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About Performing Arts

Classical Music and American Foreign Relations: A Complicated Duet

Jonathan Rosenberg of Hunter College delves into the singular and complex relationship of classical music and political ideology in 20th-century America. He examines how in the decades that spanned two world wars and the Cold War, classical musicians, singers, composers, and conductors could find themselves celebrated as cultural ambassadors or ostracized for their nationality or political beliefs.

Date of event
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 12:00 p.m.

Radio City Music Hall: Front and Center for the Christmas Spectacular

There’s no more iconic holiday performance in New York than Radio City Music Hall’s famed Christmas Spectacular. And there’s no better way to see the precision dancing of the Rockettes than from prime orchestra seats in the fabulous art deco theater where the show has been a tradition since 1933. A behind-the-scenes tour of the Music Hall adds to the experience.

Date of event
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 6:45 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

The Gilded Steinway: Music in Theodore Roosevelt's White House

The musical life of the White House during Theodore Roosevelt's administration was rich and diverse, and some of the era's most noted pianists performed on a one-of-a-kind instrument in the East Room: an elaborately decorated and gilded Steinway piano. In a program at Decatur House, musicologist Elise Kirk offers an overview of Roosevelt-era music, highlighted by a performance on a replica of the original piano.

Date of event
Thursday, December 12, 2019 - 6:30 p.m.

Smithsonian Boomers Chorus: Legends of Song

If you love rock and roll and want to sing some of the greatest hits of all time, join the Boomers Chorus, a program geared for people ages 55 and above who love to sing. There’s no experience required, and sessions culminate in a performance.

Date of event
Rehearsals: Tuesday, January 14 to March 3, 2020 – 6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Performance: Tuesday, March 10, 2020 – 6:45 p.m.

DC Theatre Preview 2020

Peek behind the curtain as some of the top local arts writers share their picks on the hottest tickets in town, what’s worth the price (and perhaps isn’t), and the artists to keep an eye on during the promising and packed new season.

Date of event
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Beethoven: The Musical Milestones

His was an amazing life of discovery and challenge, reflected in the music created across the full breadth of compositional forms. In a six-session course, classical music and opera scholar Saul Lilienstein surveys the landmark works that define Beethoven’s career and legacy.

Date of event
Tuesday, January 21 to February 25, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

How To Watch the Oscars

As the awards race approaches its conclusion, join Washington City Paper film critic Noah Gittell for an evening that focuses on all things Oscar, from Academy Awards history and trivia to discussions of this year’s nominations and behind-the-scenes stories.

Date of event
Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Louis Armstrong: American Icon

Say the name Louis Armstrong and you’re instantly able to conjure the unmistakable sound of his voice and his trumpet. Curator and author John Edward Hasse provides a film and video portrait of the beloved entertainer who transformed American music.

Date of event
Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Coming Together on Abbey Road

Fifty years ago, the Beatles made their final album together, a farewell project that was their most innovative collection of songs. Beatles historian Kenneth Womack draws on rare clips and videos to show how the group and producer George Martin created Abbey Road’s unique sounds.

Date of event
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Classical Sounds of the Cinema: Magnificent Movie Music

Whether it’s Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, Puccini, or Bach, opuses of almost every famous composer have added emotional depth to hundreds of films ever since talkies emerged. In a 4-session series, concert pianist and movie fanatic Rachel Franklin delves into the magic of some of the greatest film music ever composed (even when it was unintentional). This session discusses iconic classical music moments in film history.

Date of event
Sunday, March 15, 2020 - 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Road to Nashville

If the new Ken Burns documentary Country Music has sparked your appetite to learn more about the form’s roots and influences, this special 5-day tour led by arts journalist Richard Selden offers the perfect way to do it. Packed with performances and music history—as well as art and architecture and terrific regional cuisine—this Southern journey to Music City USA is sure to be a top-of-the-charts experience.

Date of event
Depart: Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 8:00 a.m.
Return: Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 6:00 p.m.

Classical Sounds of the Cinema: Magnificent Movie Music

Whether it’s Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, Puccini, or Bach, opuses of almost every famous composer have added emotional depth to hundreds of films ever since talkies emerged. In a 4-session series, concert pianist and movie fanatic Rachel Franklin delves into the magic of some of the greatest film music ever composed (even when it was unintentional). This session discusses Beethoven's music in film.

Date of event
Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Classical Sounds of the Cinema: Magnificent Movie Music

Whether it’s Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, Puccini, or Bach, opuses of almost every famous composer have added emotional depth to hundreds of films ever since talkies emerged. In a 4-session series, concert pianist and movie fanatic Rachel Franklin delves into the magic of some of the greatest film music ever composed (even when it was unintentional). This session discusses 20th-century composers and film.

Date of event
Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Classical Sounds of the Cinema: Magnificent Movie Music

Whether it’s Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, Puccini, or Bach, opuses of almost every famous composer have added emotional depth to hundreds of films ever since talkies emerged. In a 4-session series, concert pianist and movie fanatic Rachel Franklin delves into the magic of some of the greatest film music ever composed (even when it was unintentional). This session discusses varied use of concert masterpieces in film genres.

Date of event
Sunday, April 5, 2020 - 2:00 p.m.