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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

About Performing Arts

The Best of Brooklyn

Brooklyn offers plenty of delights for lovers of art, music, nature, and of course, food. On this two-day visit, arts journalist and former Brooklynite Richard Selden introduces you to several of the borough’s top attractions.

Date of event
Depart: Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 7:00 a.m.
Return: Monday, April 20, 2020 - 9:30 p.m.

Smithsonian Chorus: Celebrating the Songs of Stage and Screen

Join fellow fans of the Great American Songbook in a lively adult choral program that spotlights some of the most enduring music of Broadway and Hollywood—and concludes with a performance.

Date of event
Rehearsals: Tuesday, May 5 to June 9, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Concert: Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 7 p.m.

New York Rising: Music From the 1930s

In defiant answer to the Crash of 1929, New York City produced a spectacular decade of music in all forms. In a lively and engaging day, music expert Saul Lilienstein leads a journey that encompasses Broadway and the Cotton Club, Carnegie Hall and Greenwich Village, swing bandstands and Arturo Toscanini’s fabled Studio 8H in Radio City.

Date of event
Friday, May 15, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

The Orchestral Music of J.S. Bach

Musicologist and pianist Daniel Freeman pays tribute to this iconic composer and some of his greatest orchestral compositions in a day highlighted by music and video recordings and live piano performance.

Date of event
Saturday, June 20, 2020 - 9:30 a.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, July 12, 2020 - 2:00 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, July 19, 2020 - 2:00 p.m.

A Berkshires Summer Sampler

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 of event
Depart: Sunday, July 26, 2020 - 6:30 a.m.
Return: Thursday, July 30, 2020 - 9:30 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, July 26, 2020 - 2:00 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 varied use of concert masterpieces in film genres.

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

John Eaton Celebrates His Favorite Songwriters

Pianist, vocalist, and humorist extraordinaire John Eaton pays tribute to three of his favorite great American composers—Hoagy Carmichael, Richard Rodgers, and Harold Arlen—and the music of 1964. Eaton closes the program with a special concert of his own and your favorites.

Date of event
Wednesday, September 9 to 30, 2020 - 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Five Giants of Romantic Music: Friends in Life, Rivals in Art

Popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin combines lecture and piano demonstrations to examine the lives and work of Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Richard Wagner.

Date of event
Monday, September 21, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.

Igor Stravinsky: The Masterworks

Opera and classical music expert Saul Lilienstein surveys Stravinsky’s major accomplishments, from his early ground-breaking music for the Ballets Russes, through the neoclassical masterworks that culminated with The Rake’s Progress, to the far-reaching modernism of his later years.

Date of event
Tuesday, October 6 to November 17, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. (no class Nov. 3)