We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.


When we are very young, tears are a byproduct of a skinned knee or a lost puppy, or a method of getting our own way. Later in life, our associations become more complex, and we recognize tears as denoting more than just pain or loss. They are the physical manifestation of extreme emotion—whether good, bad, or unclassifiable. “TEARS: Post-Romantic 20th-Century Music for Viola and Piano,” tonight’s recital by violist and former area resident Sharon Eng and Indonesian pianist Ary Sutedja (members of the piano-viola-oboe-clarinet quartet Classical Nuances), showcases evocative works that will leave nary a dry eye in the house. From Benjamin Britten’s appropriately titled Lachrymae (based on a work by John Dowland) to Elliot Carter’s Elegy, the program spans a wide variety of this century’s viola-and-piano repertoire, and features the premiere of Indonesian composer Trisutji Kamal’s Tears, composed as a reaction to Jakarta’s Black Friday of Nov. 13, 1998, when 16 people died during widespread civil unrest. Kamal’s composition draws from both traditional Indonesian folk melodies and the rhythmic patterns found in the pronunciation of the Koran. The second half of the program features two distinctly different sonatas for viola and piano: Paul Hindemith’s rigorous Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 25, No. 4, and the first movement of Dmitry Shostakovich’s melancholic Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 147. Proceeds from the recital will be donated to Miriam’s House, a D.C. residence for homeless women living with AIDS. At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3, at the Washington Ethical Society Auditorium, 7750 16th St. NW. $10 (suggested donation; proceeds benefit Miriam’s House). (202) 234-1250. (Amy Domingues)