Virtual Series Features Performances by International Artists, Classical, Jazz and Dance Events, and Accompanying Lectures
The Library of Congress has announced a full lineup of events for the fall series of the 2021-2022 “Concerts from the Library of Congress” season. The virtual events will be complemented by conversations, lectures, curator talks and educational programs that reflect the diversity of the nation’s musical heritage.
Consistent with social distancing and safety protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fall series is being presented entirely in an online format. Events will be made available at 8 p.m. ET 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, unless otherwise noted. All events of the season are free, and tickets are not required.
The season begins Oct. 8 with Wynton Marsalis’ “A Fiddler’s Tale,” set to a libretto by poet and critic Stanley Crouch. Damien Sneed conducts an ensemble of principal players from the nation’s major orchestras, with actor Nic Few as narrator.
Viewers will encounter engaging presentations accompanying each event in the series, such as interviews with the performers and links to items from the Library’s Music Division collection. Patrons are also encouraged to make use of the Concerts from the Library of Congress LibGuide, which provides “best-of” selections of notable past events on a variety of musical topics.
Fall 2021 Programs
Each program will premiere at 8 p.m. ET unless otherwise noted.
Friday, Oct. 8: “A Fiddler’s Tale”
Anthony McGill, clarinet
Ian Morin, bassoon
Billy Hunter, trumpet/cornet
Weston Sprott, trombone
Jauvon Gilliam, percussion
Tai Murray, violin
Xavier Foley, contrabass
Nic Few, narrator
Damien Sneed, piano and conductor
Igor Stravinsky's iconic work is based on the eternal story of a young man who sells his soul to the devil, achieving fame and fortune, but losing everything when the devil calls in the debt. Wynton Marsalis' “A Fiddler's Tale” retains the outline of Stravinsky's scenario but updates the action to the present for a parable involving the devil, corruption and the concept of shame. The presentation will also feature an accompanying interview with Marsalis and his collaborator, Stanley Crouch.
Thursday, Oct. 14: Tchaikovsky & His Poets
Alice Coote, mezzo-soprano
Christian Blackshaw, piano
Ralph Fiennes, actor
This masterly presentation of Tchaikovsky songs is interwoven with readings by Ralph Fiennes, poems by Alexander Pushkin, Afanasy Fet and Mikhail Lermontov, and letters to the composer’s brother Modest and patron Nadezhda von Meck. Presented in cooperation with Wigmore Hall.
Friday, Oct. 15: Daymé Arocena
Jazz vocalist and composer Daymé Arocena’s exhilarating concert fuses jazz, Santeria chants, Afro-Cuban rhythms, and contemporary R&B, reflecting her cultural and musical upbringing. Presented in cooperation with the Revada Foundation of the Logan family.
Thursday, Oct. 21: Augustin Hadelich, violin, and Orion Weiss, piano
Sonatas by Debussy and Beethoven are the centerpieces of this recital, complemented by pieces by 19th-century Spanish composers Francisco Tarrega and Pablo de Sarasate and two fiery Paganini showstoppers.
Friday, Oct. 29: Leif Ove Andsnes, piano
Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes performs Beethoven, Dvořák and selections from Grieg’s “Lyric Pieces” in the intimate recital hall at the Edvard Grieg Museum in Bergen, Norway. Violinist Augustin Hadelich adds a sparkling “bonus track” performance of two Paganini showstoppers to his recital with Orion Weiss; viewers can enjoy sampling a few treasures from the Music Division’s Paganini collection, including his “secret red diary,” in a virtual curator talk by Melissa Wertheimer.
Saturday, Oct. 30: Founder’s Day Concert featuring Third Coast Percussion with choreography by Movement Art Is
This compelling collaboration is a celebration of American street dance styles and classical percussion music, featuring compositions by Philip Glass, Tyondai Braxton and electronic music composer and producer Jlin. Third Coast Percussion performs New Zealand composer Gemma Peacocke’s “The threshold we cross with closed eyes,” with dancers Ron Myles and Quentin Robinson.
The Library’s annual Founder’s Day Concert is in honor of Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge.
Friday, Nov. 5: Hub New Music
Hub New Music gives the virtual world premiere of Carlos Simon’s “Requiem for the Enslaved,” inspired by the history of the 272 enslaved workers sold by Georgetown University to pay its debts. A professor at Georgetown, which commissioned the work, Simon is a recipient of the 2021 Sphinx Medal of Excellence recognizing extraordinary classical Black and Latinx musicians. Simon will play piano, joined by spoken word artist and hip-hop advocate Marco Pavé and trumpeter Jared Bailey.
Wednesday, Nov. 17: Lecture by Elisse La Barre, PhD
“‘Radio Enchains Music': The 1940 ASCAP Radio War and Music Festivals”
Lecture will premiere at 10 a.m. ET. Presented in cooperation with the American Musicological Society.
Friday, Nov. 19: Zuill Bailey, cello, and Bryan Wallick, piano
Cellist Zuill Bailey performs the Romantic Rachmaninoff sonata as the highlight of this recital. Bailey will also conduct a virtual masterclass with cellists from the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras, which will be available on the Library’s website.
Thursday, Dec. 2: Lecture at 10:00 a.m. ET by Victoria Phillips, Ph.D.
Department of International History, London School of Economics
Join for a lecture from historian Victoria Phillips, titled “Martha Graham’s Cold War: The Dance of American Diplomacy.”
Friday, Dec. 3: Netherlands Chamber Choir
J.S. BACH Weinachts-Oratorium (Christmas Oratorio)
This program is supported by the Dutch Culture USA program of the Netherlands Consulate General in New York.
Thursday, Dec. 9: Jess Gillam, saxophone
Pianist to be announced
Saxophonist Jess Gillam, a 22-year-old newcomer to the world stage, earned Britain’s MBE Award for her work organizing a virtual orchestra during the pandemic. She performs works by Poulenc and Marcello along with recent works written for her.
Friday, Dec. 10: Imani Winds with Catalyst Quartet
Imani Winds have revolutionized the woodwind world over a 20-year career They perform music by Mongo Santamaria and Jason Moran, and join forces with the Catalyst Quartet in a nonet performance of Roberto Sierra’s “Concierto de Cámera.”
Saturday, Dec. 11: Bria Skonberg, trumpet and voice
Canadian vocalist, trumpeter and songwriter Bria Skonberg appears with her band.
Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021: Antonio Stradivari Memorial Concert featuring the Calidore String Quartet
HAYDN Quartet in F major, op. 77/2
MENDELSSOHN String Quartet in A minor, op. 13 BRAHMS String Quartet in A minor, op. 51/2
The Calidore String Quartet perform on the Library’s extraordinary Stradivari instruments for the annual Antonio Stradivari Memorial concert.
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.