Today: Michelle Smith Performing Arts 09:00AM - 05:00PM

National Gallery of Art Film Program Special Event: Way Down East


The University of Maryland's Special Collections in Performing Arts holds the papers of conductor, musicologist, and music librarian Gillian Anderson, and you can see her lead the National Gallery Orchestra in a live performance to accompany a screening of the film Way Down East (Griffith, 1920)!

From the National Gallery of Art website: "Way Down East — D. W. Griffith’s panorama of rural American life based on the tale of a poor, seduced orphan (Lillian Gish) cast out in a storm by Squire Bartlett when he learns of her past — transformed a creaky nineteenth-century melodrama into a cutting-edge cinematic experience. The original and compiled musical score by William Frederick Peters and Louis Silvers is a gratifying combination of early ragtime (for the bad guys), classic American square dance, love songs, and hymn tunes (the good guys), themes composed for each character, and pieces from the symphonic repertory by Wagner and Liszt (for the spectacular ice-floe sequence). (D. W. Griffith, 1920, 35mm, silent, 145 minutes)"

Gillian Anderson (born 1943) is an American conductor, musicologist, and music librarian for the Library of Congress. She served as President of the Sonneck Society for American Music, has been published in many scholarly journals, and helped co-found the journal Music and the Moving Image. The Gillian Anderson Papers contain books, published journals, newsletters, published scores, lyrics and poems, and miscellaneous materials (an abstract for this collection provides more information on how to access these materials.) Visit SCPA or contact the curator for more information!