Carnegie Hall Presents The Eyes of the World: From D-Day to VE Day Saturday, June 6 and Tuesday, June 9 in Zankel Hall

Historian and Narrator John Monsky Captures the Dramatic Final Months of World War II With Multimedia Production Featuring 35-Piece Orchestra and Leading Broadway Artists, Historic Video, Original American Flags From Normandy Beach and Beyond, and Images from the Archives of Legendary Photojournalists

Historian and narrator John Monsky brings his groundbreaking American History Unbound series back to Zankel Hall on Saturday, June 6 and Tuesday, June 9 with The Eyes of the World: From D-Day to VE Day—an exciting multimedia production that tells the powerful story of the American landing on the Normandy beaches and subsequent 11 months of battle that finally secured victory in Europe.

On June 5, 1944, on the eve of D-Day, Major General Dwight D. Eisenhower told American forces, “The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.” While D-Day marked a turning point and pathway to victory, the landings and eleven months of battle that followed would be among the most brutal for the American troops and Allied forces.

War photojournalist Lee Miller with American soldiers during World War II (photo taken by David Scherman)

This immersive concert experience, presented with the New-York Historical Society in the 75th anniversary year of VE Day, recounts this period through striking photography from the archives of American photojournalist Lee Miller, who, reporting for Vogue magazine, was among the 127 accredited female journalists covering the war, as well as letters home from a young American intelligence officer who landed at Normandy and fought with the army through VE day. Along the way, they connected with legendary American writer Ernest Hemingway and photojournalist Robert Capa. The paths of these four remarkable figures intersect and intertwine as they served as the “eyes for the world” from D-Day to eventual victory.

The program features the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, conducted by music supervisor Ian Weinberger (Hamilton), joined by leading Broadway vocalists including Nick Cordero (Waitress, A Bronx Tale), Kate Rockwell (Mean Girls), Tony LePage (Come From Away), and Bryonha Parham (After Midnight) performing evocative music of the era—from La Vie en Rose and Woody Guthrie’s What Are We Waiting On to signature songs of legendary bandleader Glenn Miller who volunteered for the Army at the height of his career—and selections from the film soundtracks of Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers. Tickets for the June 6 and 9 performances are on sale to the general public now.

The American History Unbound series, exploring watershed moments in American history, combines live music performed by celebrated Broadway actors and a full orchestra, incorporating film, photography, historic flags and material culture from Monsky’s personal collection. Narrated by Monsky with a script punctuated with his own memories and observations, each production includes powerful examinations of singular and pivotal events—from the Revolutionary War and Civil War to D-Day—turning points in history that changed America.

Decades ago, Monsky’s mother bought her 12-year-old son his first “flag,” a red kerchief (an artifact from Theodore Roosevelt’s unsuccessful 1912 presidential bid), to appease his boredom while on a routine shopping outing. Today, his collection of flags and textiles — tangible artifacts that connect us to our history — has become one of the finest in the country. As his collection grew, so did annual Flag Day presentations held in Monsky’s apartment. As the events grew larger in scope—adding bands and Broadway singers to accent his talks—they eventually required portal-widening-living room-construction to accommodate friends and family, all riveted by Monsky’s storytelling. Sought-after invitations to these informal gatherings attracted the attention of The New Yorker in 2012, when Monsky took a second look at the War of 1812, with a presentation that included the commissioning pennant from the great wooden frigate, the USS Constitution. Louise Mirrer, the President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, where Monsky is a trustee, recalled, “I attended the Flag Day celebrations and was absolutely dazzled. One of those years after viewing…a really exceptional explication of history, I said to John, ‘you know, you should do that in our auditorium.’” She has since called his D-Day production “the most moving event ever presented on the Society’s stage.

Monsky has been creating and performing his American History Unbound productions for over a decade and was recently honored by the New-York Historical Society. After two previous sold-out productions—The Vietnam War: At Home and Abroad (2018) and We Chose To Go To The Moon (2019)—The Eyes of the World is the third installment of American History Unbound to be presented at Carnegie Hall.

John has a passion for combining storytelling, music, visuals, and film in unique and creative ways that bring history to life and that connect emotionally with his audiences,” said Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall. “We look forward to this next edition which will take us through some of the most important moments of World War II, traveling on a journey that is sure to be powerful as well as illuminating.

Like Monsky’s previous productions, The Eyes of the World includes tangible historic objects woven into the storytelling narrative, some of which have been in storage and not seen by the public for more than 75 years. His presentation includes the flag famously placed by Rudder’s Rangers on the rocks of Pointe du Hoc to mark the command post; a rarely-seen divisional color of the US 29th Infantry Division, which suffered tremendous losses on the beaches of Normandy; the flag from landing craft LCI 94, which picked up photojournalist Robert Capa from Omaha Beach on D-Day; community “service banners” hung in schools and churches across America, with blue stars indicating the number of their “boys” in service, plus more.

“I did not start out looking for the figures we follow in this production—Hemingway, Capa, Miller, and a young intelligence officer who landed on D-Day,” said John Monsky. “They revealed themselves as we researched a single flag flown on a Higgins boat and the boys it carried to the beaches. Every twist and turn surprised us as the story unfolded, with its conclusion making the hair on the back of my neck stand on end, as Lee Miller and others come together in some of the War’s most dark and haunting places.

We are grateful for the contributions of historian and author Alex Kershaw, the staff of the American Battle Monuments Commission and The National World War II Museum, as well as Katie Couric and John Molner for their encouragement and passion to tell the stories of American history. It’s also been an extraordinary privilege to work with Lee Miller’s family—her son Antony Penrose and granddaughter Ami Bouhassane—to expose her work to the wider audience it deserves.”

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Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Statement on the Passing of Influential NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson

Spencer Crew, interim director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, released the following statement on the death of noted mathematician and one of NASA’s “human computers,” Katherine Johnson.

It is with deep sadness that we at the National Museum of African American History and Culture mourn the passing of noted NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson. She played a key role on the 1969 Apollo 11 space team, calculating the precise trajectories that would make it possible for the U.S. to land a crew safely on the moon. The critically important work she performed moved our country forward in a compelling way as we charted a bold course in space travel. It also broke barriers for women in science and mathematics.

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Annie Leibovitz, © Annie Leibovitz

From her earliest childhood Johnson counted things. “I counted everything: the steps, the dishes, the stars in the sky,” Johnson once said, recalling her youth. The youngest of four children of a farmer and a schoolteacher, Johnson was born into a household that valued education. Since there was no school for African American children in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, Johnson and her siblings attended a laboratory school at West Virginia State Institute, a historically black college. At 15, Johnson enrolled at West Virginia State earning a degree in math education and French.

Johnson was one of three black students selected to integrate West Virginia University’s graduate program. After a brief time, she left school to start family and to teach. In 1952, Johnson learned about a program that would change the course of her life. The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics’ Langley Aeronautical Laboratory (now known as NASA and the Langley Research Center) was hiring black women mathematicians to be “human computers” to check calculations for technological developments. In 1953, Johnson began her new job working as a member of a computing group; however, her inquisitive nature and boldness won her a place in Langley’s flight research division. Known for her mathematical accuracy, Johnson performed calculations for several historic NASA missions, including the first manned mission to the moon.

Despite being born into an era when professional opportunities for women of color were scarce, Johnson quietly rose above the odds stacked against her. She and other African American women at NASA were consigned to a separate office, dining and bathroom facilities, but over time Johnson’s work won her acceptance. When recalling her time at NASA, Johnson insisted that she never struggled with feelings of inferiority. She knew she was just as good as the next person.

After retiring from NASA, Johnson became a strong advocate for mathematics education. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, and a NASA research facility is named in her honor. Her story has been told in the bestselling book and feature-length film Hidden Figures.

Johnson will forever be remembered for her work with NASA and as a pioneering force for women of color in science, technology, engineering and math.

Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than 6 million visitors. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit www.nmaahc.si.edu, follow @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.

Carnegie Hall Announces 2020-2021 Artist Lineup for American Byways Concerts Curated by Rosanne Cash

Performances to Feature Two Exciting Double Bills: Legendary Producers and Songwriters T Bone Burnett and Joe Henry on November 13; and Grammy Award-Winning Artists The Fairfield Four and Ranky Tanky on February 25

Carnegie Hall has announced the all-star lineup of artists for two exciting double-bill American Byways concerts to be presented in Zankel Hall in the 2020–2021 season. Curated and hosted by singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash (who was a Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist in the 2015–2016 season), these one-of-a kind performances take New York audiences on a journey through American roots music, featuring Appalachian traditions, the blues, and more.

American Byways Block. Photo of T Bone Burnett by Josh Cheuse; Joe Henry by Jacob Blickenstaff; Ranky Tanky by Peter Frank Edwards.

On Friday, November 13, 2020 at 9:00 p.m., Cash brings together two iconic producers and songwriters––T Bone Burnett and Joe Henry—for a very special concert. Renowned for producing ground-breaking albums by artists including Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, and Elton John, Burnett was also behind the soundtrack for films like Walk the Line and O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Mentored in part by Burnett, Joe Henry has earned acclaim for producing albums by artists including Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint, and Rhiannon Giddens (whom Burnett has worked with as well). For this rare double bill performance, Burnett’s fluid guitar-playing and thoughtful songwriting is paired with Henry’s deeply personal and marvelously eclectic style of storytelling with inflections of rock, folk, country, and jazz.

Multiple Grammy and Academy Award winner Joseph Henry “T Bone” Burnett is a producer, musician and songwriter. Known recently for composing and producing music for the critically acclaimed HBO series True Detective, his film work includes the five-time Grammy winning soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Big Lebowski, Cold Mountain, The Hunger Games, Crazy Heart and Walk The Line, amongst others. He has collaborated with numerous artists including Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison and won Album of the Year and Record of the Year Grammy Awards for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’s Raising Sand.

In a career spanning more than 30 years, Joe Henry has left an indelible and unique imprint on American popular music. As a songwriter and artist, Mr. Henry is celebrated for his exploration of the human experience. A hyper-literate storyteller, by turns dark, devastating, and hopeful, he draws an author’s eye for the overlooked detail across a broad swath of American musical styles—rock, jazz and blues—rendering genre modifiers useless.

Mr. Henry has collaborated with many notable artists on his own body of work, including Don Cherry and T Bone Burnett (Shuffletown, 1990), Victoria Williams and the Jawhawks‘s Gary Louris and Marc Perlman (Kindness of the World, 1993), guitarists Page Hamilton (Trampoline, 1996), Daniel Lanois and Jakob Dylan (Fuse, 1999), Ornette Coleman, Brad Mehldau, Marc Ribot, Brian Blade, and Meshell Ndegeocello (Scar, 2001), Bill Frisell and Van Dyke Parks (Civilians, 2007), Jason Moran (Blood From Stars, 2009), Lisa Hannigan (Invisible Hour, 2014).

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Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra —NYO Jazz— to Make Debut Tour to South Africa

Celebrated Trumpeter Sean Jones Leads Ensemble with Grammy Award-Winning Vocalist Dianne Reeves as Special Guest

First-Ever Tour to Africa by One of Carnegie Hall’s Three Acclaimed National Youth Ensembles to Include Debut Performances in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Makhanda, and Bloemfontein, June 24-July 7, 2020

This June and July, Carnegie Hall’s critically-acclaimed national youth jazz orchestra—NYO Jazz—returns for its third season of extraordinary music-making, highlighted by its first-ever tour to South Africa from June 24-July 7, 2020. This remarkable ensemble, created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in 2018, annually brings together some of the most outstanding teen jazz musicians from across the United States to train, perform, and tour with some of the world’s greatest artists while also serving as music ambassadors for their country.

NYO Jazz’s historic visit to South Africa—to include debut performances in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Makhanda, and Bloemfontein—marks the first time that one of Carnegie Hall’s three acclaimed national youth ensembles will perform on the African continent. It follows successful international tours by NYO Jazz to some of Europe’s most prestigious concert halls and music festivals in 2018, and the ensemble’s debut tour to Asia in 2019.

Celebrated trumpeter Sean Jones returns to lead NYO Jazz in 2020. He is joined by iconic jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves as special guest. These NYO Jazz concerts will offer a rare chance to hear the five-time Grammy Award winning vocalist performing with a big band, singing jazz standards in arrangements that have been especially made for her. The ensemble’s diverse repertoire will also feature a new composition by John Beasley, commissioned by Carnegie Hall for this tour, and other contemporary pieces that explore jazz’s influence on hip-hop, R&B, and pop music alongside big band standards.

Photo of NYO Jazz by Todd Rosenberg

We are thrilled to have NYO Jazz make its debut in South Africa this summer—the first visit to Africa by any of our national youth ensembles” said Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall. “Given South Africa’s extraordinarily rich music traditions, which include a deep passion for jazz, we know this tour will be a tremendous opportunity for musical and cultural discovery for these amazing young players. We are proud to showcase their incredible depth of talent and the high level of musicianship found across the United States as we find ways to connect the members of NYO Jazz with young musicians and music lovers across the country.

NYO Jazz’s 2020 tour will offer America’s finest young musicians the opportunity to experience the richness of South Africa’s culture and history while sharing their remarkable artistry with audiences throughout the country. Complementing their performances, the players’ schedule will also include exciting opportunities for cultural exchange and peer-to-peer activities with local young people, an element that has become a hallmark of international tours by all three of Carnegie Hall’s national youth ensembles.

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Children’s Book Exhibition At The High To Tell Stories Of The Civil Rights Movement

This summer, the High Museum of Art will premiere “Picture the Dream: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Children’s Books” (June 20–Sept. 20, 2020), an exhibition organized in collaboration with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

The exhibition is the first of its kind to delve into the events, people and themes of the civil rights movement, both celebrated and forgotten, through one of the most compelling forms of visual expression, the children’s picture book. The more than 80 artworks on view, ranging from paintings and prints to collages and drawings, will evoke the power and continuing relevance of the era that shaped American history and continues to reverberate today.

The year 2020 marks the anniversary of several key events from the civil rights movement. Sixty-five years ago, in 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Five years later, Ruby Bridges integrated her New Orleans elementary school, and four black students catalyzed the sit-in movement at the segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.

These actions and more are explored in the exhibition with titles by beloved children’s book authors and artists as well as talented newcomers. “Picture the Dream” will emphasize children’s roles as activists and tell important stories about the movement’s icons, including Parks, Bridges, Congressman John Lewis, Ambassador Andrew Young and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

One of the guiding aspects of our mission is a commitment to family audiences. Through our children’s book exhibitions, we aim to help adult visitors open meaningful dialogues with the children in their lives and create memories that will last a lifetime,” said Rand Suffolk, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director of the High. “This exhibition will spark important conversations across generations about a crucial period in our nation’s history that connects directly to our city, a birthplace of the civil rights movement.”

The exhibition will be organized into three thematic sections that explore the forces that sparked the civil rights movement, its key players and events, and stories about the reemergence of activism in contemporary America. From Brown v. Board of Education and the Montgomery Bus Boycott to the March on Washington and Black Lives Matter, the picture books’ topics bridge the past and present, emphasizing how historical moments and leaders continue to inspire the struggle for equal rights.

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Black History Month Programming at The National Museum of African American History and Culture

February, March Public Programming Begins With Discussion on Interim Director Spencer Crew’s Latest Book “Thurgood Marshall: A Life in American History”

Proud Shoes: The Story Of An American Family” Exhibition Opens In Family History Center

A discussion with Spencer Crew, interim director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, on his new book Thurgood Marshall: A Life in American History will lead the winter programming at the museum. Crew will join in conversation with Paul Finkelman, president of Gratz College about the newly released biography, detailing the life of America’s first black Supreme Court justice and his cultural and historic significance. Several programs will celebrate Black History Month and Women’s History Month, including a musical performance and discussion on African American women in jazz, an interactive program on food accessibility and a discussion about African American women’s contributions in World War I at home and abroad. All programs held in the museum’s Oprah Winfrey Theater will stream live on the museum’s Ustream channel at ustream.tv

Historically Speaking: Thurgood Marshall—A Conversation Between Spencer Crew and Paul Finkelman

Monday, Feb. 10; 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Oprah Winfrey Theater)

Spencer Crew, interim director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, will discuss his recently published biography of America’s first black Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall, with moderator Paul Finkelman, president of Gratz college and a specialist on American constitutional and legal history. Crew’s latest publication, Thurgood Marshall: A Life in American History, chronicles the justice’s legendary career as a civil rights litigator and founder of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. A book sale and signing will follow the discussion, courtesy of Smithsonian Enterprises. Admission is free; however, registration is required at https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/upcoming.

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Carnegie Hall Announces 2020-2021 Season

Voices of Hope: Artists in Times of Oppression

Citywide Carnegie Hall festival examines the role of artists during times of tyranny and injustice with 16 concerts at Carnegie Hall and events at 40+ NYC partner institutions

Perspectives 2020-2021:

Rhiannon Giddens, Yannick Nézet-Séguin & Jordi Savall

Three captivating series, personally curated by renowned singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and speaker Rhiannon Giddens, early music explorer, viola da gamba virtuoso, and conductor Jordi Savall, and acclaimed conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin invite audiences to gain deeper insights into musical viewpoints of leading artists of our time

Debs Composer’s Chair: Andrew Norman

Celebrated American composer Andrew Norman leads season-long residency with nine performances, including orchestral, chamber, and new music concerts, and exciting new works commissioned by Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala

2020-2021 season launches on October 7 with festive Opening Night Gala concert featuring Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, joined by pianist Lang Lang and soprano Liv Redpath

Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director, announced Carnegie Hall’s 2020–2021 season consisting of more than 170 concerts as well as wide-ranging education and community programs created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. The upcoming season includes performances by many of the world’s greatest artists and ensembles representing classical, world, jazz, and pop music, with events presented on Carnegie Hall’s three stages, in the Hall’sResnick Education Wing, and throughout New York City.


Programming highlights include a citywide Carnegie Hall festival—Voices of Hope: Artists in Times of Oppression—from March–May 2021; three exciting Perspectives series curated by singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens; conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin; and early music explorer, conductor, and viola da gamba virtuoso Jordi Savall; and the appointment of celebrated American composer Andrew Norman to hold the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair.


As we consider the remarkable range of experiences in Carnegie Hall’s 2020-2021 season, we are reminded of the amazing power that music can have in our lives—its ability to not only elevate us, but to play a role in enabling us to look at issues with fresh eyes, illuminating new perspectives, and helping us to feel connected with one another,” said Gillinson. “Our Voices of Hope festival promises to be a special journey, inviting audiences to explore the inspiring role that artists have played in some of the darkest chapters of our shared history—capturing stories or a moment in time and expressing hope, courage, and resistance in the face of the unimaginable. Our four curated series are in the hands of some of the most creative artists working today, each challenging us to explore through music, with programming that brings their unique viewpoints to the forefront. With so many concerts spanning musical genres performed by the world’s finest artists and ensembles, it promises to be a season rich with new discoveries.”

2020–2021 Carnegie Hall Season Overview
Carnegie Hall’s 130th season launches on Wednesday, October 7 with an Opening Night Gala performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, marking the orchestra’s first appearances at Carnegie Hall in 30 years. The celebratory program includes John Adams’s Tromba Lontana, Grieg’s Piano Concerto featuring Lang Lang along with selections from Grieg’s Peer Gynt with soprano Liv Redpath. Following Opening Night, the orchestra returns to the Hall for two consecutive evenings of concerts, performing premieres of works by Andrew Norman and Gabriela Smith, plus music by Ginastera and Mahler.

From March-May 2021, Carnegie Hall presents Voices of Hope: Artists in Times of Oppression, a citywide festival spotlighting the resilience of artists throughout history and the life-affirming power of music and the arts during times of oppression and tyranny. With 16 concerts at Carnegie Hall crossing musical genres and thought-provoking events at more than 40 prestigious partner organizations, the festival kicks off at Carnegie Hall on March 12 with Rhiannon Giddens and Friends: Songs of Our Native Daughters, where Giddens and her group of black female banjo players, Our Native Daughters, draw from historical sources to reimagine our collective past, shining a new light on African American women’s stories of struggle, resistance, and hope. The festival extends across New York City over three months with exhibitions, performances, talks, film screenings, and more, further exploring how the arts have been used as a tool for activism, resistance, solidarity, and hope.

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