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Music at Dumbarton Oaks

Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss designed Dumbarton Oaks to be beautiful without and within, filling the gardens with flowers, the library with rare volumes, and the house itself with fine art and music. Music at Dumbarton Oaks, founded in 1946 as the Friends of Music, continues this tradition with classical concerts from established and rising musicians.


The 75th Anniversary of Music at Dumbarton Oaks

A Far Cry

A special performance Sunday, April 3 at 4:00 p.m.

Inspired by Dumbarton Oaks’ long tradition of supporting musical performers, A Far Cry presents the program Then and Now, exploring the early and recent fruits of that alchemy with a concert celebrating the 75th anniversary season of music at Dumbarton Oaks. Every work on the program is by a composer with a relationship to Dumbarton Oaks, both “then” and “now,” featuring the world premiere of Woven in Earth and Sky, by our 2021 Musician in Residence, David Crowell. Note that this concert takes place at a special time, 4:00 p.m.

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To learn  more about the history of music at Dumbarton Oaks, go here.

Concert Series

Concerts will take place on Sunday evenings only and will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available for purchase one month before the concert date.

Spring 2022 Concert Series

Sandbox Percussion
Sunday, April 10 at 7 p.m. 

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If you have questions about the concert series, please contact

To find out more about performances from past concert seasons, see the Dumbarton Oaks Annual Reports.

For information about performing at Dumbarton Oaks, or to be considered for the series, please contact Valerie Stains, Artistic Director.


Early-Career Musician Residency

The Early-Career Musician Residency was inaugurated in 2014–2015 to continue and enhance a long tradition of music at Dumbarton Oaks. The main goal of the residency is to provide time and resources to young composers and musicians who show promise in transmitting traditions of classical music to younger generations. Proposals for residencies are by invitation only.

2021–2022 Residents

Layale Chaker.

Layale Chaker

Fall Term

Tanner Porter.

Tanner Porter

Spring Term

History of Music at Dumbarton Oaks

The Friends of Music

Established in 1946 as the Friends of Music, the concert program presents some of the most celebrated and promising musicians to Georgetown in the splendor of the Blisses’ former estate.

Commissioning and Performing Contemporary Compositions

Dumbarton Oaks’ mission to foster original research and publication in humanistic studies has found a parallel expression in the Friends of Music commissions and performances of contemporary music.

Singers and Lesser-Known Premieres at Dumbarton Oaks

Daniel Boomhower discusses the 1950 premieres of two compositions by Samuel Barber, and the links between Dumbarton Oaks and the New York Metropolitan Opera

Music at Dumbarton Oaks: The Performers

Many famous or soon-to-be famous musicians performed at Dumbarton Oaks over the years, and several have reminisced fondly about their concertizing there, in both the residential and institutional periods.