The White House

Office of the First Lady

President and First Lady to Host Concert Honoring Burt Bacharach and Hal David in the East Room

On Wednesday, May 9th, as part of their “In Performance at the White House” series, the President and First Lady will host a concert in the East Room honoring songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, who will be awarded the 2012 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.  President Obama will present the award as he did in 2010 and 2009, when the Library of Congress honored Sir Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, respectively.   The program will include performances by Sheryl Crow, Michael Feinstein, Diana Krall, Lyle Lovett, Mike Myers, Rumer, Arturo Sandoval, Sheléa and Stevie Wonder.

The President’s remarks will be pooled press and the entire event will be streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov/live starting at 7:00 PM ET on May 9th. 

On Monday, May 21st at 9:00 PM ET, the East Room concert will be broadcast on PBS stations nationwide as “Burt Bacharach & Hal David: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song In Performance at the White House” (check local listings). The program will also be broadcast at a later date via the American Forces Network to American service men and women and civilians at U.S. Department of Defense locations around the world.

This will be the first time the Gershwin Prize honor has been awarded to a songwriting team; Bacharach and David are a pianist and lyricist respectively.  The Gershwin Prize commemorates George and Ira Gershwin, the legendary American songwriting team whose extensive manuscript collections reside in the Library of Congress. The prize is awarded to musicians whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins. 
 
The White House concert caps off two days of events celebrating the recipients of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. On Tuesday, May 8th at 7:00 PM ET, the Library of Congress will host an invitation-only concert at their Coolidge Auditorium in honor of Bacharach and David. The all-star tribute will include performances by Sheryl Crow, Diana Krall, Mike Myers, Lyle Lovett, Rumer and Stevie Wonder.

“Burt Bacharach & Hal David: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song In Performance at the White House” will be the ninth “In Performance at the White House” program hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama.  Starting in February 2009, these events have honored the musical genius of Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney; celebrated Hispanic musical heritage during Hispanic Heritage Month; marked Black History Month with events featuring the music from the Civil Rights Movement, Motown and the Blues; spotlighted Broadway and the unique spirit of the American musical; and explored the rich roots of Country Music.

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