Skip to Main Content

Concerts from the Library of Congress: Pick of the Week

2020 Picks of the Week

Picks of the Week were presented during the following months in the the year 2020.

September 2020

Throughout September, Pick of the Week brings you inspiring performances, conversations, and digital collection items from the Library of Congress to spark your curiosity. We begin the month with back to school topics including educational workshops with pop band Tank and the Bangas and jazz artist Maria Schneider. Later we feature Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Program and her book presentation of Coats of Many Colors. We hope you enjoy it.

August 2020

Throughout August, Pick of the Week brings you inspiring performances, conversations, and digital collection items from the Library of Congress to spark your curiosity. We begin the month discussing social equity in music with a panel discussion titled, "Black Lives Matter & Music: Documenting Contemporary Culture." Later, we go back to 2015 to relive the performance of visionary composer and vocal artist Meredith Monk, celebrating 50 years of extraordinary music-making. We will also include two programs featuring the harpsichord, with Richard Egarr performing music from 17th-century England and a fascinating conversation with French harpsichordist Jean Rondeau. We hope you enjoy it.

July 2020

Pick of the Week for July brings you great performances, lectures, and a fun edition of baseball music. We start with the Vienna Piano Trio performing the music of Haydn, Schoenberg and Brahms, followed by a series of events celebrating the legacy of Wanda Landowska—keyboardist, composer, and teacher best known for revitalizing harpsichord performance in the 20th century. Then, we celebrate the opening season of the national sport, baseball, with two musical performances, an audio file of "That Baseball Rag" and some unusual baseball collection items. Finally, in recognition of Uncommon Musical Instrument Day on July 31, we end this month with an interesting edition on Dayton C. Miller, an American collector of flutes.

June 2020

Picks of the Week for the month of June featured the 2016 Gershwin Prize recipient Smokey Robinson. in conversation with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden; several jazz lectures and performances; demonstrations and discussions focusing on the intersection of music, sound and technology; a series of programs on African-American spirituals; an opera premiere by composer Roger Reynolds; and, a series of new works created as a response to COVID-19, part of the Boccaccio Project.

Learn more about the Boccaccio Project

In the mid-14th century Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) wrote the Decameron, a collection of 100 stories shared between a group of 10 acquaintances who had removed themselves from society during the darkest period of a plague. This early artistic response to an outbreak provided context and a means of expression, and the parallels to the quarantine and social distancing phenomena we have been experiencing worldwide in these difficult past few months resonate with us.

May 2020

Picks of the Week for the month of May included a series of chamber music concerts, a series of lectures and programs from the "Music and the Brain" series, and a spectacular concert featuring composer, bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding and a conversation with GRAMMY award-winning vocalist Dianne Reeves

October 2020

In October, the Pick of the Week celebrates the National Hispanic Heritage month with various editions on Latinx music. We celebrate the Queen of Salsa, Cuban artists, Celia Cruz, and the history behind her legendary song Quimbara. Later we dance to the bite of the Afro-descent music of Colombia with the New York-based group Revolu and the Los Angeles group Changüí Majadero. We hope these editions spark your curiosity and inspire you to learn more about the different rhythms and sounds of Latinx music.