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 […]

Happy Birthday Mister President, Happy Birthday to You

We all can’t be Marilyn Monroe cooing a personal birthday greeting to the Commander-in-Chief. But this President’s Day weekend gives all Americans a chance to remember our iconic leaders and take advantage of holiday sales — and gives the Mid-Atlantic States more time to dig out from the record-breaking snowfall that brought the region to […]

Happy Birthday Mozart!

From Dolly Parton to Django Reinhardt to Robert Burns, the strange bedfellows whose birthdays we have celebrated this past week demonstrate the breadth of the Music Division’s collections.  Today’s guest of honor is none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born on this day in 1756. The Performing Arts Encyclopedia features a number of  the maestro’s […]

Happy Birthday Django!

There are but a handful of musicians whose innovations changed the way their instrument is played.  Among these is guitarist Django Reinhardt, born January 23rd, 1910. Let us remember his centenary with this photo by William P. Gottlieb (whose birthday is January 28th). Listen to Gottlieb talk about Django and this photo session here.

The Big Beat

The photographs of  William P. Gottlieb (1917-2006 ) are a priceless document of the jazz era in the ’30’s and ’40’s.  In the Muse will occasionally highlight selections from this collection. Today we celebrate the birthdays of two legendary jazz drummers. When the Music Division prepared the Gottlieb collection for digitization in the ’90’s, Gottlieb worked […]

You say it’s your birthday

When we’re not awarding honors to Knighted former Beatles, we in the Music Division are caretakers of one of the great performing arts archives in the world.  It’s an embarrassment of riches, and a lifetime could be spent studying just the online collections in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia (the website formerly known as I Hear America Singing). But then you’d miss the deep catalog available on the Library campus, from a 15th-century manuscript on vellum to back issues of Creem magazine;  exhibits in the lobby of the Performing Arts Reading Room; the popular concert series in the Coolidge Auditorium; and, last but far from least, the expertise and enthusiasm of our diverse staff.

Adagio aus dem Klavier Concert in Es dur

From a solo piano arrangement of Beethoven's Concerto in E-flat major

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