Latest News

Joe Horowitz’s blog in Arts Journal online about neglected Mexican composer Revueltas

PCE Executive Director, Joe Horowitz, has just published a blog entry in Arts Journal online, in which he discusses PostClassical Ensemble’s recent Mexican Revolution festival, whose attention focused on Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas.  
Redes 2

PCE, in this week’s New Yorker magazine!

Writer Joan Acocella, dance and book critic for The New Yorker, has written an article which is running in the current issue of The New Yorker magazine.  The article is entitled “Country Strong: Manuel de Falla and the struggle to define Spanish dance;” click here to read the entire article.

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One PostClassical Fan Made a Difference… How You Can Help Her Do More

Dear Music Lover,

The thing is I’m no heiress. I haven’t married a hedge fund manager… and I spend more time writing about macroeconomics for The Daily Reckoning than I do making investments. I’m just 31 years old.

I hope you don’t think me crass, but I’d like to show you something personal. It is money… my money… at least it’s mine for the next few minutes.
Here’s what it looks like…

It’s my annual Christmas bonus. Now, I know what you’re thinking. And I agree with you… it’s not much. (Especially after I’ve paid out my taxes and other deductions.)

But let me ask you this: you could still do something pretty nice with $646.45… couldn’t you?

Because that’s what I hope to do too — “something nice.”  I’m about to take my Christmas bonus — every penny of it —and sign it over to PostClassical Ensemble.

Now let me tell you why I’m doing it…

I have served on the Board here at PostClassical since 2010, I reverse-commute to D.C. from Baltimore for meetings and to spend whole weekends at the National Gallery of Art… Dumbarton Church… Strathmore… or Clarice Smith to attend EVERY event that PCE puts on.

I love what they’re doing just that much. Plus, there’s more to do in 2014!

Why Give? 5 Reasons

  • PostClassical’s 10th Anniversary season — We need to celebrate our growth and expand further
  • Mexican Revolution Festival — Cementing the ties connecting two great nations with the music of Revueltas and the film Redes… with fabulous songstress Eugenia León and other surprise guests
  • Britten@100 — the PCE Way — with Ben Capps on cello — Having heard Joe’s newest discovery play at board member Liz Cullen’s house on the Potomac, right across from George’s Mt. Vernon, I say: we’ve got to record this promising talent on his cello named Duchess!
  • Uniting the Two Cultural Hotbeds: Baltimore and D.C. — We’re looking to bring every PCE show to a new city — Baltimore — and expand our vision for inclusive programming… working with schools like Peabody and Baltimore School for the Arts. This will take more funds, but I hope you agree it’s well worth it to create the next generation of PostClassical fans and performers.
  • Our Partnership with Duke Ellington School of the Arts — Last year, I heard our conductor Angel lead these talented young students in a challenging program including Dvorák’s New World Symphony and was blown away by the results… and I look forward to more in the coming years!

And I’ll let you in on a little secretif you have not given recently to PCE and you give over $500, you will receive an immediate invitation from the Ambassador of Mexico to our 2014 Mexican Revolution Gala on May 8th at the Mexican Cultural Institute. It’s our first-ever gala event… and I know you’d enjoy meeting the Ensemble, hearing them play and enjoying the Tempranillo in the company of our other esteemed PCE supporters and friends. We’ve got an impressive ten years to celebrate!

Okay, there’s one more little reason I’m hoping you’ll join me and give. 
See, I have another check coming to me this year too. Possibly a big one, in the $8,000 range. This one’s for my share of my company’s profits in 2013.
And I promised conductor Angel Gil-Ordóñez that I would sign that entire check over to PostClassical too… but if and ONLY IF you and your fellow donors and friends of the Ensemble can come up with 15 more donation checks, also filled out for at least $500 each. 
In other words, if you and 14 friends each donate $500 to the group… I’ll sign over my entire other bonus check too.
It’s like “matching” on steroids. And I’m happy to do it.

By joining me, you’ll be helping too: To support the group. To spread the music. And to help guarantee another exceptional ten years.

I hope you’ll agree to join me, with whatever amount you can give.

I’m not the wealthiest philanthropist, but this is so important that I’m giving at least this much, guaranteed…

And quite possibly, quite a bit more.

And remember, if you give at least $500, you’ll get personally invited to our first-ever gala by the Mexican Ambassador.

To donate, please go to our website at Or call Mary Marron: 301-651-9794 to use a credit card. Checks can be sent to: PCE, 5104 44th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20016

On behalf PostClassical Ensemble and all the performers, thank you in advance for anything you can give. I hope you’ll come to our gala so I can thank you in person, too. 

Either way, let us hear from you soon.


Samantha Buker
Board Member, PostClassical Ensemble since 2010

P.S. The next time you come to a PostClassical Ensemble concert, be sure to bring a friend too. I hope to hear from you soon! You are the future of PostClassical. You are the future of classical music in America.

PostClassical’s next on WETA’s “Front Row Washington”

Listen in to WETA’s “Front Row Washington” program on Monday, Novermber 11 at 9pm, for a broadcast of a performance, part of Post Classical Ensemble’s multi-week “Interpreting Shostakovich” festival last November, which was awarded the Musical Event of the Year from Radio Liberty/Free Europe. This National Gallery of Art performance by Post Classical Ensemble features two chamber symphonies plus solo piano works played by George Vatchnadze.  Recorded November 4, 2012 in the National Gallery of Art’s West Garden Court by John Conway.

PostClassical Ensemble
Angel Gil-Ordóñez, Music Director
Joseph Horowitz, Artistic Director
George Vatchnadze, pianist

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH:  Chamber Symphony for Strings in C Minor, Op. 110 a (Transcribed by Rudolf Barshai from String Quartet No. 8, Op. 110)

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH: Preludes and Fugues for Solo Piano from Op. 87
Prelude in C Major (as recorded by the composer)
Prelude and Fugue in C Major
Prelude and Fugue in G Minor
George Vatchnadze, pianist

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH: Chamber Symphony for Strings in A-flat Major, Op. 118a  (Transcribed by Rudolf Barshai from String Quartet no. 10, Op. 118)

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded PostClassical $200,000 in support of three planned festivals

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded PostClassical Ensemble $200,000 in support of three planned festivals: “Mexican Revolution” this Spring, “A Mahler Portrait” in Spring 2015, and a season-long American music festival in 2015-16.

The Mexican festival, which includes a concert, a conference, a gala, and a book club, will be hosted by the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the Mexican Cultural Institute, and Georgetown University. The culminating event, on May 10 at the Clarice Smith Center, will feature the iconic Mexican film “Redes” (1935) with the soundtrack, by Silvestre Revueltas, performed live by a 50-piece orchestra. Concurrently, PostClassical Ensemble will create its third Naxos DVD – “Mexican Revolution,” incorporating “Redes” with a new soundtrack.

The Mahler festival will include concerts, a short play about the marriage of Gustav and Alma Mahler, and a conference at the Austrian Cultural Forum focusing on “Mahler in America,” and “Mahler and Jewishness.”

The American festival will link to the book “Classical Music in America” by PostClassical Ensemble Artistic Director Joseph Horowitz. As composer-in-residence, the Swiss-American composer/saxophonist Daniel Schnyder will compose a commissioned concerto for the pipa virtuoso Min Xiao-fen.

The new grant is the Ensemble’s second three-year $200,000 gift from the Mellon Foundation. The previous grant supported such projects as the Ensemble’s fully staged production of Manuel de Falla’s “El Amor Brujo,” which this March is seen in New York City as part of the New York Flamenco Festival. A forthcoming PostClassical Ensemble Naxos CD – “Dvorak and America,” featuring world premiere recordings of a “Hiawatha Melodrama” and Indianist works by Arthur Farwell – is also Mellon-supported.

In a joint statement, Horowitz and PostClassical Ensemble Music Director Angel Gil-Ordóñez said:

 “This is a challenging moment for American orchestras. Looking to the future, many find themselves faced with a choice between innovation and retrenchment. We founded PostClassical Ensemble a decade ago with a mission to explore fresh repertoire and new performance formats. The generous funding that we enjoy from the Mellon Foundation is crucial to our capacity to put our artistic mission first; it supports risks we could not otherwise afford. Thanks to the Mellon Foundation, we have been able to launch festivals of Stravinsky and Shostakovich incorporating theater and film. We’ve been able to collaborate with Georgetown University – our Educational Partner – on new productions of ‘A Soldier’s Tale’ and ‘El Amor Brujo.’ We’ve been able to create and record a “Hiawatha Melodrama” combining Longfellow’s poem with excerpts from three Dvorak works.

“We undertake projects of this kind in the conviction that they can impact both locally and nationally. And in fact most of the programming supported by the Mellon Foundation yields an afterlife outside the DC/Baltimore area. Our ‘Stravinsky Project’ generated a four-hour radio special produced and distributed by WFMT/Chicago. ‘Schubert Uncorked’ and ‘Amor Brujo’ have been adapted and produced in New York City and Seattle. Our scripted presentation ‘Charles Ives: A Life in Music’ has been seen in Seattle, and over the next three seasons will be adapted by four other American orchestras. We feel we can play a role in rethinking how symphonic programming can connect to audiences, universities, and communities.”

This season’s “Mexican Revolution” is a month-long immersion experience. The core participants include the Mexican singer Eugenia Leon, the Revueltas scholar Roberto Kolb, and the Georgetown University historian John Tutino. The “book club” event, at the Mexican Cultural Institute on April 5, will screen Elia Kazan’s film “Viva Zapata” for readers of John Steinbeck’s “Zapata.” The conference, at Georgetown University on April 11, will include presentations on social and cultural aspects of the Mexican Revolution in conjunction with a performance by the Georgetown University Orchestra. The Clarice Smith Center concert on May 10 will include performances by Eugenia Leon and a visual track created by the video artist Peter Bogdanoff.

PostClassical’s conductor Angel Gil-Ordoñéz to speak at TEDxMidAtlantic

PostClassical’s own Angel Gil-Ordoñéz will be one of 50 speakers at this year’s TEDxMidAtlantic during the weekend of October 25-26, 2013.

To find out more information, visit the TEDxMidAtlantic website. You can read Angel’s TED bio on the speakers page. Don’t miss this once-of-a-lifetime event!

PostClassical Ensemble in November!

Please join us for our first concert of the 2013-14 season.

Tales from the Vienna Woods
Saturday, November 16, 2013, at 8 pm

Dumbarton Concerts
Historic Dumbarton Church
3133 Dumbarton Street, NW
Washington, DC
Tickets: and box office at 202-965-2000.

Johann Strauss’s most beloved waltzes in a variety of scintillating transformations—including a chamber-orchestra version of The Emperor Waltz
as lovingly transcribed by Arnold Schoenberg, and Adolf Schulz-Evler’s spectacular solo piano paraphrase of The Blue Danube as performed by
Benjamin Pasternack. Also: Soprano Jennifer Casey Cabot sings “Vilja” from Lehar’s The Merry Widow­—plus surprises galore.

Related Event:
“The Operetta Spirit” at the Austrian Cultural Forum
(3524 International Court NW), Nov. 7, 7:30 pm—with soprano Jennifer Casey Cabot, pianist Vera Danchenko Stern, and Ernst Lubitsch’s 1934 film of The Merry Widow. Free Admission.

PCE Announces Its 2013-2014 Season

At DUMBARTON Concerts:
In 2013-14, PCE becomes ENSEMBLE-IN-RESIDENCE at Dumbarton Concerts—performing in Dumbarton Church (3133 Dumbarton St. NW), an intimate setting with ideal acoustics.
Tickets: and box office at 202-965-2000.

Tales from the Vienna Woods
Sat., Nov. 16, 2013, at 8 pm
Johann Strauss’s most beloved waltzes in a variety of scintillating transformations—including a chamber orchestra version of The Emperor Waltz as lovingly transcribed by Arnold Schoenberg, and Adolf Schulz-Evler’s spectacular solo piano paraphrase of The Blue Danube as performed by Benjamin Pasternack. Also: Soprano Jennifer Casey Cabot sings “Vilja” from Lehar’s The Merry Widow­—plus surprises galore.

Related Event:
“The Operetta Spirit” at the Austrian Cultural Forum
(3524 International Court NW), Nov. 7, 7:30 pm—with soprano Jennifer Casey Cabot, pianist
Vera Danchenko Stern, and Ernst Lubitsch’s 1934 film of The Merry Widow. Free Admission.

Scenes from Childhood
Sat., Feb. 22, 2014, at 8 pm
A seraphic evening radiant with childhood innocence: the sublime Siegfried Idyll and a little-known nursery song, both composed by Wagner for his infant son; the Washington National Catherdal’s Choir of Boys and Girls in Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols and “In Paradisum” from Fauré’s Requiem.

Related Event:
Tony Palmer’s Benjamin Britten film biography Nocturne, with commentary by Tony Palmer and live music by PCE—at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, date TBA

Sat., May 10, 2014
The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (College Park)
Hear Mexico’s famous Eugenia León sing songs from the Mexican Revolution. See the great Mexican film Redes (1936) with Silvestre Revueltas’s searing score performed live by a 50-piece orchestra. A multi-media exploration of how Mexico’s artists powered social and political change.

SAVE THE DATE! May 8, 2014
Mexico–United States Cultural Gala Dinner with Eugenia León
Celebrating the important cultural and economic ties binding two great nations, and celebrating PostClassical Ensemble’s Tenth Anniversary. Special surprise guests! For more information, call 202-677-5773.

Related events at Mexican Cultural Institute and Georgetown University TBA

Also of interest to PCE patrons:
“Rouben Mamoulian and the Art of Musical Film”
Sat., Sept. 28. and Sun., Sept. 29, 2013, at The National Galley of Art

A film retrospective linked to Joseph Horowitz’s new book “On My Way”—The Untold Story of Rouben Mamoulian, George Gershwin, and “Porgy and Bess.”

Download the PCE 2013-14 season press release.

Dvorak and Burleigh at Ellington – The Georgetowner

By John Blee

When Antonin Dvorak, Czech-born, came to America he had as his assistant the African American composer, Harry T. Burleigh. Burleigh would have an influence on Dvorak’s “New World Symphony,” composed in 1893, through introducing him to African American spirituals. A concert at Duke Ellington School of the Arts played by students from Ellington and Georgetown University will present music by Dvorak and Burleigh at Ellington conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez of the PostClassical Ensemble.

Speaking with Gil-Ordóñez, who also teaches at Georgetown University, about the upcoming concert I asked him about the collaboration and what he enjoyed the most about it. He replied, “the Duke Ellington students are younger than those of the Georgetown Orchestra students. You would think there would be less maturity in their approach to this music. Not the case. From the first rehearsal they had the same level of commitment and understanding than the Georgetown students. When I work with an orchestra I don’t make any difference between professionals, students or amateurs. There are only good or bad orchestras.”

I asked him as well about the Dvorak story in America. Gil-Ordóñez emphasized that it was “fascinating, Dvorak arrives in New York and feels immediately attached to the African American spirituals and to the dances and chants of the Native Americans. All this transpires in the ‘New World Symphony.’ Even without an explanation of this, when you play the work as an American you recognize yourself in it.”

Dvorak’s gifts to American music highlighted at University of Maryland – The Washington Post

By Stephen Brookes, click here to read the entire article

“When the ensemble then turned to the 1895 “American Suite,” it wasn’t as if a breath of fresh of air had swept into the hall — it was more like a bracing gale. Exuberant, unfettered, almost cinematic in its rich colors and heady sweep of ideas, the work seemed to explode with vitality and a sense of freedom and infinite possibility. Much of that was due to superb playing by the ensemble itself — led with fluidity and precision by music director Angel Gil-Ordóñez — but the music itself proved that Dvorak was no mere borrower of indigenous melodies: He had grasped the frontier mentality of America itself.

The real focus of the evening, though, was the premiere of a bold new work called “Hiawatha Melodrama,” put together by music historian Michael Beckerman and PostClassical artistic director Joseph Horowitz. Combining music from the “New World” symphony, the “American Suite” and the Violin Sonatina with a truncated version of Longfellow’s “The Song of Hiawatha,” it suggests what Dvorak might have written if he’d completed a planned vocal work based on the epic poem. . . . Musically seamless, it built to a stirring climax and showcased Dvorak’s extraordinary gift for tone-painting.”


The Getty Foundation
The Washington Ballet
Washington National Cathedral
WWFM The Classical Network
Edlavitch DCJCC
American University
Artmentor Foundation
Graham Holdings
Washington Performing Arts
Georgetown DPA
Indonesian Embassy
national gallery