Concerts from the Library of Congress, the Library's concert series, has offered concerts, interviews, and lectures free to the public since 1925 when Coolidge Auditorium was constructed and opened its doors. Check the concert series website to see the latest information about in-person and/or virtual offerings for the current season, as well as programming from past seasons.
Music Division staff often highlight concerts, lectures, and interviews via the Library's performing arts blog, In the Muse. Musical theater-related blog posts are tagged and easy to browse.
The Library of Congress has programmed and recorded numerous lectures on topics in musical theater by Library staff and guest scholars. The following is a list with examples of such lectures, available to view on the Library's Event Videos page and/or the Library's YouTube Channel External. Search both platforms to find additional relevant lectures.
The video below features senior music specialist Mark Horowitz discussing his one-year project examining, selecting, transcribing and editing the correspondence in the Library's Oscar Hammerstein II Collection. The project, under the auspices of the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, revealed insights into the life and work of this extraordinary American lyricist, librettist, theatrical producer, director, and humanitarian.
In 2009, the Library of Congress hosted a two-day symposium on Broadway orchestrations. Panel discussions featured a dozen top musicians—orchestrators, conductors, composers and musical directors— who examined the craft, as well as the orchestrations and careers of such Broadway legends as Robert Russell Bennett, Robert “Red” Ginzler, Don Walker, Philip J. Lang and Ralph Burns. Orchestrators in attendance included Oscar-winner Sid Ramin (West Side Story, Gypsy and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), multiple award-winner Jonathan Tunick (Follies, Sweeney Todd, and Titanic), Larry Blank (The Drowsy Chaperone, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and The Producers) and Grammy-winner Marion Evans (House of Flowers, Mr. Wonderful and What Makes Sammy Run?). Other panelists include Tony- and Emmy-winner Elliot Lawrence (Bye Bye Birdie, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and the Tony Award Telecasts since 1967), Tony- and Emmy-winner Donald Pippin (Oliver!, Mame and La Cage aux Folles), Rob Fisher (Chicago and the City Center Encores! Series), Ted Sperling (Light in the Piazza and South Pacific) and musical contractor Red Press (Gypsy, Mame and Chicago). Steven Suskin, author of “Show Tunes,” “Opening Night on Broadway” and “Second Act Trouble,” moderated the program with theater historian Robert Kimball.
The following videos were recorded at the 2009 symposium: The featured video below includes an introduction from Susan Vita, Chief of the Music Division, as well as a discussion with orchestrator, arranger, and composer Sid Ramin.
Michael Feinstein visited the Library of Congress in 2014 to reveal the creative process as documented in the Music Division's Richard Rodgers Papers and Oscar Hammerstein II Collection. See the 10-episode series:
The video below introduces Rodgers & Hammerstein as two leading figures in American musical theater history, and delves into the creation of Oklahoma's most famous song, "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'."
Library of Congress staff relish the opportunity to interview artists in an effort to uncover the creative process and add scholarship to our digital collections. Enjoy these examples of such interviews and search for more relevant interviews on the Library's Event Videos page and/or the Library's YouTube Channel External.
In the video below, composer Jason Robert Brown discusses his work and career with Mark Eden Horowitz of the Library's Music Division. This interview was conducted in conjunction with a 2009 performance by Brown in Coolidge Auditorium.
The Library's concert series programs a number of musical theater-related performances in the Library's Coolidge Auditorium during our regular concert season. When possible, the Library digitizes our concerts for streaming on the Library's Event Videos page or the Library of Congress YouTube channel External. The following is a sample list of such concerts available for streaming:
In the video below, three leading Broadway composers—Steven Lutvak, Jeanine Tesori and David Yazbek—perform their own work in an intimate evening of music. Special guests include Catherine Walker, Jacqueline Echols, Joshua Henry, Dean Sharenow, and Mike Chiavaro.