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We are the 21st Century Consort

21st Century Consort Members 2020-2021 SeasonFounded in 1975 as the 20th Century Consort, the group became a resident ensemble at the Smithsonian Institution three years later. In its concerts at historic St. Mark’s on Capitol Hill, at the Hirshhorn Museum and at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Consort has presented exciting programs frequently related to museum exhibitions, featuring music by a diverse array of living composers - often world premieres - along with 20th century classics.

Under the direction of its founder and conductor, Christopher Kendall, the Consort’s artists include members of the National Symphony Orchestra and other prominent chamber musicians from Washington, D.C. and elsewhere. The ensemble is managed by Boyd Sarratt.

For over forty-five years the Consort’s concerts have been professionally recorded and archived, complementing the Consort’s produced studio recordings. This vast, living archive is permanently preserved at the University of Maryland, and can be heard without charge on our archive page, where it can be searched for any concert, composition or composer.

SOLSTICE CELEBRATION, HIRSHHORN, JUNE 25! (click here for details)

Read the printed program now.

Who we are…


Director's Corner

Hirshhorn Museum John Luther Adams concert planned for June 25, 8:00 PM, HMSG Plaza!

We, along with many in the performing arts community, have relished the return to live concerts this season, however precarious: Every performance feels like an act of faith, or at least of hope.

And now, after a wonderful season of concerts, I have some exciting news about upcoming events: the Director of the Hirshhorn, Mellisa Chiu, has expressed a strong and inspiring interest in performance at the museum (witness the current engagement with Laurie Anderson). This interest in the intersection of the visual and auditory is music to our eyes!

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