Upcoming Events

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: 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.

This program, including film clips of Pearl Harbor, the Siege of Leningrad, and FDR’s declaration of war on Japan, juxtaposes three galvanizing musical responses to World War II. The concert begins with a wartime Eisler/Brecht workers’ song sung as a processional.

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, bass-baritone

The Cathedral Choir

Choristers from 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, Marion Anderson, Paul Robeson and countless others.


Wednesday, May 23, at 7:30 pm

The Washington National Cathedral

Benjamin Pasternack, pianist

Actor TBA as President John F. Kennedy









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.”




“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



(Benjamin Pasternack)

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