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.”

“The Original Radio Girl” and her De Luxe Revue

Taylor McClaskie is one of the Music Division’s summer 2019 interns. She is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at Case Western Reserve University and is currently writing a dissertation on music and environmental activism in 1980s America. During my time in the Music Division I have been helping to process and catalogue unpublished popular music […]

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 […]

Polarizing Political Issues: The Anti-Suffrage Rose

The following is a guest post from Senior Music Cataloging Specialist Laura Yust. Laura’s post marks the final blog post in our Women’s History Month series that highlights selections from the Music Division’s digital collection Woman’s Suffrage in Sheet Music. The suffragists of the early 20th century faced organized opposition from the anti-suffragists, both men […]

Suffrage Music on Parade: Part Two

As promised, every Wednesday this month In the Muse is featuring a blog post that highlights stories and names that lie within the Music Division’s recently-launched digital collection, Women’s Suffrage in Sheet Music. Last week, I located a newspaper article that contextualized Fanny Connable Lancaster and Florence Livingston Lent’s “Suffrage Marching Song” and described its […]

Suffrage Music on Parade

The Music Division’s latest digital collection, Women’s Suffrage in Sheet Music, includes over 200 pieces of music related to women’s emerging voices in the 19th century and more directly to the women’s suffrage movement. The collection provides multiple lenses through which a researcher can process the political struggle of the time, including music specifically written […]