“People talk about song-writing techniques. I have a technique. I sit around scratching myself and waiting for something to crop up. That’s why they call it a gift! Sit there and open up your mind and let yourself be a conduit.” That’s song-writer and raconteur Bill Withers, who so memorably closed a great evening of […]
Starting this saturday, Concerts from the Library of Congress goes On LOCation at the new Atlas Performing Arts Center in the heart of the H Street Corridor, which runs from 12th to 15th Streets, NE. A once-vibrant section of the city before it was devastated by riots in 1968, it is now known as the […]
Thanks to Tomas Hernandez, Senior Music Producer in the Music Division, for assistance with this post. Next Friday, April 16th, the Coolidge Auditorium hosts the Alexander String Quartet and the Afiara String Quartet in a program that practically defines eclecticism. Free tickets for this must-see event are still available, with a nominal service charge, from Ticketmaster. […]
The following post is by Mark Eden Horowitz, Senior Music Specialist. On March 22nd, the Music Division of the Library of Congress will present a concert of the 1934 musical revue, Life Begins at 8:40. Though the show and score may not sound familiar, five years later four of the original participants joined forces for […]
Next Thursday, February 25, 8:00, the Coolidge Auditorium will ring with the sounds of seventeenth-century Italy as the Music Division hosts Concerto Soave. This intimate ensemble from southern France was founded by Jean-Marc Ayme and Grammy-winning soprano Maria Cristina Kiehr. Their tapestry of instrumental timbres is woven from harp, cello, harpsichord, and portative organ for […]
Reference Specialist Larry Appelbaum has helped welcome a diverse array of musical luminaries to the Music Division. Here are just a few. Herbie Hancock, upon receiving his Living Legends award. Dave Brubeck’s 2003 performance in the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium can be heard here. Larry recently interviewed Mr. Brubeck and his wife and lyricist Iola Brubeck. […]
If you happened on the holiday classic In the good old Summertime recently, you might have noticed a scene where the great Buster Keaton trips and shatters what he thinks is a precious Stradivarius. Fortunately, it’s only a movie. Even more fortunately, those lucky enough to nab tickets for tonight’s concert in the Coolidge Auditorium can celebrate the holidays with a life more wonderful than the movies. This evening, as it has since 1936, the Library of Congress remembers Antonio Stradivari with a memorial concert on the anniversary of his death, played on several of the Library’s precious Strads.
This year we welcome The Parker Quartet to our hallowed stage. During a break in rehearsals yesterday, I asked the members of the quartet how it felt to play a piece of history. Interestingly, two of them hit on similar metaphors without hearing the other’s comments:
Daniel Chong, playing the “Betts” violin: I see instruments as being like people, and playing an instrument is like meeting a new person. And these instruments are absolutely beautiful and gorgeous — they have such vitality and life in them. One thing I was struck by when I picked them up is how great a condition these instruments were in as well. The amount of ring in these instruments is incredible – I feel like I’m going deaf with the amount of ring! It’s been a great pleasure and a great opportunity, like a dream come true.