This month it’s a mixed bag with a celebratory theme.  Don’t we all need something to smile about these days?

Elton John & Bernie Taupin: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song
A co-production of WETA Washington, D.C., Ken Ehrlich Productions, Inc., and the Library of Congress

A once-in-a-lifetime meeting brought John, a young piano player, and lyricist Taupin together in 1967, and they forged a songwriting partnership that continues after more than 50 years. Artists from across the musical spectrum joined the National Library and U.S. leaders to honor the great songwriting duo of Elton John and Bernie Taupin in the nation’s capital as they were awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song during an all-star tribute concert.
Watch the Elton John and Bernie Taupin Tribute Concert on

Elton John and Bernie Taupin: 2024 Gershwin Prize “Your Song”
Celebrate the extraordinary talents of Elton John and Bernie Taupin at the 2024 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song concert with their timeless classic, “Your Song.” This special video captures the essence of their groundbreaking partnership, showcasing why their music has captivated the world for decades.
Watch the video of Elton John and Bernie Taupin “Your Song” on

Happy 100th Birthday, Rhapsody in Blue!
George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue turns 100 this year. First performed in New York, it has become a motif of the nation’s creative spirit.
Watch Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center artists Alessio Bax, and Wu Han perform Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for Piano, Four Hands (1924)
View a tribute video to Rhapsody in Blue from the Library of Congress

Great Performances: Broadway’s Best 2024
Premiering May 10-31 on PBS
Great Performances Presents Star-Studded “Broadway’s Best.” The lineup includes “Hamlet” from The Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park, Audra McDonald in concert from London, Broadway’s “Purlie Victorious,” and the 80th Anniversary Celebration of the music of Rodgers & Hammerstein.
Learn more and view the lineup for Great Performances: Broadway’s Best on

Vic’s Mix ⋯ Teaser ⋯ RUBBERBAND
Choreographer and retired dancer Victor Quijada founded RUBBERBANDance Group (RBDG) as a vehicle to manifest his unique choreographic identity through the creation of powerful and innovative dance works. The company reconciles the spontaneity, fearlessness, and risk-taking of hip-hop culture with the refinement and choreographic maturity of the ballet.
Watch RUBBERBAND Vic’s Mix on YouTube

MOMIX: 40 Years of Creating Illusions
A special series of clips ranging from across MOMIX’s history, from early works in the 1980s to the creations of full evening productions such as BASEBALL, PASSION, OPUS CACTUS, LUNAR SEA, ALCHEMIA, BOTANICA, and ALICE.
Watch “MOMIX: 40 Years of Creating Illusions” on YouTube

Happy Birthday, David Robertson!! ♥ NYO-USA
For David Robertson’s birthday back in July 2014, NYO-USA gave the conductor a surprise. While rehearsing Britten’s Violin Concerto with Gil Shaham, the orchestra suddenly burst out in a rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Apprentice Orchestra Librarian Trey Sakazaki arranged “Happy Birthday” for NYO-USA, and Apprentice Orchestra Manager Josh Davidoff, who happens to share a birthday with Robertson, delivered the cake.
Watch the birthday surprise on YouTube

About NYO-USA: In 2023, Carnegie Hall celebrated 10 years since the establishment of its national youth ensembles, which invite America’s top teen instrumentalists to come together for free intensive training and performances with the world’s finest artists at Carnegie Hall and around the globe. NYO will be in residence again this summer at The PAC and Purchase College, joined by conductor Marin Alsop and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, rehearsing for their tour of South America.

Orpheus at 50 (Extended Version)
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is a radical experiment in musical democracy, proving for fifty years what happens when accomplished instrumentalists and star soloists play orchestral music together without a conductor. At home in New York’s Carnegie Hall and on its worldwide tours which always include a stop at The Purchase PAC, Orpheus anchors its identity in a deep commitment to the surrounding community, reaching thousands of students each year and bringing music and fellowship to neighbors with dementia.
Watch “Orpheus at 50” on YouTube

Happy Star Wars Day!
Film composer and Kennedy Center Honoree John Williams is persuaded to conduct the National Symphony Orchestra in a memorable performance of his “Imperial March” from Star Wars during a gala to celebrate his 90th Birthday.
Watch 90-year-old John Williams conduct the “Imperial March”

Culture Picks celebrates the performing arts. In each post, PAC staff member Coni Guhl shines the spotlight on work by artists that you know and love from their appearances at The Purchase PAC, and offers recommendations about other performing arts events that you really should not miss. Experience them all!

All times are EDT unless otherwise noted.

Pictured: NYO-USA musicians on The Purchase PAC Concert Hall stage. Photo (c) Chris Lee.