Top of page

Party Like It’s 1587 for Mrs. Coolidge

Share this post:

Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge (Music Division, Library of Congress)

Every year at Concerts from the Library of Congress we pay homage to our founding patron, Mrs. Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. A mover and shaker, Mrs. Coolidge convinced Congress in 1925 to allow her to build a concert hall (the Coolidge Auditorium) within the Library of Congress.  She also established the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation, administered by the Music Division to commission new music, present concerts and advance scholarly activities. The Library of Congress has been very fortunate to receive financial support from major donors and foundations, which in turn facilitates our being able to present “the world’s best artists” (The Washington Post) to the American public and global community.

Mrs. Coolidge was very fond of new music, the standard chamber music canon and also early music. The 2013 Founder’s Day concert offers a smorgasbord of Renaissance music, with some of the finest American performers of early music at the helm. The triple bill explores arrangements of works by Gabrieli and Gesualdo, and music from the Central European Low Countries, with works by Clemens non Papa, Isaac, Obrecht, Willaert, Du Fay, Ockeghem and Sweelinck.

The United States Navy Band Brass Choir, under the direction of Captain Brian O. Walden, kicks off the program with Renaissance music arranged for brass choir, including the world premiere of two Gesualdo arrangements by MU1 David J. Miller of the Navy Band. Piffaro and Blue Heron will perform separately and join forces for a jubilant finale.

The Founder’s Day concert is one of this season’s must-hear concerts. Best of all, it is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required. Given that Halloween is just around the corner, feel free to sport your Renaissance Fair garb for the concert!  And don’t forget, turkey legs are not included.

Event Listing
Party Like It’s 1587 – Founder’s Day Concert
Wednesday, October 30, 2013, 7:00 p.m.–JeffersonBuilding, Coolidge Auditorium

The United States Navy Band Brass Ensemble, Captain Brian O. Walden, Commanding Officer/Leader
Blue Heron, Scott Metcalfe, Director
Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, Joan Kimball & Robert Wiemken, Artistic Directors

Free & open to the public, no tickets required.

Program Booklet

Comments (2)

  1. I thought this concert was absolutely wonderful, particularly since Blue Heron and Piffaro don’t seem to make it out this way often.

    I wonder, was a recording made of that night, and if so, will it be generally available?

    • Dear Chris,
      Thanks for your patronage! We are very glad that you enjoyed the concert. There is no fixed date for when the recording would be available through the Recorded Sound Reference Center. It can take up to several months. If there is a time-sensitive need to listen to the recording, we could possibly arrange for this specific concert to be expedited. Please submit a request to the Recorded Sound Reference Center here:, and include a note about our correspondence.
      Best wishes,
      Nicholas Brown

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.