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