Announcing the 2019-2020 Season

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.

Leonora Jackson, c.1898, from the McKim Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress

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:

From Kazem:
“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.”

From Claudia:
“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.”

Aaron Diehl’s Jazz Scholar residency at the Library of Congress

The following is a guest post by Library of Congress Jazz Scholar Aaron Diehl My visit to the Library of Congress in March was not my first introduction to its collections. In late 2016, jazz curator Larry Appelbaum kindly welcomed me to the Library in advance of a program I was creating featuring the music […]

Finding Strayhorn: Reflections from Chris Potter

The following is a guest post from saxophonist Chris Potter, who participated in the Music Division’s Finding Strayhorn discussion panel on June 12, 2019. My visit to the Library of Congress fortunately coincided with the announcement that the Billy Strayhorn Music Manuscripts and Estate Papers are now available for the public to study. I was […]

Thinking About Eric Dolphy On His Birthday

He was only 36 when he died in Berlin in 1964, but the gifted, avant-garde innovator Eric Dolphy (June 20, 1928-June 29, 1964) helped change the landscape for jazz improvisers through his collaborations with John Coltrane, Gunther Schuller, Charles Mingus and his own projects. He was a multi-instrumentalist who found his distinctive voice on alto […]

Goodwill and Ballet: The Story behind the Original Score to Ginastera’s Estancia

The following is a guest post from Music Division scholar-volunteer K. Mitchell “Mitch” Snow, with an introduction from Dance Archivist Libby Smigel. Readers of the Music Division’s In the Muse blog will have already met Mitch Snow through his posting on the Maxine Glorsky Papers. His scholarly pursuits have made him invaluable in many quarters […]

A Sweet “Bitter-Sweet” Find in an Eighteenth-Century Pennsylvanian Music Manuscript

The following is a guest post from Dr. Christopher Dylan Herbert. Dr. Herbert is a baritone and musicologist. He is an assistant professor of music at William Paterson University and is a member of the Grammy-nominated quartet New York Polyphony. An extended version of this blog will be published as an article in volume 76, […]

Mary Hallock Greenewalt: Rembrandt of the Piano

The following is a guest post from Lara Szypszak, Reference Librarian in the Manuscript Division. Mary Hallock Greenewalt (1871-1950) was a musician, inventor, businesswoman, and all around go-getter, whose work leaves traces throughout several divisions of the Library of Congress, most prominently in the Manuscript and Music Divisions. Greenewalt was born in Bhamdoun, a small […]

Upcoming Lecture: “Americans’ Forgotten Love Affair with Opera”

The following is a guest post from Dr. Katherine K. Preston, Professor Emerita at The College of William & Mary. Dr. Preston will be presenting “Americans’ Forgotten Love Affair with Opera” as part of the AMS/LC Lecture Series on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 7pm in the Madison Building’s Montpelier Room. The lecture is free […]