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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

About Performing Arts

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

In this interactive, multimedia talk, music historian Kenneth Womack traces the story behind Double Fantasy, John Lennon’s remarkable 1980 comeback album with wife Yoko Ono.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, December 7, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. ET

No one led a life, led a band, or made music like Duke Ellington. American music specialist John Edward Hasse surveys the life and career of a one-of-a-kind man who overcame racial, social, and musical obstacles to become one of the 20th century’s greatest musicians.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, December 11, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

The inexplicable force of nature that was Wolfgang Mozart seemed to live onstage and off simultaneously, a character in life’s tragicomedy but also outside of it, watching, studying, and gathering material for the fabric of his art. Biographer Jan Swafford examines how those dual lives converged in the creation of works that shaped classical music for all time.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Whether intentionally or not, some movies created as entertainment have also had a significant impact on American society. Playwright and screenwriter Mark Lapadula examines a quartet of these—I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, The Graduate, Jaws, and Philadelphia—to reveal what they tell us about the times in which they were created and their continuing significance today.

Course
Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: a snappy line of dialogue, a dance in the rain or by the Seine, a timeless love song, a great last line. Documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Casablanca.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Over a career that spanned six decades, Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s films never failed in bringing audiences to the edge of their seats. Join playwright and screenwriter Marc Lapadula as he peels back the layers of meaning beneath this grandmaster’s bold intentions and dazzling techniques that made him one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of world cinema.

Course
Sunday, January 10, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. ET

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 this 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.

Course
Tuesday, January 12 to February 16, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Popular Smithsonian music lecturer Saul Lilienstein traces Bach’s artistic journeys as he explores the composer’s magnificent musical achievements. Lectures are highlighted by superb music recordings.

Course
Course Sessions: Tuesday, January 12 to March 2, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET
Performance: Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

If you’ve always wanted to learn the language and elements of musical notation and composition or are a singer or instrumentalist who has never mastered reading music, here’s the perfect opportunity. In an interactive course leading to a performance, conductor Ernest Johnson guides participants 55 and older in developing the foundation every musician needs.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Jazz and powered flight are cousins, born and raised at the same time in surprising parallel paths. With film and music, aviation writer and filmmaker Paul Glenshaw takes off on a journey infused with truly American style and innovation as he examines how the intertwined stories of jazz and flight reveal the arc of 20th-century history.

Course
Sunday, January 17, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. ET

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 this 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.

Course
Sunday, January 24, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. ET

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 this 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.

Course
Sunday, January 31, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. ET

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 this 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.

Course
Wednesday, February 3, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: a snappy line of dialogue, a dance in the rain or by the Seine, a timeless love song, a great last line. Documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Some Like It Hot and Tootsie.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

“Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” Food plays a key featured role in Francis Ford Coppola’s first entry in The Godfather trilogy. Italian-born Ermelinda M. Campani, examines the 1972 film’s intertwined perspectives on food and family, which encompass ethnic identity, personal honor, violence, and power.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The United States didn’t invent cinema, but over the last century it became an American institution. Using clips from movies ranging from Stagecoach to The Dark Knight, film critic Noah Gittell considers a trio of American archetypes that emerged at key points in Hollywood history: the Cowboy, the Rogue Cop, and the Orphan Protector.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

The Russian immigrant originally named Israel Baline translated the spirit of his new country into enduringly popular music. American musical specialist Robert Wyatt covers Irving Berlin’s extraordinary life, spanning a half-century of achievement that produced songs for Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, radio, television, film, and a worldwide military audience.

Course
Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: a snappy line of dialogue, a dance in the rain or by the Seine, a timeless love song, a great last line. Documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on musicals in film history during the 1940s and ’50s.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

He’s the top! American music specialist Robert Wyatt leads a musical journey through Cole Porter’s dazzling career on Broadway and in Hollywood, his personal tragedies, and his legacy of some of the most deliciously witty, provocative, and elegant contributions  to the great American songbook.