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The Sixty-ninth Season of Concerts at the National Gallery of Art

Washington, DC – The National Gallery of Art presents its 69th season of the longest-running free concert series in the nation’s capital from September 26, 2010, through June 26, 2011. Twenty-six of the 42 concerts will relate to a Gallery exhibition, an aspect of the permanent collection, or themes common to music and the visual arts. The other events will include concerts in honor of African American History Month and Women’s History Month, a concert celebrating the 70th anniversary of the opening of the National Gallery of Art, a presentation in six concerts of the complete Beethoven String Quartets, a festival commemorating the 100th anniversary of Gustav Mahler’s death (“Mahler on the Mall”), and a celebration of Norwegian culture in Washington, D.C. (“Norway Comes to Washington”).

Concert Information

Concerts at the National Gallery of Art are free of charge and open to the public on a first-come, first-seated basis. Seating begins 30 minutes prior to the concert. The entrance to the West Building is located at Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue NW, and the East Building entrance is Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Sunday concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. in the West Building’s West Garden Court, unless otherwise indicated. For Wednesday midday performances, the seating begins at 12:00 p.m. and the concert starts at 12:10 p.m. Monthly listings of concert programs may be obtained by calling (202) 842-6941 or by visiting the Gallery’s Web site at

Concerts in Honor of Exhibitions

Twenty-six musical programs were selected by the head of the Gallery’s music department, Stephen Ackert, to highlight Gallery exhibitions. In fall 2010 four concerts will be presented in honor of Edvard Munch: Master Prints, which is currently on view in the East Building through October 31, 2010. On Wednesday, September 29, the cello and piano duo Miller-Schmid performs Schnittke’s Epilogue to Peer Gynt among other works for cello and piano. One week later, On October 6, Norwegian pianist Håkon Austbø will be the first of several performers presented in collaboration with the Royal Norwegian Embassy in its festival “Norway Comes to Washington.” Other festival events include the vocal ensemble Nordic Voices, performing music by Lasse Thoresen and other Norwegian composers at the Gallery on October 10; and the New York Opera Society, performing the world premiere of a new opera by Norwegian composer Gisle Kverndokk—Max and Moritz: A Cartoon Opera in Seven Pranks—on October 17.

Concurrent with From Impressionism to Modernism: the Chester Dale Collection, on view until July 31, 2011, several concerts will note the professional and personal relationship between Chester Dale and George Gershwin and musical developments in the Impressionist and Modernist periods. On October 20, Trio con Brio Copenhagen performs music by Ravel and Saint-Saëns; on October 27, the Fauré Piano Quartet plays music by Fauré and other composers connected with the French Impressionists; on January 16, violinist Bruno Nasta and an ensemble perform music by Gershwin, Milhaud, and Stravinsky; and on February 9, violinist Janice Martin honors the exhibition with Gershwin selections that show her talent not only as a violinist but also as a singer and a pianist.

On November 3, the New York Chamber Soloists salute The Pre-Raphaelite Lens: British Photography and Painting, 1848–1875, with music by Arthur Sullivan and other English composers. On November 7, jazz pianist Terry Waldo and his ensemble celebrate the exhibition American Modernism: The Shein Collection, on view in the East Building through January 2, 2011, with an entertaining mix of ragtime and other early 20th-century jazz.

Two concerts in the late fall will be dedicated to Arcimboldo, 1526–1593: Nature and Fantasy, on view in the East Building September 19, 2010–January 9, 2011: on November 17, at 12:10 p.m., the viol consort Quaver will perform music by Dalla Casa, Lasso, other Renaissance composers; and on November 24, also at 12:10 p.m., the National Gallery of Art Chamber Players, led by lutenist Howard Bass, will perform Italian Renaissance music.

Several noted ensembles will bring music to the Gallery to honor Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals, which will occupy the main exhibition space in the East Building from February 20 to May 30, 2011. Music of Antonio Vivaldi, a Venetian contemporary of Canaletto, will feature prominently in performances by Red Priest (February 27), the Vivaldi Project (March 9), the National Gallery of Art Vocal Ensemble and Chatham Baroque (March 13); and the Venice Baroque Orchestra (April 10).

Two French pianists will bring special programs to the Gallery to honor Gauguin: Maker of Myth, on view from February 27 to May 30, 2011: Wilhem Latchoumia plays music by Debussy, Hahn, Ravel, and Villa-Lobos on March 2; and François Chaplin plays music by Debussy on March 20. Gabriel Metsu, 1629–1667, which opens on April 17, 2011, will also be complemented by two concerts: The Woodley Ensemble sings its North European baroque repertoire on June 19, and Dutch violinist Frederieke Saeijs plays music by contemporary composers inspired by Dutch art on June 26.

Complete Beethoven String Quartets

In a series of six concerts placed on the first Sundays of the month, six string quartets will present the complete quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven at the National Gallery. The American String Quartet plays the first of the six concerts on January 2, 2011, with subsequent concerts on February 6 (Parisii String Quartet) and March 6 (Leipzig String Quartet). The series continues in October 2011.

National Gallery of Art Orchestra

The National Gallery of Art Orchestra will be heard five times in the season: on October 31, guest conductor Gillian Anderson conducts music from the score for the silent film Haexen (with the film at 4:00 pm and in concert at 6:30 pm); on November 14, pianist Sara Daneshpour and guest conductor Stephen Simon join the orchestra for music by Mozart and other composers; on December 18, the orchestra again accompanies a silent film in the East Building Auditorium at 1:00 pm, playing music composed by composer and guest conductor Kim Allen Kluge for a 1923 film based on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol; on January 9, the orchestra brings the festival “Norway Comes to Washington” to a stirring close with a Norwegian-American New Year concert under the direction of guest conductor Bjarte Engeset; the orchestra assembles one more time on May 15, playing Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde under the direction of guest conductor Kenneth Slowik.

Mahler on the Mall

The Gallery will collaborate with the Embassy of Austria and the National Symphony Orchestra in a festival commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death of Gustav Mahler. Under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Christian Prosl, Ambassador of Austria to the United States, Mahler’s works will be performed at various venues on and near the National Mall during April and May 2011. Performances at the Gallery include a recital of Mahler songs by soprano Alessandra Marc on May 11; the above-mentioned concert by the National Gallery of Art Orchestra on May 15; and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra under music director Kim Allen Kluge, playing Symphony no. 1 on May 22. Throughout the duration of the festival, the public will have access to gallery talks that include a visit to the Gallery’s bronze bust of Mahler by Auguste Rodin.

Concerts in Unusual Spaces

Some Gallery concerts are set to take place in spaces not usually used for music. On Wednesday, September 22, at 12:10 p.m., young performers ranging in age from 11 to 18 years old show their skills in Gallery 64. On Monday, September 27, flutist Jasmine Choi performs in honor of German Master Drawings from the Wolfgang Ratjen Collection: 1580–1900, in the West Building Ground Floor lobby that serves as the entrance to the exhibition. Her program can be heard at 12:10 p.m. and again at 2:00 p.m. On October 24, the new music ensemble Great Noise performs a major work by contemporary Dutch composer Louis Andriessen in the East Building Atrium, and on March 16 at 12:10 and 2:00 p.m., the National Gallery of Art New Music Ensemble performs music written especially for the Gallery’s 70th anniversary in the West Building Rotunda.

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at (202) 842-6176, or visit the Gallery’s Web site at Follow the Gallery on Facebook at and on Twitter at

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