Stop! In the Name of Music!

In Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of the Anthony Burgess novel A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm Macdowell is memorably conditioned to veer from his life of ultra-violence with generous doses of Ludwig Van.  But does music really sooth the savage breast? Does blasting Barry Manilow at high volume  drive away delinquent teenagers? The answer may surprise you. […]

Our National Anthem

On this date in 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed the Act establishing “The Star Spangled Banner” as the National Anthem of the United States of America.  The Library of Congress has in its collections a treasure trove of  sheet music (including a Spanish-language edition), song sheets (including two in German), and recordings of  “The Star […]

Roger Reynolds: Artists and Technology

Today, March 3rd, at 2:00 pm in the Whittall Pavillion, adjacent to the Coolidge Auditorium in the Jefferson Building, the Music Division plays host to a forum on Artists and Technology.  A presentation by composers Steve Antosca and Roger Reynolds will be moderated by Professor Thomas DeLio from the University of Maryland, College Park. This […]

Happy Birthday Chopin!

The following post is by Robin Rausch, Senior Music Specialist. If you have ever been a serious student of the piano, you have likely had the pleasure of playing Frédéric Chopin’s music.  He wrote almost exclusively for the instrument; his ballades, etudes, mazurkas, nocturnes, polonaises, preludes, scherzos, and waltzes count among the staples of the pianist’s […]

African-American History Month: James Reese Europe

“He was our benefactor and inspiration. Even more, he was the Martin Luther King of Music.” Pianist Eubie Blake said this of  composer/bandleader James Reese Europe,  who was born in Mobile, Alabama on February 22, 1881. Europe’s accomplishments run from the grand “Concert of Negro Music” that he conducted for a 125-man orchestra at Carnegie Hall in […]

Concerto Soave: Rome on the Potomac

Next Thursday, February 25, 8:00, the Coolidge Auditorium will ring with the sounds of seventeenth-century Italy as the Music Division hosts Concerto Soave. This intimate ensemble from southern France was founded by Jean-Marc Ayme and Grammy-winning soprano Maria Cristina Kiehr. Their tapestry of instrumental timbres is woven from harp, cello, harpsichord, and portative organ for […]

Happy Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the day before the Christian season of Lent begins.  In New Orleans, this is the *last* day of carnival: the party started on Twelfth Night, January 6th. With the New Orlean’s Saints‘ victory in Super Bowl XLIV, this Mardi Gras season has given the  City of New Orleans something […]