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2018 – 2019 Season

2018—2019 Season at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

The 21st Century Consort, award-winning contemporary music ensemble-in-residence at the Smithsonian Institution for over four decades, embarks on its twelfth season at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium. Artistic Director Christopher Kendall presents a season of new music and high drama featuring artists Paul Cigan, Lisa Emenheiser, Dan Foster, Lee Hinkle, Alexandra Osborn, Sara Stern, Rachel Young with guest vocalists Lucy Shelton, William Sharp, Alice Teyssier and Bora Yoon and others. View the full season color brochure.

ATTENDANCE IS FREE. Seating begins at 3:30, and all who attend the 4:00 pre-concert discussion are guaranteed seats. Past performances suggest that seats will likely be available for all until the performance itself, at 5:00 pm.

All concerts are at 5:00, preceded by a 4:00 discussion with composers and performers, and followed by a post-concert reception.

  • Lumia

    As early as 1919, well before the advent of consumer television and video technology, Thomas Wilfred began experimenting with light as his primary artistic medium, developing the means to control and project colorful, luminous forms that have been compared to the aurora borealis. A luminous program for two pianos with Lisa Emenheiser and Lura Johnson. Read the printed program now for this concert.

    John Corigliano
    Sergei Rachmaninoff
    Symphonic Dances
    Claude Debussy
    Blanc et Noir
    William Bolcom
    Garden of Eden
    Witold Lutoslawski
    Paganini Variations


  • Howling at the Moon

    Mexican artist influenced by Picasso; shared common interests with younger American artists including Jackson Pollock and Adolph Gottlieb, who were drawn to indigenous art, mythical themes, and increasingly non-representational imagery, and who grappled with the anxieties of World War II. Tamayo’s fierce and symbolic animal paintings and artworks evoking celestial themes from the 1940s are a special focus of the exhibition. Featuring Soprano Lucy Shelton. Read the printed program now for this concert.

    Mario Lavista
    Cuaderno de Viaje
    Shulamit Ran
    Moon Songs
    Missy Mazzoli
    Magic with Everyday Objects
    Gheorghe Costinescu
    Nine Portraits from the Wild
    Gabriela Ortiz
    Vitrales de Ambar


  • An Evening of Carols

    The Consort undertakes the performance and filming by videographer Paul H. Moon of Jon Deak’s redemptive tale at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill (301 A St., SE.) Be sure to note this change of venue in your schedule!. The holiday masterpiece, featuring William Sharp, is paired with Benjamin Britten’s beloved work for harp and children’s choir featuring voices from the Washington National Cathedral children’s choirs. Read the printed program now for this concert.

    Benjamin Britten
    A Ceremony of Carols
    Jon Deak
    The Passion of Scrooge or A Christmas Carol


  • Lenny’s Legacy

    SAAM’s contribution to the city-wide Bernstein Centennial celebration, with repertoire including the Clarinet Sonata and other works by Bernstein along with Foss, Rorem and other leading composer/performers. Soprano Alice Teyssier will make her Consort debut. Read the printed program now for this concert.

    Lukas Foss
    For Lenny
    Leonard Bernstein
    Clarinet Sonata
    Lukas Foss
    Time Cycle
    Charles Ives
    The Unanswered Question
    Ned Rorem
    The Unquestioned Answer
    Kate Soper
    The Crito (after Plato)
    Leonard Bernstein
    Prelude, Fugue and Riffs


  • Memory Lane

    The exhibition “Do Ho Suh: Almost Home” highlights the artist’s physical manifestation of memory, reckoning with ideas of personal history, cultural traditions, and belief systems in the contemporary world. Two new works will be presented, and soprano Bora Yoon will be heard in selections from Sarah Kirkland Snider’s unforgettable mega-cycle. Read the printed program now for this concert.

    Chen Yi
    Tunes from My Home
    Sarah Kirkland Snider
    Songs from the Unremembered
    Bora Yoon
    New multi-media work with videographer Paul Moon
    Paul Schoenfield
    Gloria’s Century (Premiere)


*Programs subject to change.