We were walking back to our car when we noticed people entering the West Building of the National Gallery of Art. We thought maybe the museum was going to close late that night. When we entered the museum the exhibitions were already closed. However, we noticed that more and more people were entering the museum. We simply followed the newcomers and found ourselves at the West Garden Court of the National Gallery of Art for a piano concert.
Although it was early, around 6pm, (the concert starts at 7pm), most of the nice seats were taken. The first rows of seats in front of the piano were reserved, and most of the other seats did not have any view due to big columns. My husband found ourselves two good chairs with a partial view, and we waited in excitement for the concert.
Ruth Laredo, "America's First Lady of the Piano" according to the New York Daily Press played that night. Her program included pieces from Schumann, Beethoven, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff and Ravel. She started the concert with four pieces of Schumann from Phantasiestucke , Op. 12 (Des Abends, Aufschwung, Warum?, In der Nacht). She continued with Ludwig van Beethoven's Sonata No. 23 in F Minor ("Appassionata”). She took a break and after the break gave us brief information on Scriabin who was a peer of Rachmaninoff. She passionately played Poeme, Op. 23, No. 1 and Guirlandes, Op. 73, No. 1 from Scriabin.
After the intermission the program stated that five preludes from Rachmaninoff and La Valse from Ravel would be played. However, we had to drive back home, so we left after the intermission.
It is a lovely way to spend a Sunday evening in the capital city. And I have to add that admission is free for all. I would suggest that you arrive early and reserve good seats or talk to the attendants to see if there would be any seats available at the reserved section.