Friday, July 18, 2008

National Symphony Orchestra Free Concerts Of World And American Classical Music Shame Classical WETA-FM To Program Amy Beach And Charles Griffes

Despite its lack of a Musical Director, the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C. is continuing its classical music outreach, education, and leadership activities today and tomorrow by offering two FREE, shorter concerts of World and American Classical music in Washington, D.C.'s Rock Creek Park Amphitheater, in a beautiful section of Washington that, generally, marks a dividing line between the Nation's Capital's richer and poorer halves:

Carter Barron Amphitheatre
16th Street & Colorado Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

Friday, July 18, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.

Emil de Cou, conductor
Paul Cigan, clarinet
Laurent Weibel, violin

"Around the World in 60 Minutes"

Wagner: Entrance of the Guests from Tannhäuser
Bernstein: On the Town - Three Dance Episodes: Times Square
Weber: Concertino for clarinet and orchestra
Sibelius: Finlandia
Nicolai: Overture – The Merry Wives of Windsor
Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy for violin and orchestra
Borodin: Polovtsian Dances
Chabrier: España

Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.

Marcelo Lehninger, conductor

"Music from the Americas"

Gershwin: Cuban Overture
Williams: Olympic Fanfare and Theme
Copland: El Salón México
Chadwick: Symphonic Sketches – i. Jubilee
Gould: Latin-American Symphonette – ii. Tango
Grofé: Mississippi Suite – iv. Mardi Gras
Dvorák: Symphony No.9 "From the New World" – iv. finale

FREE, no tickets required. Gates open at 7 p.m. each evening. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Come early beginning at 6:45 p.m. for the musical instrument "Petting Zoo," a project of the Women's Committee for the National Symphony Orchestra.

In case of inclement weather: Please call the NSO Summer Concert Hotline at (202) 416-8113 after 5 p.m. on the day of the event to find out if the concert has been cancelled. There is no rain date.

Parking at Carter Barron is limited; neighborhood parking is restricted. Carter Barron is accessible by Metrobuses S1, S2, and S4. Please visit for schedule information.


This cultural leadership on the National Symphony's part has apparently forced Sharon Percy Rockefeller's Classical WETA-FM to at least temporarily lift its ban on the broadcasting of American classical music. [Yesterday, and on the large majority of days this past year, Classical WETA-FM has broadcast no American classical music. When it does broadcast American classical music, it is normally a 'tokenist' effort of an extracted movement of a longer work or a single piano work from a set of piano works.]

Today, Classical WETA-FM has been shamed (perhaps by Sharon Percy Rockefeller's fellow Board of Director members at the National Gallery of Art of Washington, D.C.) into broadcasting two works -- one an extract and one a shorter work -- by distinguished American composers Amy Beach and Charles Griffes; who are far more important to American classical music civilization than Classical WETA-FM's favorite for the past 18 months, Frederick the Great of Prussia:

4:45pm: Piano Concerto: II [Second movement]
Amy Beach
Alan Feinberg (piano)
Nashville Symphony Orchestra
Kenneth Schermerhorn (conductor)
Naxos 559.139

9:48pm: Symphonic Fantasy for Two Pianos
Charles Tomlinson Griffes
Michael Lewin (piano)
Janice Weber (piano)
Naxos 559.046

American classical music-less programming on Classical WETA-FM, Thursday, July 17, 2008.

Tokenist American classical music programming -- due to the National Symphony's leadership -- on Classical WETA-FM, Friday, July 18, 2008.

More tokenist American classical music programming -- due to the Washington National Opera's leadership -- on Classical WETA-FM, Saturday, July 19, 2008.


Selected African American Artists at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Horace Pippin
Interior, 1944
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Meyer P. Potamkin, in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art, 1991.42.1

Alma Thomas [not Alma Mahler]
Red Rose Cantata, 1973
oil on canvas
Overall: 175.3 x 127 cm (69 x 50 in.) unframed: 128.9 x 177.2 x 3.8 cm (50 3/4 x 69 3/4 x 1 1/2 in.)
Gift of Vincent Melzac

Image credits: (c) National Gallery of Art 2008. All rights reserved.


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