Concerts from the Library of Congress returns for a 95th season, packed with an impressive and richly diverse roster of more than 95 free events, including concerts, lectures, films, panels, conversations with artists and more. 2019-20 is a year of visionary legacies. In February we begin an adventurous and in-depth Beethoven at 250 festival that will go through 2020—a journey a quarter of a millennium in the making. May 2020 sees a salute to Billy Strayhorn honoring the recent arrival of his papers at the Library. And throughout the season we celebrate extraordinary women in music: the performers, composers and donors who have and still make our series possible. Major soloists like Midori, Leila Josefowicz, Miranda Cuckson, Tabea Zimmermann and Anne-Marie McDermott will perform music by composers from Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel to newly written Library commissions by Tamar Diesendruck and Suzanne Farrin. In addition to the intimate evenings you’ve come to expect with us, we have a blockbuster lineup of chamber orchestras, including Concerto Köln, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Sphinx Virtuosi, Asko|Schönberg, the International Contemporary Ensemble and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra with Kristian Bezuidenhout and Isabelle Faust.
With cutting-edge jazz from artists like Chucho Valdés and Oliver Lake, exciting new music, exquisite Baroque offerings, plus a panoply of unique chamber, pop, dance and music theater programs, the Library has great musical events for all audiences. We provide encounters that can only be found at the Library of Congress—curated experiences designed to invigorate your encounters with treasures, artifacts and ideas. The McKim Fund, endowed by Leonora Jackson McKim—one of the major patrons of Concerts from the Library of Congress—has commissioned over 75 works and underwritten scores of concerts. Her bold, confident gaze on our brochure cover this year symbolizes our shared love of tradition and commitment to the future. At the Library, visions become legacies, and legacies inspire creativity anew.
As always, tickets for our concerts are free. Tickets for 2019 events will be available starting on Wednesday, September 11 at 10 am ET. This year all films, lectures and preconcert events will again be general admission, with no tickets needed. Seating will be first-come, first-served. We will still offer registration for films and lectures, so that we can send a reminder and notify you of any schedule changes.
For more information about ticketing and what to do if you don’t have a ticket (HINT: you should still come!), please click here.
Click here to read our press release.
Click here to see the Season-At-A-Glance, where you can click on each event to learn more.
We are also thrilled to announce the arrival of two new members of the concert office team: music specialists Kazem Abdullah and Claudia Morales. We asked them each for a brief note about the season:
“What attracted me to want to work for Concerts from the Library of Congress are the variety of concerts and performers we present. I am looking forward to the DC debut of the Arod Quartet from Paris and on the other spectrum Tank and the Bangas in the fall. Our collection is unparalleled, so I am also looking forward to the lectures in our #Declassified series which focuses on specific items from the collection.”
“Hello! My name is Claudia Morales, and I am the newest addition to the concert production team. After working in D.C.’s music scene for many years, I am excited to start a new journey at such a center of knowledge as the Library of Congress and to be part of a team of talented and knowledgeable concert producers. Carefully crafted, this season provides unique music experiences to our dedicated audience. I am thrilled the season opens with Afro-Cuban jazz musician, Chucho Valdés. I am excited to have Tank and the Bangas making us fly with their creativity, and I am looking forward to presenting Midori with her special talent and sensitivity. From concerts, lectures, and films, to talks, demonstrations, and workshops—this season has something special for everyone. I am looking forward to meeting you in the fall.”
Are any of these or past events recorded and available for public library use? Similar to the past “Live at Lincoln Center Local” series, recordings of cultural performances would be a wonderful opportunity for heartland, small town public libraries to show to their local audiences.
Thank you for your question. We do record most events at the Library, and we post as many as we can if we are able to obtain the right to do so by the speakers, performers and composers. You can find some of these videos at //www.loc.gov/collections/event-videos/
You can also find some videos on the Library of Congress YouTube channel.
I have written more than once to suggest a more equitable and less complicated lottery system for your concerts. Your office needs to inquire of the Shakespeare Theatre what their system is for the “Free for All” lottery every summer. It’s equitable and humane. I’m not the only former fan of the LoC concerts who has yielded the field to folks with video gaming skills. Life’s too short for the semiannual Wednesday-morning game.
Thank you for your message. We receive both positive and negative feedback with each approach we take to ticketing, and we take that feedback into consideration; it is unfortunately not possible to satisfy everyone. All of our events are free, and no fees are collected with our current ticketing system. The key message is that guests without a ticket are almost always able to attend the event due to returns and no-shows. For more information about attending without a ticket, please visit: //www.loc.gov/concerts/tickets.html
A concert I was interested in was sold out. In the past you have had a waiting list so that people could request the tickets that become available when people return their tickets. I don’t see an opportunity to sign up for a waiting list for the sold-out concert. How do I tell you that I’m interested in tickets that become available when people decide they can’t use their tickets and turn them back to you?
Thank you for your message. We no longer have the waitlist option, but there are two main ways that you can still attend the concert. As tickets are returned by patrons, they automatically become available online, so you can check in periodically to see if anything is available. We usually get a number of returns about a week before each concert. Because the process is automatic, we unfortunately do not have a way to manage a waitlist and let you personally know that tickets are available. If we notice a large number of unclaimed tickets, we may put a notification out on social media.
If you still do not have a ticket on the concert date, we still recommend that you come to the Library for the event. Because of the high no-show rate, it is extremely likely that you will be able to get into any concert if you arrive two hours before the event and get a RUSH space-available pass. We seat people as tickets become available, and release all unclaimed seats 5 minutes before the event. We often get 50-100 people into the events without tickets in this manner. While we cannot guarantee admission, we strongly encourage you to make use of our space-available passes. For more information, please visit //www.loc.gov/concerts/tickets.html?loclr=blogmus