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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

About Performing Arts

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

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.

Wednesday, October 14 to Friday, October 16, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

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

Friday, October 23, 2020 - 7:00 p.m. ET

The names Scorsese, Coppola, Spielberg, and Lucas usually dominate the conversation about directors whose films defined the 1970s. But it shouldn’t stop there, says Washington City Paper film critic Noah Gittell. He offers a lively overview of  the sometimes-overlooked mainstream directors, blazing female talents, experimental masters, European new wave pioneers, and blaxploitation directors whose collective filmmaking achievements created a dazzling decade of work.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Harry Belafonte, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Smokey Robinson: Their talents and singular gifts reshaped the music, entertainment, and songs of our times. Join Sara Lukinson, filmmaker and writer for the Kennedy Center Honors for 38 years, to examine their lives and view clips of their performances.

Tuesday, November 24 to December 15, 2020 - 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET

The pianist, vocalist, and humorist extraordinaire pays tribute to the composers whose work defines the Great American Songbook  including Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael, and George Gershwin.

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-kind man who overcame racial, social, and musical obstacles to become one of the 20th century’s greatest musicians.