Concerts from the Library of Congress Announces Virtual May Events

Spring is finally here! And, our virtual May events are around the corner. We have a fantastic lineup of events for all music lovers. We start the month with the French Ensemble Correspondances led by conductor Sébastien Daucé evoking an evening at the court of Louis XIII at the Palace of the Louvre. Then, we continue with Kandace Springs Trio in a virtual performance that pays tribute to women artists who inspired Springs’ career. The month ends on a high note with Moroccan pianist Marouan Benabdallah with a program called “Arabesque,” featuring music by composers from Syria, Algeria, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Morocco. In addition to our fantastic performances, the American Musicology Society, in partnership with the Library of Congress, brings a fascinating set of speakers, including Candace Bailey, Marta Robertson, and Mackenzie Pierce.

Viewers can enjoy sampling a constellation of interesting Library sources and collection materials chosen to complement each digital program, including manuscripts and images, artifacts and documents. Accessible on the Concerts from the Library of Congress website,, and on the Library’s YouTube channel and Facebook Premiere platforms. The series is free and tickets are not required.

Patrons can find information about the concert series, including program updates and webcast dates, by visiting the concert website, Concerts from the Library of Congress LibGuide, // brings together “best-of” selections of pre-existing videos of lectures, concerts, conversations and collection items on a variety of musical topics. And the Pick of the Week, //, brings curated playlists to subscribed patrons every Friday.


FRIDAY, MAY 7, 2021 at 8:00 PM (ET)
Ensemble Correspondances | Sébastien Daucé, conductor

Night, the world of myth and the mysteries of love are the subjects of this beautiful concert evoking an evening at the court of Louis XIII at the Palace of the Louvre. Sébastien Daucé leads an ensemble of nine singers and nine instrumentalists—a consort of viols, recorder, lute and chitarrone—from this distinguished French period orchestra, renowned for impeccable and award-winning recordings of 17th-century music. The artists bring to life elegant airs de cours by Antoine Boësset, Pierre Guédron, Emilie Moulinie and others, including the king himself: an accomplished dancer, musician and composer who laid the foundations for the modern art of ballet.


SATURDAY, MAY 22, 2021 at 8:00 PM (ET)
Kandace Springs Trio

Prince once said that Kandace Springs “has a voice that could melt snow.” Nashville pianist, songwriter, and vocalist Kandace Springs, together with her all-female band, comes to the Library of Congress for a unique virtual performance. Her program pays tribute to legendary female singers, including Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae, and Ella Fitzgerald, who inspired her to begin her journey towards becoming one of the premier jazz/soul vocalists of our time.


THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2021 at 8:00 PM (ET)
Marouan Benabdallah, piano | “Arabesque”

Pianist Marouan Benabdallah is one of the foremost representatives of his native Morocco on the international stage. For years he has been developing repertoire that goes beyond the canonic works of the literature he has performed to great acclaim, to include music from the Middle East and North Africa. Benabdallah will perform some of the remarkable finds from his explorations, with music by composers from Syria, Algeria, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Morocco on the program. These pieces are paired with his own solo piano arrangement of Saint-Saëns’ Africa, juxtaposing the exoticized European “Arabesque” with recent music by composers who offer their own take.

Presented in cooperation with the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division Near East Section, and with the generous support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco.


THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2021 at 10 AM
“Silencing the Guns of War: Women’s Binder’s Volumes in the Library of Congress,” Candace Bailey, PhD, Professor of Musicology, North Carolina Central University

In this lecture, Professor Candace Bailey examines bound collections of printed music from the Library of Congress to illustrate the music performed during the Civil War in Union areas near the nation’s capital. She hones in on those compiled by Annie Houseal, a music teacher in central Pennsylvania; Minna Blair, the daughter of Lincoln’s postmaster general Montgomery Blair; and Laura Cooke, the daughter of financier Jay Cooke. She demonstrates that “musicking” during the Civil War did not necessarily include music of the Civil War, even among those invested in its quotidian machinations. In light of these findings, Dr. Bailey explores the meaning of “musicking” in Civil War parlors, considering such motivations as music to soothe trauma, to entertain, and to please.
These lectures are presented as part of the ongoing American Musicological Society lecture series at the Library of Congress.


WEDNESDAY, MAY 19, 2021 at 10 AM
“‘A Gift to Be Simple’: Japanese American Influence in Appalachian Spring,” Marta Robertson, PhD, Professor of Music, Gettysburg College

Professor Marta Robertson looks at the iconic ballet Appalachian Spring (1944) through the lens of Japanese-American influences on the initial production, especially via the dancing of Yuriko [Kikuchi] and set design of Isamu Noguchi. Having been detained in incarceration camps, Yuriko and Noguchi offer political and cultural perspectives on the frontier and Americana that contrast with those of choreographer Martha Graham and composer Aaron Copland.


WEDNESDAY, MAY 26, 2021 at 10 AM (ET)
“Tadeusz Zygfryd Kassern’s Opera The Annointed, the Koussevitzky Foundation, and the Music of Holocaust Memory in the Early Cold War,” Mackenzie Pierce, PhD, Assistant Professor of Music, University of Michigan

Professor Mackenzie Pierce analyzes one of the few operas that commemorate the Holocaust, The Annointed (1951) by Tadeusz Zygfryd Kassern. Drawing on unexamined materials from the Koussevitzky papers and Koussevitzky Foundation’s collection at the Library of Congress, Pierce examines how Holocaust survivors deployed music to navigate the often incompatible personal, political, and commemorative demands of the early postwar period.

A Guided Dance Research Tour for National Dance Week

National Dance Week 2021 is upon us! Let’s take a guided tour from the safety of our homes through a recently published research guide, Dance Research at the Library of Congress. Pay close attention to all of the digital resources available online! My personal favorite in the online exhibitions list is Politics and the Dancing Body. A favorite digital collection is a bit harder for me to pin down. It’s a pretty tight contest between Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev and WPA Posters.

Dismantling Patriarchy is a Daily Practice

The following is a blog post from 2021 Library of Congress Jazz Scholar, Terri Lyne Carrington. As I took a walk on a cold February afternoon in Massachusetts, I continued working through feelings I have formed in response to the inequities women have faced in jazz. Although I thought I was taking a break walking, […]

Vicomtesse Marie de Grandval: A composer with pen names galore

At the end of my January blog post about 19th-century French composer Louise Angélique Bertin, I promised that a feature was forthcoming about her contemporary Marie Felicie Clémence de Reiset, the Vicomtesse de Grandval (1828/30-1907). I can’t wait to share some Music Division treasures of hers with you in honor of Women’s History Month!

Celebrate Black History Month with Music Research Guides

As Black History Month comes to a close, the Music Division is pleased to announce three recently published research guides that highlight Black history in our collections: “Harry Thacker Burleigh: A Guide to Resources,” “Early African-American Music: A Bibliography,” and “Black Composers in Music Division Collections.”