Join us throughout the 2019 and 2020 season for performances, specialty tours, and academic symposia to experience the music of 18th-century Mount Vernon, beginning with the debut of our authentically reproduced harpsichord.

Nelly Custis's Harpsichord

In 1793, George Washington acquired a large harpsichord for his step-granddaughter, 14-year-old Eleanor Parke Custis. Of the several musical instruments that graced Mount Vernon, none was more grand or impressive than this harpsichord. While it remains in Mount Vernon's collection, the instrument is no longer played.

Since July of 2016 John Watson, Conservator of Early Keyboard Instruments, has been working to create a playable replica of Washington’s 1793 Longman & Broderip 2-Manual Harpsichord. The newly finished instrument is now on display in the New Room. Guests can see it while on their tour of the Mansion.

See the Harpsichord Today

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How Sweet the Sound

Thursday, April 4, 7-9pm | Members $30; Non-Members $40

Acclaimed music historian Richard Josey and accompanying performers from Collective Journeys bring to life African and African-American music of the African Diaspora. Using drums, bells, and shekeres representative of instruments from the 18th and 19th centuries, musicians perform and discuss music’s role in everyday life.

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Spring Garden Party

Saturday, June 15, 6:30-8:30PM | MEMBERS $175; NON-MEMBERS $200

Enjoy the lengthening days and Mount Vernon’s newly blooming gardens during this reception in the upper garden. The evening includes celebrity chef-inspired wine and hors d’oeuvres, inspiring 18th-century music, and select readings from Cato, George Washington’s favorite play.

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Afternoon Harpsichord Recitals

Sunday, July-August, 1PM | Included with general admission

Listen to a harpsichord recital as you enjoy a summer afternoon Mansion tour.

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Harpsichord Recital and Tour

First Thursday of May, September, & October, 6pm | $150 per person with $3,000 minimum, 30 person maximum

Step back in time and tour the Mansion and grounds, focusing on the music of Mount Vernon. Throughout the tour, experience live music on the reproduction harpsichord as did the Washingtons and their guests, concluding with a recital.

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Harpsichord Symposium

David Hildebrand

David Hildebrand

August 2-3 | $250 for entire program or $60 for each concert

Join the cadre of aficionados that helped shape the reproduction of Nelly Parke Custis’s harpsichord for the Washington Library's Harpsichord Symposium. John Watson, Joyce Lindorff, David Hildebrand and many other musicians and scholars will present, perform, and attend.

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The Music and Dance of the Hunt

Saturday, November 2, 7PM | MEMBERS $50; NON-MEMBERS $60

The Handel and Haydn Society returns to Mount Vernon for a night of music inspired by the day’s event, Horses & Hounds, and the festivities that would have followed a lively day of hunt. The ensemble will play hunt, riding, and dance music by Mozart and Haydn, followed by refreshments and conversation with the musicians in the Orientation Center lobby.

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