March 14, 2024

In the Stacks and The Evolution Contemporary Music Series joined forces to present pianist Vicky Chow in a performance of music by Baltimore-born-and-raised composer Philip Glass. Hailed as “one of our era’s most brilliant pianists” (Pitchfork), Chow performed selections from Glass’s Piano Etudes, interspersed with readings from the composer’s memoir, Words Without Music, performed by Rahzé Cheatham.


Photo by Sophie Low

February 21, 2024

Betrayal! Lust! Fate! This performance featuring Opera Baltimore explored themes of romance and heartbreak. Arias from Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin and classics from Broadway were paired with a one-night only display of pulpy treasures from the Sheridan Libraries collection of vintage romance comic books.


People in the Peabody Library Stacks

October 11, 2023

For our first post-pandemic performance, early music ensemble Musica Spira explored the fascinating variety of venues that 17th-century Italian women composed in, including courts, convents, and private academies. The performance was paired with a one-night only display of women-authored rare books from the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries Special Collections.


an immersive performance in the Peabody Library
Photo by Kintz

February 18-20, 2020

Submersive Productions, a local immersive theater company, presented “See Also,” for this series of 9 performances. Following threads (both figurative and literal) around the George Peabody Library in a choose-your-own-adventure style, participants encountered visual art, soundscapes, and performers portraying character composites based on historical women and non-binary individuals from the collections of the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries and University Museums. The performance culminated in the world premiere of a work by contemporary female composer Briay Conditt.


A seated audience watching a film in the Peabody Library
Photo by Toby Morris

January 21, 2020

Merging drag, queer silent film, and music by living transgender composers, this performance explored how gender conformity has been subverted since the earliest forms of music and film.

An audience in a darkened Peabody Library
Photo by Toby Morris

December 12, 2019

This immersive performance by Mind on Fire brought planets, stars, and celestial orbits into the George Peabody Library to explore how light and sound move through space. Featuring the captivating music of composer Cat Lamb, the program was paired with an original light installation by Kevin Blackistone that projected celestial objects moving throughout the room.

Treasures from the library’s collection were on display for one night only, including works by Copernicus and Galileo.

a seated audience in the Peabody Library
Photo by Kelsey Ross

November 20, 2019

Throughout history, the arts have developed as a constant reaction to the times in which they were created. Drama, one of the world’s oldest art forms, has traditionally been divided into two contrasting categories: comedies and tragedies. This performance traced the evolution of the tragedy as a genre, and explore the emotional catharsis and hope that often accompanies it. Featuring Taylor Hillary Boykins, mezzo-soprano, and Tyrone Page, saxophone.

audience watching a performance in the Peabody Library
Photo by Kelsey Ross

August 21, 2019

Using the George Peabody Library’s architecture as inspiration, Baltimore’s Ann Street Trio explored the connections between architecture, music, and visual art. Artifacts from the planning and engineering of the Library were displayed for the first time, and architectural elements not visible since 1980 were (literally) uncovered. Composers included Germaine Tailleferre, Erik Satie, Francis Poulenc, and Ludwig van Beethoven.

seated audience watching a film in the Peabody Library
Photo by Kelsey Ross

May 9, 2019

This performance featured one of the most remarkable stories in the history of music– Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time”—a piece composed and premiered in a WWII German prisoner of war camp. Excerpts from this extraordinary work were presented alongside works by other composers who overcame adversity to spread their art, including LGBTQ+ composers, women composers, and African American composers

Featuring Melissa Lander, Clarinet; Ismar Gomes, Cello; Lauren Rausch, Violin; Wan-Chi Su, Piano.

The performance also included a one-night only display of books by authors including Frederick Douglass, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde.

Photo by Kelsey Ross

March 21, 2019

This performance, featuring Balance Campaign, explored the history of the Pierrot, a pantomime character originating in the 17th century. Works of art depicting the Pierrot were paired with movements from Arnold Schonberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, punctuated with short films by Charlie Chaplin set to ragtime music.

seated audience in the Peabody Library
Photo by Kelsey Ross

January 17, 2019

This performance took its inspiration from the George Peabody Library’s collection of ‘fore-edge paintings’–books with secret works of art hidden in the pages. Baltimore’s own Bergamot Quartet revealed hidden musical messages and explored the meaning behind them, and the audience was given the opportunity to write down a secret of their own.

seated audience watching a musical performance
Photo by Kelsey Ross

October 4, 2018

This program brought the energetic Trio Jinx to the Library to explore map-making as musical inspiration. Featuring Ledah Finck, Louna Dekker-Vargas, and Yoshi Horiguchi.

musical performers standing in front of an audience
Photo by Kelsey Ross

August 1, 2018

This collaborative performance dove into Baltimore’s music history through the extensive archives of the George Peabody Library & Arthur Friedheim Library, revealing many rarely or never before heard works. Featured composers: Ronald Roxbury, Jean Eichelberger Ivey, Vivian Adelberg Rudow, W Spencer Huffman. Performers: Yesse Kim, piano; Teresa Ferrara, soprano; Andrea Copland, oboe; Sam Bessen, horn.

seated audience in the Peabody Library

November 15, 2017

This performance explored the connection between music and text, featuring a program entirely inspired by specific works of poetry and literature. Including 15 world premieres of works for solo horn through the Fifteen Minutes of Fame commissioning project, and the premiere of Joshua Armenta’s “Typewritten symbols,” for horn & piano. Performers: Caleb Bradley, oboe; Sam Bessen, horn; Yesse Kim, piano.

view of peabody library through a railing

September 28, 2017

This collaborative recital took a chronological journey through the industrial revolution to explore how advancements in technology not only built the Library, but also built new and improved musical instruments. Performers: Teresa Ferrara, Soprano; Min Joo Yi, piano; Sam Bessen, horn.