Upcoming Events

THE RUSSIAN EXPERIMENT: Soviet Culture in the 1920s

Soviet Culture of the 1920s with pianist Vladimir Feltsman

Thursday October 19 at 7:30pm

Abramson Family Recital Hall | Katzen Arts Center | American University Campus


Presented by PostClassical Ensemble and American University’s Carmel Institute of Russian Culture & History

Mr. Feltsman’s appearance made possible thanks to the support of Susan Carmel-Lehrman

Vladimir Feltsman, piano
Benjamin Capps, cello

Alexander Scriabin
Piano Sonata No. 4 (1903)
Two Dances, Op. 73 (1914)
Vers la Flamme, Op. 72 (1914)

Alexander Mosolov
Two Nocturnes for piano, Op. 15 (1926)
Legenda for cello and piano, Op. 5 (1924)

Nicolai Roslavets
Five Preludes for piano (1919-22)
Dance of the White Maidens for cello and piano (1912)

Alexander Protopopov
Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 5 (1924)

Free Admission-Ticket Required. Click below for tickets and info (limited seating)

“Unlike their compatriots Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, and Prokofiev, Mosolov, Roslavets, and Protopopov never left Russia — and this simple fact explains why their music is practically unknown in the West.” – Vladimir Feltsman


MUSIC IN WARTIME: A Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration

Thursday, December 7, at 7:30 pm

The Washington National Cathedral

William Sharp, baritone

Alexander Shtarkman, piano

Members of PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

The Cathedral Choir conducted by Michael McCarthy

Commentary by James Loeffler

Hanns Eisler: Worker’s Choruses

Hanns Eisler: The Hollywood Songbook (excerpts)

Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 2

Arnold Schoenberg: The Ode to Napoleon

For Pearl Harbor Day, we juxtapose galvanizing responses to World War II by Dmitri Shostakovich, Arnold Schoenberg, and Hanns Eisler. With the Cathedral Choir and members of PCE conducted by Michael McCarthy and Angel Gil-Ordóñez.

DEEP RIVER: The Art of the Spiritual

Wednesday, February 28, at 7:30 pm

The Washington National Cathedral

“Stentorian” – Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

Kevin Deas in Rehearsal at Washington National Cathedral

Filmed and Produced by Behrouz Jamali, Dimension Media 2017


Kevin Deas, bass-baritone

The Cathedral Choir

Choristers from the Metropolitan AME Church, Woodrow Wilson High School, Eastern High School, and Howard County high schools

Angel Gil-Ordóñez, conductor

Written and produced by Joseph Horowitz

Visual track by Peter Bogdanoff


Harry Burleigh (1866-1949) is a forgotten hero of American music. Antonin Dvorak’s assistant in New York City from 1892 to 1895, Burleigh was subsequently the composer/singer most responsible for turning spirituals into art songs. His “Deep River” (1915), a sensation in its day, took an obscure upbeat spiritual and turned it into the reverent song made famous by Burleigh, Marian Anderson, Paul Robeson, and countless others.


The Classic 1929 Soviet Silent Film

With Shostakovich’s score performed live by PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez (DC area premiere)

Saturday and Sunday, March 30-31, 2018/ 8:30 and 2pm
American Film Institute Silver Theatre, Silver Spring

This astonishing culminating achievement of the Soviet silent film era is an historical epic both whimsical and tragic, set during the 1871 Paris Commune. It is the first of Shostakovich’s historic collaborations with film-maker Grigori Kozintsev – a relationship ending with their epochal King Lear of 1971.

“Kozintsev, together with Leonid Trauberg, aped the madcap pacing of the circus, the variety theater, and American movies, and Shostkaovich followed suit . . . When the Communards are killed by firing squad at the end, Shostakovich responds with a distorted version of the high-kicking can-can from Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld.” – Alex Ross, The Rest is Noise


Related Soviet film screenings at the National Gallery of Art: Saturday March 10 and Sunday March 11 (free admission)

The New Babylon marks the inception of one of the most remarkable film-music partnerships in the history of cinema – that of Grigori Kozintsev and Dmitri Shostakovich. The partnership ends with the most remarkable of all Shakespeare films: King Lear (1971). (If you have only seen this film on a small screen, you haven’t seen it yet.) In between comes (among many other films) The Youth of Maxim (1935). In short, the partnership mirrors the three phases of Soviet culture: pre-Stalin, Stalinest, and post-Stalin.

Saturday March 10 at 3:30 pm: The Youth of Maxim
Sunday March 11 at 4 pm: King Lear


Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Historic Visits to D.C. (1904-1910)

Saturday, April 21 at 3 pm
Pre-concert talk at 2:15
Gaston Hall | Georgetown University

A PCE production in collaboration with the Georgetown University Department of Music

Steven Mayer, piano
Marty Lamar, baritone
Members of PostClassical Ensemble
Chorus of the Metropolitan AME Church
Georgetown University Orchestra conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

Scripted and produced by Joseph Horowitz
Commentary by Anthony Cook and Maurice Jackson

Coleridge-Taylor: Deep River, Danse negre, Bamboula, Onaway from Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, Keep Me from Sinking Down

Dvorak: Two Humoresques, American Suite

Dvorak/Fisher: Goin’ Home

Dvorak/Horowitz/Beckerman: Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast

Burleigh: Deep River

Gottschalk: The Banjo

Art Tatum: Humoresque, St. Louis Bues

Readings from W. E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) was a black British composer who catapulted to fame with his 1898 oratorio Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast. W. E. B. DuBois (who celebrated Coleridge-Taylor in his musical pageant “The Star of Ethiopia”) wrote:

Fortunate was Coleridge-Taylor to be born in Europe and to speak a universal tongue. In America he could hardly have had his career. He was one with that great company of mixed-blooded men: Pushkin and Dumas . . . and Douglass.

In DC, where he conducted at the Metropolitan AME Church, Coleridge-Taylor was the toast of the African-American community – and avidly absorbed the music of black America. In collaboration with Harry Burleigh and others once associated with Dvorak, he played a dynamic role adapting spirituals for the concert hall.

Steven Mayer
Credit: Christian Steiner

“Piano playing at its most awesome” – The New York Times


Wednesday, May 23, at 7:30 pm

The Washington National Cathedral

Benjamin Pasternack, pianist

Ashley Smith as President John F. Kennedy

Commentary by former CIA Staff Historian Nicholas Dujmovic


Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Sonata No. 2 (1943)

Dmitri Shostakovich: Preludes and Fugues (1950-52)

Only in recent decades has it become known that the CIA covertly funded a cultural Cold War. A frequent target was Shostakovich, portrayed as a Soviet stooge shackled by Socialist Realism. Meanwhile, JFK gave speeches insisting that the arts can only flourish in “free societies.”


Benjamin Pasternack



“An awesome performance, as impressive for the sheer technical stamina and security as for the dynamic phrasing.” – The Baltimore Sun

“A spectacular performance that pushed audience members to the edges of their seats and the pianist several incudes above his bench.” – Musical America




Nicholas Dujmovic









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