Skip to main content
About Performing Arts
What Makes It Great? with Rob Kapilow

Congenial music educator and commentator Rob Kapilow is back for another delightful season, opening peoples’ ears—and minds—to what it is that makes a piece of music a masterpiece. Tonight's performance features the Bernstein Songbook.

Date
Sunday, April 22, 2018 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The Great Russian Operas: Glinka to Prokofiev

Beginning in the 1830s, a century of unforgettable operatic masterpieces were created that helped to define a Russian musical identity distinct from predominant European styles. Part of a 6-session course, learn about the composers–from Glinka to Prokofiev–who left us a thrilling musical repertoire. This session focuses on Modest Mussorgsky.

Date
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
John Eaton: From Broadway to Hollywood

Acclaimed pianist, musicologist, and humorist John Eaton shares insights, fascinating observations, and performs selections from some of America’s legendary composers of Broadway and Hollywood musicals, in this engaging and entertaining 4-session series. And, of course, he always takes requests! This session focuses on Hoagy Carmichael.

Date
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Rossini’s Stabat Mater: The Second Time’s the Charm

Scott Tucker, artistic director of the Choral Arts Society of Washington, explores the musical structure and cultural history of composer Gioachino Rossini’s beloved Stabat Mater. Recordings and a live performance by members of the Choral Arts Chorus provide musical context.

Date
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 7:00 p.m.
The Romani Influence on European Music

In the distinctive musical language of the Romani people—developed from centuries of global influences—European composers found rich and passionate inspirations for their own works. Musical scholar Saul Lilienstein surveys its impact on classical works by Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and others, as well as its echoes in flamenco and French jazz.

Date
Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
The Great Russian Operas: Glinka to Prokofiev

Beginning in the 1830s, a century of unforgettable operatic masterpieces were created that helped to define a Russian musical identity distinct from predominant European styles. Part of a 6-session course, learn about the composers–from Glinka to Prokofiev–who left us a thrilling musical repertoire. This session focuses on Alexander Borodin.

Date
Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
John Eaton: From Broadway to Hollywood

Acclaimed pianist, musicologist, and humorist John Eaton shares insights, fascinating observations, and performs selections from some of America’s legendary composers of Broadway and Hollywood musicals, in this engaging and entertaining 4-session series. And, of course, he always takes requests! This session focuses on the Fabulous 40s.

Date
Wednesday, May 2, 2018 - 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
The Great Russian Operas: Glinka to Prokofiev

Beginning in the 1830s, a century of unforgettable operatic masterpieces were created that helped to define a Russian musical identity distinct from predominant European styles. Part of a 6-session course, learn about the composers–from Glinka to Prokofiev–who left us a thrilling musical repertoire. This session focuses on Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Date
Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
John Eaton: From Broadway to Hollywood

Acclaimed pianist, musicologist, and humorist John Eaton shares insights, fascinating observations, and performs selections from some of America’s legendary composers of Broadway and Hollywood musicals, in this engaging and entertaining 4-session series. And, of course, he always takes requests! This session focuses on Hollywood.

Date
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
O Brothers: How Mark and Jay Duplass Conquered Hollywood

Mark and Jay Duplass are writers, directors, producers, and actors who’ve turned collaboration into a family affair. They made their moviemaking debut with a breakthrough short they produced on a $3 budget. Their next feature film provoked a distribution-rights bidding war at the Sundance Festival! Hear them describe their remarkable journey from the suburbs of New Orleans to success in Hollywood.

Date
Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Great Russian Operas: Glinka to Prokofiev

Beginning in the 1830s, a century of unforgettable operatic masterpieces were created that helped to define a Russian musical identity distinct from predominant European styles. Part of a 6-session course, learn about the composers–from Glinka to Prokofiev–who left us a thrilling musical repertoire. This session focuses on Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov.

Date
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The Most Famous Address in Washington: Perspectives on White House History

In this 4-session lecture series, noted specialists explore architecture, music, gardens, and art at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—a place where every decision, no matter how innocuous, has political ramifications. Participants receive a copy of each speaker’s corresponding large-format book published by the White House Historical Association. This session focuses on White House music.

Date
Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Great Russian Operas: Glinka to Prokofiev

Beginning in the 1830s, a century of unforgettable operatic masterpieces were created that helped to define a Russian musical identity distinct from predominant European styles. Part of a 6-session course, learn about the composers–from Glinka to Prokofiev–who left us a thrilling musical repertoire. This session focuses on Sergey Prokofiev.

Date
Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Designing the World of Hamilton

David Korin’s name may not be on the marquee, but his role in Hamilton is a major—and highly visible—one. The production designer for the show that has become a cultural phenomenon discusses the meticulous research, collaboration, and sheer hard work that went into creating and building every detail of the setting against which the musical plays out.

Date
Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Symphonies of Franz Schubert: Tradition and Innovation, Passion and Sentiment

Musicologist and pianist Daniel E. Freeman offers insights into the unique appeal of Schubert’s best symphonies and the musical environment from which they originated. He also provides tips on how to listen to these beloved works with a greater appreciation of the techniques that the composer used to create them.

Date
Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Judy Garland: Climbing Over the Rainbow

Her decades of stardom and struggle were marked by bouts of alcohol and drug abuse, multiple divorces, and career swings, but Judy Garland remains one of the greatest interpreters of American popular song. American music specialist Robert Wyatt explores highlights from her extraordinary life with clips from her movies and televion specials.

Date
Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Gilbert and Sullivan in the 21st Century

Director Jack Marshall and friends explore how Gilbert and Sullivan’s genius still adapts easily to contemporary issues and art forms, resonates with modern audiences, and is reflected in the roots of America’s own distinctive theatrical form, the musical.

Date
Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 9:30 a.m.
A Berkshires Summer Sampler
5-Day Tour

The scenic and historic Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts are alive with music, art, and theatre. Journalist Richard Selden leads a 5-day tour that offers a splendid sampling of cultural attractions in the region, from historic writers’ homes to outstanding museums to music and theatre performances.

Date
Depart: Sunday, July 29, 2018 - 6:30 a.m.
Return: Thursday, August 2, 2018 - 9:30 p.m.