21st Century Consort

Founded 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.

To read more about us, click here. And to see our full concert season, click here.

  • Doppelgangers

    at 5pm on Saturday October 282023

    Hirshhorn Museum’s Ring Auditorium – a view of the HMSG exhibition “A Window Suddenly Opens: Contemporary Photography in China” through a musical lens, and an unhinged nod to Halloween, too.

    Bright Sheng
    Angel Fire
    Yao Chen
    Five Colors
    Wang Jie
    One Movement for Cello (world premiere)
    Pascal Le Boeuf
    Shih-hui Chen
    Twice Removed
    Bobby Ge
    Doppelganger Streets
    Wang Jie
    The Night When You See Again (revision premiere)
  • David Froom: echoes, resonance and remembrance
    Many are aware that our dear friend and colleague David Froom died last year, June 19th, 2022. We begin our 2023-24 season with a memorial concert in David’s memory, co-produced with David’s widow and the formidable pianist Eliza Garth, who will also appear as a guest artist on the program. It has been a great pleasure to develop today’s program with Eliza, who is a dear friend and David Froom’s partner for much of his life. We are honored that she identified the Consort as a fit vessel for this celebration of David’s extraordinary music. Please see “In Season” for … Read more