The Library of Congress hosts a series of free annual concerts with world-class musicians


The Library of Congress is not just a national place for academic research. You can also enjoy free live music with the institution’s annual concert series.

OMCP’s Jason Fraley gives an overview of the Library of Congress concert series (Part 1)

The Library of Congress is not just a national place for academic research.

You can also enjoy free live music with the institution’s annual festival concert series.

“The first gig was in October 1925, so it’s 97,” lead producer Anne McLean told WTOP. “We are excited for this coming season. We will have virtual and live events this coming year. It’s a very varied offering with world-class artists performing classical music, great jazz and special projects featuring both dance and spoken word.

The virtual fall season kicks off October 8 with “A Fiddler’s Tale” by Wynton Marsalis.

“This is a special program that brings together African American musicians from the best orchestras in the country, along with actor Nick Few and conductor Damien Sneed,” McLean said. “It starts with ‘The Soldier’s Tale’ by Igor Stravinsky, about a musician who sells his soul to the devil, then ‘A Fiddler’s Tale’ by Marsalis. [where] the devil is a record producer.

Next, actor Ralph Fiennes recounts “Tchaikovsky and his poets” on October 14.

“It’s a beautiful and truly lavish concert with a mezzo-soprano called Alice Coote and the pianist is Christian Blackshaw,” McLean said. “His voice is like an all-terrain vehicle of impressive power. … Interposed between these songs, Ralph Fiennes reads poems by Lermontov, Fet and others that were important to Tchaikovsky.

This month, the “Metamorphosis” dance and percussion event will also take place on October 30.

“This concert is so touching,” said McLean. “Third Coast Percussion, a Grammy-winning group, a quartet of percussionists put together this show called ‘Metamorphosis’. They have collaborated with fantastic dancers from Movement Art Is. Petit Buck [and] Jon Boogz are the choreographers and their motto is to use dance to inspire change in the world.

Also, don’t miss an exciting virtual concert with Hub New Music on November 5th.

“We are proud to make the virtual premiere of this piece, ‘Requiem for the Enslaved’,” said McLean. “The story is about the 272 slaves who were sold by Georgetown University to pay off construction debts for the construction of university buildings. … Carlos Simon is the composer and it’s a beautiful piece… tinged with hip-hop, jazz, R&B.

After the virtual fall season, in-person concerts resume in February.

“The concerts take place in the Coolidge Auditorium, which is part of the Jefferson Building, this magnificent building with the dome, directly across from the United States Capitol,” McLean said. “For a long time people thought, ‘It’s inside a big building, how do you get there?’ … But we want everyone in the DC metro area to come and experience the concert hall. “

See the full schedule of free concerts here.

OMCP’s Jason Fraley gives a preview of the Library of Congress Concert Series (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

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