Music, Theater, and Film Smithsonian Chamber Music Society Emerson String Quartet Sign up for eAlerts today!
About Performing Arts
A DC Theatre Season Preview

With more than 80 professional theaters in the area, how can you tell which companies, directors, and performers should be on your radar for next season? Lorraine Treanor, editor of DC Theatre Scene website, offers plenty of tips and picks to help you fill your theatre-going calendar.

Date
Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Smithsonian Rock ā€™nā€™ Roll Chorus
10-Session Evening Course

Is the soundtrack to your life filled with the music of the Beatles, Byrds, Beach Boys, and other classic groups? Bring those songs alive again with music director and conductor Cheryl Branham.

Date
Tuesday, September 5 to November 7, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Luciano Pavarotti: King of the High Cā€™s

Opera singer Luciano Pavarotti (1935–2007) was a global superstar who expanded the musical genre’s audience to include millions of people who had never set foot in an opera house. On the tenth anniversary of Pavarotti’s death, opera expert Fred Plotkin provides an intimate portrait of the great Italian tenor.

Date
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
The Jazz Age: Rhythms of History

The term Jazz Age conjures colorful images of a flamboyant anything-goes culture that characterized the 1920s. Little wonder that jazz music, with its improvisation syncopation, and strong rhythm was the era’s soundtrack.  Learn about the origins, nature, and legacy of the 1920s—underscored by period jazz recordings, of course—with historian and scholar Michele L. Simms-Burton.

Date
Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sing Out: The Smithsonian Chorale
12-Session Daytime Course

Spend Thursday mornings in song and in good company with the Smithsonian Chorale. Singers meet for weekly rehearsals under the direction of conductor Cheryl Branham, culminating into a concert performance.

Date
Thursday, September 14 to December 7, 2017 - 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (no class Nov. 23)
Fred Astaire: Dancing with Genius

Film scholar and writer Christine Bamberger uses film clip montages, rare photographs, and original recordings to create a fuller portrait of the immortal Fred Astaire, challenging clichés that have grown up around him and exploring his work as an actor and vocalist, as well as a man who revolutionized dance on film.

Date
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
How Do We Listen?: Conversations in Music with Aaron Diehl and Murray Horwitz

Virtuoso jazz pianist and composer Aaron Diehl teams with Tony Award-winning playwright and lyricist Murray Horwitz for three entertaining and enlightening excursions into the building blocks of music. Tonight's program focuses on rhythm.

Date
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Puccini: A Deeper Look
6-Session Daytime Course

Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) is the most popular of all the operatic masters. Through films and recordings, Saul Lilienstein delves beyond the familiar to examine fascinating aspects of the life, career, and creative genius of this most famed of opera composers.  

Date
Tuesday, October 17 to November 21, 2017 ā€“ 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The Incomparable Ella: A 100th Birthday Tribute

John Edward Hasse, curator of the current Smithsonian exhibition Ella Fitzgerald at 100: First Lady of Song, draws on film and video clips, rare photographs, and original recordings  to provide insight into the extraordinary life and career of Ella Fitzgerald.

Date
Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Gilbert and Sullivan and the Savoy Tradition

In this lively evening, Steinway artist and musical theater expert Robert Wyatt draws on musical recordings and film clips to introduce this legendary theatrical duo and the cultural and societal trends that informed their work. A performance by members of the Georgetown Gilbert and Sullivan Society adds to the Savoyard delights.

Date
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
What Makes It Great? with Rob Kapilow

Congenial music educator and commentator Rob Kapilow is back for another delightful season, opening peoples’ ears—and minds—to what it is that makes a piece of music a masterpiece. Tonight's performance features Beethoven.

Date
Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
How Do We Listen?: Conversations in Music with Aaron Diehl and Murray Horwitz

Virtuoso jazz pianist and composer Aaron Diehl teams with Tony Award-winning playwright and lyricist Murray Horwitz for three entertaining and enlightening excursions into the building blocks of music. Tonight's program focuses on melody.

Date
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
What Makes It Great? with Rob Kapilow

Congenial music educator and commentator Rob Kapilow is back for another delightful season, opening peoples’ ears—and minds—to what it is that makes a piece of music a masterpiece. Tonight's performance features Tchaikovsky.

Date
Sunday, March 4, 2018 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
How Do We Listen?: Conversations in Music with Aaron Diehl and Murray Horwitz

Virtuoso jazz pianist and composer Aaron Diehl teams with Tony Award-winning playwright and lyricist Murray Horwitz for three entertaining and enlightening excursions into the building blocks of music. Tonight's program focuses on harmony.

Date
Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
What Makes It Great? with Rob Kapilow

Congenial music educator and commentator Rob Kapilow is back for another delightful season, opening peoples’ ears—and minds—to what it is that makes a piece of music a masterpiece. Tonight's performance features the Bernstein Songbook.

Date
Sunday, April 22, 2018 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.