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an image of a man with a painting of a mountain on his chest. his arms are bent and his hands interlock in the middle of his chest.


Advance Insider tickets available Friday, September 29, noon EST (space is limited)

General tickets available Monday, October 2, noon EST

We strongly recommend claiming a ticket to ensure your seat. This in-person program is expected to be at capacity.

Questions? Email Hirshhornexperience@si.edu
Hirshhorn Insiders, email HMSGdevelopment@si.edu


The 21st Century Consort presents a performance inspired by A Window Suddenly Opens: Contemporary Photography in China, a survey of 186 photography works by 25 leading multigenerational Chinese artists created over the past 30 years. A Window Suddenly Opens chronicles how, in those three decades, Chinese artists embraced the immediacy of photography during an unprecedented cultural shift away from the collective toward a revived focus on the self. The exhibition’s title is drawn from a 1997 publication, a near manifesto, by Rong Rong and Liu Zheng that announced photography’s transition from realism toward a conceptual art practice.

Echoing the exhibition’s times and its exploration of the fusion of Western influence with traditional Chinese culture, this performance will offer an array of highly individualistic and spirited music by Chinese and Chinese American composers who share an abiding interest in a musical language that merges elements of Eastern and Western traditions. The program title, taken from the eerie piece “Doppelgänger Streets” by Bobby Ge, which will be performed during the concert, is both a nod to Halloween and a play on photography’s uncanny power to create the double of an actual person.

Christopher Kendall, artistic director of the 21st Century Consort, will join composer Wang Jie in a preconcert discussion of her world premieres, “One Movement for Cello” and “The Night When You See Again,” on the evening’s program.

This performance is presented by the 21st Century Consort in partnership with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.



3:30 pm | Doors open to Ring Auditorium, Lower Level

4 pm | Preconcert discussion on Second Level

5 pm | Performance: Doppelgangers



Founded in 1975 as the 20th Century Consort and now approaching its 50th year, the group became the resident ensemble for contemporary music at the Smithsonian Institution in 1978. In this season’s concerts at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and historic St. Mark’s on Capitol Hill, the Consort continues to present dynamically balanced concerts related to museum exhibitions, featuring music—often world premieres—by a diverse array of living composers. In 1990, the Consort was awarded the Smithsonian Institution’s Smithson Medal in honor of the group’s long successful association with the Smithsonian. Under the direction of its founder and conductor, Christopher Kendall, the Consort’s artists include principal players from the National Symphony Orchestra along with other prominent chamber musicians from Washington, DC, and elsewhere. For more information, visit 21consort.org.


October 28, 2023
5:00 pm–7:00 pm
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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Hirshhorn Museum, Independence Ave SW & 7th St SW
Washington, DC 20560 United States
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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
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