What do Dmitri Shostakovich, John Zorn, and fur accessories have in common?

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. […]

Life Begins at 8:40

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 […]

Concerto Soave: Rome on the Potomac

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 […]

Our Distinguished Visitors

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. […]

From Zero to Sixty in Four Bars

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:

Photo by Janette Beckman, courtesy The Parker Quartet

Photo by Janette Beckman, courtesy The Parker Quartet

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.

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