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Concert Celebrates the Legacy of Serge Koussevitzky

Legendary Conductor’s Two Foundations to Merge at Library of Congress


The Library of Congress and the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Inc. have announced the merger of two great music foundations—each established personally by Serge Koussevitzky, legendary conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and tireless champion of composers of new music. The New York-based Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Inc., begun in 1942, and the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, established in 1949, together have commissioned over 400 works of music, including such masterpieces as Olivier Messiaen’s “Turangalîla-Symphonie” and Arnold Schoenberg’s “Survivor from Warsaw.” United as one at the Library of Congress, the Koussevitzky Foundations’ active program of commissions that embody Koussevitzky’s gratitude to the composers who provide our musical legacy to the future will continue.

The Library will present a special concert to celebrate Koussevitzky’s significant contributions to the new music landscape. The performance will take place on May 2 at 8 p.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, located at 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C., and will feature the music of composers commissioned by Koussevitzky or his foundations. An all-star lineup of performers includes Tony Arnold, soprano, Steven Beck, piano, David Fulmer, conductor, Alan R. Kay, clarinet, the Momenta Quartet, Ursula Oppens, piano, Fred Sherry, cello, Marie Tachouet, flute and Mike Truesdell, percussion. The featured composers include George Crumb, Lukas Foss, Milton Babbitt, Henri Dutilleux, Augusta Read Thomas, Aaron Copland and Charles Wuorinen. These composers represent a wide array of music supported by the Koussevitzky Foundation.

The Library is the custodian of the Serge Koussevitzky Archive. Through his work as a conductor and publisher and his efforts to commission new musical works, Koussevitzky (1874-1951) maintained deep ties with many of the finest composers and musicians of the day. In addition to serving as a record of Koussevitzky’s life and career, the collection extensively chronicles periods in the history of organizations such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Berkshire Music Center, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation and the American International Music Fund.

Koussevitzky was an ardent advocate of contemporary music, commissioning and conducting Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” Britten’s “Peter Grimes,” Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, and giving first performances of Honegger’s “Pacific 231” and Stravinsky’s “Symphonies of Wind Instruments.” His second great legacy was Tanglewood, where many young composers studied and conducted; among the most well-known are Copland, Hindemith, Honneger and Leonard Bernstein.

This concert requires tickets. For more information, visit or call (202) 707-5502.

The Library’s unparalleled music holdings include manuscripts, scores, sound recordings, books, libretti, music-related periodicals and microforms, copyright deposits and musical instruments. Manuscripts of note include those of European masters such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms and those of American masters such as Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein and Charles Mingus. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at

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