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Library of Congress Acquires Items of Legendary Performer Jessye Norman

The Library of Congress has announced acquisition of thousands of items donated by renowned opera singer Jessye Norman that demonstrate her illustrious 50-year career.

The acquisition was announced May 16 during a conversation with the celebrated soprano and recitalist in the Coolidge Auditorium before an enthusiastic crowd. The audience listened to Norman discuss her decadeslong career, her role as a trailblazer in classical music and her passion for mentoring young artists. The program was part of the Music Division’s “Concerts from the Library of Congress” series.

The collection of about 29,000 items, consists of musical arrangements written specifically for Norman, including orchestrations of songs by George and Ira Gershwin and the sacred music of Duke Ellington, business papers related to Norman’s opera and concert performances, publicity materials, concert and opera programs, mockups of album artwork, fan mail, recordings, and professional and amateur photographs, providing a visual record of her legacy as a performer.

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