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An Act of Congress: 90th Anniversary Kick-Off

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On this day in 1925 President Calvin Coolidge signed into law a Joint Resolution from the 68th Congress of the United States of America “To accept the gift of Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge for the construction of an auditorium in connection with the Library of Congress, and to provide for the erection thereof…” This unique moment in the history of our Congress marked one of the first times in which a private citizen donated funds to the Federal government to support an artistic endeavor. From that moment Mrs. Coolidge (no relation to the President, though she was frequently confused for the First Lady) became the founding patroness of Concerts from the Library of Congress, our distinguished concert series that has presented free concerts and programs, commissioned new works, and hosted the Washington, DC debuts of countless internationally renowned performers to the public for 90 seasons.

Take a moment to read through the document that made our historic Coolidge Auditorium a law of the land:

(Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration)

(Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration)

Tonight we launch a 90-week celebration of our 90th anniversary with a performance by the St. Lawrence String Quartet that features the Washington, DC premiere of John Adams’ Second Quartet (2014), a Dina Koston and Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music co-commission with Stanford Live, Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall and The Juilliard School. Our very own senior producer Anne McLean will present a pre-concert lecture entitled “Opus 90: Celebrating 90 Years of Concerts from the Library of Congress.” If that wasn’t enough, we are also continuing our film series “The 80s: The Decade That Musicals Forgot” with a screening of the film Xanadu (1980). There is something for everyone at the Library of Congress! We look forward to seeing many of you throughout the exciting months of celebrations that lie ahead. Thanks for being a part of our musical family!

Event Listings – Friday, January 23, 2015

Pre-Concert Lecture (6:30pm)
Opus 90: Celebrating 90 Years of Concerts from the Library of Congress
Anne McLean, Senior Producer, Music Division
Whittall Pavilion, Thomas Jefferson Building
Free, no tickets required

Xanadu (1980) – Film Screening (7:00pm)
Hosted by Pat Padua, Music Division
Mary Pickford Theater, James Madison Building
Free, tickets required (RUSH tickets available at the door from 6:30pm)
Presented in association with DCist and BrightestYoungThings

St. Lawrence String Quartet (8:00pm)
Haydn | String Quartet in E-flat major, op. 33, no.2 (“The Joke”)
Adams | Second Quartet (Washington, DC Premiere)
Dvořák | String Quartet in C major, op. 61
Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building
Free, tickets required (RUSH tickets available at the box office from 6:00pm)
Program Booklet

Advance tickets can be obtained through Ticketmaster: or (202) 397-7328.
For more information, call us at (202) 707-5502 or email [email protected].

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  1. Thank You so much about bright futures in front of us.

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