Concerts from the Library of Congress Presents Live Performances, Discussions in May and June
Series Continues with Preview of ‘Castor and Patience’ Opera, Celebration for Juneteenth
Concerts from the Library of Congress is celebrating the return of live events at the Library with a rich mix of classical chamber music, Latin jazz and a panoramic outlook on new music in America.
All events are presented free of charge to the public. Patrons can register to attend in-person events by visiting loc.gov/concerts. Virtual programming will be presented on loc.gov/concerts and the Library’s YouTube channel. Tickets are available now for May events, and registration for June events will be available on May 15.
May events open with a preview of a new opera, “Castor and Patience,” by composer Gregory Spears and former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. Violinist Johnny Gandelsman plays adventurous pieces from his “This is America” commissioning project, in a recital co-sponsored by Washington Performing Arts. The brilliant Cuban pianist and composer Roberto Fonseca performs with his trio and joins a panel on the roots of Cuban and Puerto Rican jazz. Flutronix unwraps new works for flute and makes an exploratory foray into the Library’s Dayton C. Miller Collection of flutes and other wind instruments.
A trio of events highlights the work of composers suppressed during the Holocaust. The Library’s Wanda Landowska Collection is the subject of a panel and performance. James Conlon and musicians from The Colburn School perform a virtual concert of music from the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices. Canada’s ARC Ensemble presents a virtual program of chamber works by Paul Ben-Haim, Verdina Shlonsky and Franz Crzellitzer.
June sees the world premieres of two new Library of Congress commissions. The Mivos Quartet will unwrap Jeffrey Mumford’s “amid the floating depths,” and the Ritz Chamber Players will give the first performance of “Lament. Sing. Arise” by James Lee III. A performance by the Grammy Award-winning jazz ensemble Ranky Tanky will mark the Juneteenth holiday, part of a Library-wide celebration.
SPRING 2022 PROGRAMS
All events begin at 8 p.m. ET in the Coolidge Auditorium unless otherwise noted. Masks are required for attendance at events in the Coolidge Auditorium.
Thursday, May 10 at 7 p.m. ET
“Castor and Patience” Panel and Performance
Part of LIVE! at the Library
Gregory Spears, composer
Tracy K. Smith, librettist
Patience: Amber Monroe
Castor: Reginald Smith, Jr.
Celeste: Jennifer Johnson Cano
West: Benjamin Taylor
This event is a sneak-peek concert preview performance of excerpts from “Castor and Patience,” a new opera by composer Gregory Spears and former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy K. Smith. Scheduled to premiere at Cincinnati Opera in summer 2022, the opera is set during the mortgage crisis of 2008, telling the story of African American cousins who find themselves at odds over the fate of land their ancestors have owned since Reconstruction. Free tickets are available here.
Friday, May 13
JOHNNY GANDELSMAN, violin
Johnny Gandelsman’s “This is America” captures the sense of a broad vista for new music in the United States in 22 commissions from a richly diverse group of composers. A conversation with Gandelsman and composer Anjna Swaminathan will follow the concert. Presented in cooperation with Washington Performing Arts. Free tickets are available here.
J .S. BACH: Suite No. 3 for cello in C major, BWV 1009, arr. Gandelsman
OLIVIA DAVIS: “Steeped”
CLARICE ASSAD: “O”
ANJNA SWAMINATHAN: “Surrender to the Adventure”*
RHIANNON GIDDENS: “New to the Session”
MARIKA HUGHES: “From J with Love”
*Washington Performing Arts commission
Saturday, May 14
Roberto Fonseca Trio
Havana-born pianist, composer, bandleader and Artistic Director for Cuba’s Jazz Plaza Santiago Festival, Roberto Fonseca performs music from his ninth solo album “Yesun.” As one of the leading jazz pianists of his generation, Roberto Fonseca is known for his fierce musical explorations that combine jazz, Afro-Cuban rhythms, electronic beats, funk and rap. Free tickets for the concert are available here.
Join a pre-concert panel discussion at 5:30 p.m. featuring Fonseca, Puerto Rican musician and educator William Cepeda, multi-percussionist Fran Vielma, ethnomusicologist Chris Washburne and Claudia Morales from the Library’s Music Division. Presented in cooperation with the Revada Foundation of the Logan family. Free tickets for the panel are available here.
Saturday, May 21
Flutronix presents a mesmerizing vision of the flute reimagined, featuring selections from this high-octane duo’s unique electro-acoustic repertoire. Allison Loggins-Hull and Nathalie Joachim meld classical music, hip-hop, electronic programming and soulful vocals in a creative partnership paving the way from their classical roots to the future of music. A conversation with the artists will follow the concert. Free tickets are available here.
Monday, May 23 *VIRTUAL*
Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices
Introduced and conducted by James Conlon, The Colburn School Orchestra performs Franz Schreker’s 1916 “Kammersymphonie” as the centerpiece of a program that also includes Mieczysław Weinberg’s String Trio, op. 48, and works by Herbert Zipper and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.
Tuesday, May 24 *VIRTUAL*
The ARC Ensemble (Artists of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Canada) performs music by three composers who fled repression and terror in Nazi-dominated Europe for a haven in Israel: Paul Ben-Haim, Verdina Shlonsky and Franz Crzellitzer.
Wednesday, May 25 at 7 p.m.
Restitution, Restoration and Repertoire: New Findings in the Wanda Landowska Collection at the Library of Congress
Carla Shapreau, Institute of European Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Bret Werb, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Chris Hartten, Library of Congress Music Division
Carol Lynn Ward-Bamford, Library of Congress Music Division
Thomas Sheehan, harpsichordist, Washington National Cathedral
Barbara and Thomas Wolf, Wolf Instruments
Wanda Landowska waited until the bombs were in close range before she fled her home outside of Paris on June 10, 1940, leaving behind her rare musical instruments and most of her vast music library, all of which were confiscated by the Nazi Sonderstab Musik. This panel traces the path of Landowska's looted Pleyel harpsichord through war-torn Europe to the Library, and showcases some of the creative work preserved in her papers. Thomas Sheehan performs some of Landowska’s own, rarely-heard compositions, now part of the Library’s collection. Free tickets are available here.
Thursday, June 2
Part of LIVE! at the Library
Olivia De Prato and Maya Bennardo, violin
Victor Lowrie Tafoya, viola
Tyler J. Borden, cello
The Mivos Quartet will performs works created by giants of European and American contemporary music performed on the Library’s Stradivari instruments. Join the artists and composer Jeffrey Mumford for a pre-concert conversation at 6:30 p.m. in the Whittall Pavilion.
KENDALL: “Glances/I Don’t Belong Here”
WEBERN: “Six Bagatelles”
MUMFORD: “...amid still and floating depths” (Library of Congress commission world premiere)
Saturday, June 4
Ritz Chamber Players
Judy Dines, flute
Terrance Patterson, clarinet
Kelly Hall-Tompkins, violin
Ann Hobson Pilot, harp
Terrence Wilson, piano
The Ritz Chamber Players boast some of the world’s preeminent musicians spanning the African diaspora. Its members perform with prestigious organizations including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra. Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins premieres a new Library of Congress commission from James Lee. Join a pre-concert conversation with the artists at 6:30 p.m. in the Whittall Pavilion.
PERKINSON: String Trio
JAMES LEE III: “Lament. Arise. Sing” (Library of Congress commission world premiere)
FARRENC: Piano Quintet no. 1 in A minor op. 30
DEBUSSY: Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp
HAILSTORK: “Summer. Life. Song for Soprano, Clarinet, and String Quartet”
RAVEL: Introduction and Allegro
Thursday, June 16
Part of LIVE! at the Library
Grammy Award-winning quintet Ranky Tanky comes to the Library for a special celebration in honor of Juneteenth. The South Carolina-based band is known for its jazz, blues, gospel and R&B fusion arrangements of traditional Gullah music from America’s Southeast. During a mini-residency at the Library, the band will explore the archives, confer with curators, record educational videos, and conclude their time with an exuberant concert. Join a pre-concert conversation with the artists at 6:30 p.m. in the Whittall Pavilion.
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 gifts 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.
Media Contact: Leah Knobel, [email protected]