Drew Peterson, pianist
Josephine Baker
John Edward Hasse, guest curator
Felix Conteras, conga
Ellington Carthan, pianist and narrator
Jeffrey Mumford, guest curator
Annie Jacobs-Perkins, cello
Katerina Burton, soprano
Robin De Jesús, actor
David Strathairn, actor
Kevork Mourad, artist
Derek Goldman, playwright/director
José Sacín, bass baritone (Don Quihote)
Israel Lozano, tenor (Master Peter)
Jennifer Zetlan, soprano (Trujaman)
Ricardo Marlow, Flamenco guitar
Philip Kennicott, guest curator
Hany Hassan FAIA, visuals

Bouncing Off The Walls: Music and Architecture

Music and architecture share a vocabulary and they overlap through analogies and metaphors. Composers "build" symphonies, which are highly structured. And architects dream of buildings that unfold to the senses like music, a seamless flow of experience through time and space. Both forms use terms like ornament, balance and symmetry. But is architecture really "frozen music," an idea that emerged in the late 18th century when musical forms were becoming longer and more complex?

Join PCE for Bouncing off the Walls: Music and Architecture, a concert which explores the complex relation between the two art forms, from music that was specifically written for particular buildings to early 20th-century modernist efforts to reduce both forms to their elemental materials. The program includes an overture by Beethoven written to celebrate a newly remodeled theater and opera house, works by Gabrieli, composed for the mighty Basilica of San Marco in Venice, a symphony by Haydn featuring one of the most complicated “architectural” forms ever composed, a short but volcanic work by Anton Webern and a classic overture by Rossini, reassembled to maximize the acoustic possibilities of The Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Accompanying the music, visuals including hand-drawn architectural sketches from Centennial Medal winner Hany Hassan FAIA will be projected on stage. Leave with a deeper understanding of your place in time and space and the buildings and sounds that make up your world.


Bouncing Off The Walls: Music and Architecture

Thursday, November 16, 2023, 7:30pm

Terrace Theater | The Kennedy Center | 2700 F St NW, Washington, DC

Presented without intermission

Philip Kennicott, guest curator

PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

with visuals by Hany Hassan FAIA


Ludwig van Beethoven: Overture The Consecration of the House

Giovanni Gabrieli: Sonata pian' e forte

Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 47, Adagio and Minuet

Anton Webern: Five pieces for orchestra op. 10.

Gioachino Rossini: William Tell Overture

Post-Concert Discussion

This performance is sponsored by:

Mercedes Rubio

The David M. Schwarz Architects Charitable Foundation, Inc.

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What people are saying

So many thanks for that most inspiring, capacious evening. With PCE’s usual ability to surprise and delight… that symphony was astonishing…


Your leadership and dramatic shaping of the Symphony last night was truly masterful - and so inspiring. I know I’ll never forget this experience. Thank you, Maestro!


I loved the intimacy of the ensemble and the aching beauty of the melody repeating and recurring and turning up where I did not expect it .  And I found the quality of the sound thrilling.

That was my take on the concert --that and the tears that it brought to my eyes, simply to be there, to be present at the creation of something so beautiful..


What a perfect PCE evening, wonderful concert and lovely gathering


Angel, You are so musical! I've played the 4th twice, it was the first Mahler I heard as a kid, and I'm invariably disappointed that conductors don't let it breathe.  U nailed it.


Congratulations again to you and your superb ensemble on a wonderful and provocative performance in the Terrace Theater last evening.  As always, we learned something from this concert and it was fun, too.


Everything about it was sheer delight, including the lively and interesting talk at the end…