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Press Reviews

A few examples of the nearly 100 reviews published in The Washington Post over the 40+ year history of the 20th/21st Century Consort:

  • Not surprisingly, the 21st Century Consort did [Bernstein's music] one better; this group reliably offers some of the best and most interesting programming in Washington. — Anne Midgette, February 2018

  • Pianist Lisa Emenheiser earned every decibel of the ovation that erupted as she ended her marathon one-hour performance of Frederic Rzewski's variations . . . It was an hour of the most intense music-making and pianism . . . — Joan Reinthaler, February 2014

  • Throughout, the Consort musicians, all of whom play with the National Symphony Orchestra, were impeccable, creating textures that captured the mood of each different work. — Charles Downey, February, 2013

  • . . . water is still inspiring some of the most interesting music of our time, as the 21st Century Consort demonstrated in a remarkable concert at the American Art Museum on Saturday titled, 'Unruly Landscapes'. — Stephen Brookes, October, 2012

  • Since its 1975 founding, the group has cherry-picked the best local talent . . . to perform its often risky repertoire: largely untested works by living composers, balanced with the occasional 20th Century crowd-pleaser like Copeland. — Mike Paarlberg, February, 2012

  • So it was an inspired move by Christopher Kendall, the director of the 21st Century Consort, to put together a Steinberg-oriented concert at the museum on Saturday, premiering several works written for the occasion. Virtually all of it was as inventive and engaging as the art itself . . . Thomas Albert's “Illuminations,” for sextet and tap dancer, was absolutely stunning. — Stephen Brookes, April 2009

  • The 21st Century Consort is a crack group of instrumental and vocal forces committed to bringing contemporary music to the public. Saturday's gripping performance at the Hirshhorn Museum was no exception. — Cecilia Porter, November 2005

  • …“visual music” that was lyrical and timeless at the Washington National Cathedral. — Tim Page, July 2005

  • The fact that the 20th Century Consort continues to attract substantial, knowledgeable and passionate audiences in the 21st is further proof of the group's significance. — Tim Page, November 2003

  • …taut, expert and altogether committed performances with a welcoming-indeed, downright homey-friendliness that is quite unusual in the rarefied world of contemporary classical music… one of the best concerts of the season — Tim Page, March 2003

  • It is colorful, melodious, ingenious and energetic music, and it got a brilliant performance… The performance sounded definitive. — Joseph McLellan, February 2003

  • The 20th Century Consort, under artistic director Christopher Kendall, has programmed nine world premieres this year in celebration of the new millennium and the ensemble's 25th season. — Joan Reinthaler, January 2001

  • The 20th Century Consort introduced a significant new work in its concert Saturday at the Freer Gallery that should give pause to anyone doubting the lasting value of music being written today… Surely [composer] Maw, who was in attendance, couldn't have wished for a more captivating and sympathetic interpretation. — Thomas May, March 1998

  • …playing as they always do, a program carefully thought out and performed with virtuosity. — Joseph McLellan, June 1997

  • …the ensemble's diversity and hunger for new works remains hearteningly unchanged… Contemporary composers could wish no more eloquent advocacy than from this fine band of musicians. — Joe Banno, October 1996

  • The choice of music and the performances were brilliant. — Joseph McLellan, March 1996