony transcriptions for piano — Beethoven’s Opp. 21, 36 and 67.
Friday, Dec. 18: Antonio Stradivari Anniversary Concert
For more than 80 years, the Library of Congress has celebrated the craftsmanship of Antonio Stradivari by highlighting the Library’s five Stradivarius stringed instruments, a gift of Gertrude Clarke Whittall. Some of the most memorable of these performances will be featured in this concert.
The season continues into the spring, when viewers will be introduced to several newcomers, such as 22-year-old British saxophonist Jess Gillam and players from the New World Symphony. Other performances include recitals featuring pianist Steve Osborne, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and accordionist Ksenia Sidorova. The Pavel Haas Quartet will appear with pianist Boris Giltburg, and the Ensemble Correspondances will recreate a musical evening at the Louvre Palace. The Library’s dance collection will be highlighted in a conversation with photographer David Fullard and a lecture by Victoria Phillips, titled “Martha Graham’s Cold War: the Dance of American Diplomacy.”
Patrons are invited to visit loc.gov/concerts for a complete lineup and schedule of concerts and events for the spring.
About the Music Division
The Music Division at the Library of Congress — formally established in 1897 within the Library’s Jefferson Building upon its completion — traces the origin of its collections to the 13 books on music literature and theory in Thomas Jefferson’s library, purchased by Congress in 1815. Founded in 1925, the “Concerts from the Library of Congress” series is made possible through the generous support of endowments gifted by private donors.
About the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.