George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” a rapturous burst of music that has become a motif of the nation’s creative spirit, turns 100 today. It was first performed in New York on the snowy Tuesday afternoon of Feb. 12, 1924. Commissioned and premiered by the popular conductor Paul Whiteman at a concert designed to showcase high-minded …
Mariah Carey surprised a festive crowd during the Library’s Santa Claus edition of “Live! At the Library“ last night, making an entrance as her signature hit, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” played in the Great Hall. Decked out in a stage-worthy sparkling dress and pink high heels, she picked up the song's framed certificate of induction from the National Recording Registry from Librarian Carla Hayden and - like most everyone else at the party - posed for a couple of pictures by the Christmas tree.
Pop hits, R&B grooves and Broadway anthems thumped through the Coolidge Auditorium Wednesday night as the We Write the Songs concert burst back into life for the first time in four years, featuring songwriters such as Jermaine Dupri, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Madison Love and Matthew West. The 90-minute showcase is an annual event (save for the recent COVID-caused gap) by the Library and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Foundation. It demonstrates to an audience heavy with members of Congress and Capitol Hill staffers, often in danceable fashion, why the rights of creative artists have to be protected.
Novelist, short-story writer and essayist George Saunders was awarded the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction Saturday evening in one of the final sessions of the 2023 National Book Festival, conferring a lifetime honor on a versatile writer whose most famous book cast one of Washington's most famous residents in a surreal light. Saunders' 2017 novel "Lincoln in the Bardo" took a fantastical look at the visit President Abraham Lincoln paid to his young son's tomb in a Georgetown cemetery one night in 1862.
The Libarary's 2023 National Book Festival on August 12 features a stunning array literary stars including Amor Towls, Beverly Gage, Victor Lavelle, Elizabeth Acevedo, Rebecca Makkai, David Grann, S.A. Crosby, Cheuk Kwan and Tahir Hamut Izgil. Librarian of Congress will present the Prize for American Fiction to novelist George Saunders at day's end.
Danny Elfman has composed or produced scores for more than 100 films, including blockbusters such as “Batman” and “Men in Black.” He’s composed themes for TV hits, as classic as “The Simpsons” and as recent as “Wednesday.” He was at the Library this week to present something more subtle: the world premiere of his latest classical work. “Suite for Chamber Orchestra,” commissioned by the LIbrary, debuted Thursday night at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in D.C. In this interview, he talks about his cinema and classical works, as well as original rock band, Oingo Boingo.
The Library wrapped up its tribute to Joni Mitchell on a high note last week with a conversation between the 2023 Gershwin Prize winner and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. In an exchange punctuated by laughter and ending in song, Mitchell detailed her unexpected evolution as a musical pathbreaker. The article contains a link to a video of the conversation.