Paul Schwendener

Role in furthering the NAC Mission

The Music Committee of the National Arts Club enjoys an long and illustrious history of presenting world-class classical and jazz artists as well as extraordinary emerging talent.
The Committee has honored dozens of legendary artists with the Club’s Medal of Honor, including Placido Domingo, Marilyn Horne, Barbara Cook, Wynton Marsalis, and Leonard Bernstein.

In addition to presenting a regular series of concerts in the Grand Gallery, this season the Committee focuses on a group of start-up opera companies in New York, offering performance opportunities to the young singers, designers, dancers, and directors who are changing the way opera is presented in our city.

The Music Committee collaborates with other committees to highlight musical elements in other art forms. One of our most popular programs was an event with the Literary Committee in which we presented soprano Amy Burton and pianist John Musto singing music of Kurt Weill, interspersed with readings by the author of new book about Weill and his creative partner Bertolt Brecht.

The Music Committee also functions as a resource for the Club’s management when engaging musical talent for major NAC events such New Year’s Eve, the Red Ball, and Opening and Closing Nights.

We welcome interest from NAC members who share a love of music, and particularly those with connections or experience in the music world.

If you are a member of The National Arts Club and are interested in joining our committee, please email us at

  • Upcoming Events


      Solo Guitar Masterpieces: David Leisner

      Monday, November 6
      7:00 PM

      David Leisner enjoys a multi-faceted career as an electrifying performing artist, distinguished composer and master teacher. “Among the finest guitarists of all time” (American Record Guide), his superb musicianship and provocative programming have been applauded by critics and audiences around the globe.  He has recorded CDs for the Azica, Naxos, Telarc, Koch and Etcetera labels, and a solo concert DVD on the Mel Bay label.  David Leisner's recent seasons have taken him around the US, including his solo debut with the Atlanta Symphony, a major tour of Australia and New Zealand, and international debuts and appearances. His own compositions, noted for their emotional and dramatic power, have been performed, recorded and published worldwide.  Leisner is also co-chairman of the guitar department at the Manhattan School of Music.   
         The program will feature works by Johann Pachelbel, Wenzeslaus Matiegka, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Richard Winslow.




      An Evening of Romantic Piano: Anna Han

      Thursday, November 30
      8:00 PM

      Described by The Washington Post as “prodigiously gifted… a display of imagination, taste and pianistic firepower far beyond her years,” twenty-one-year-old Anna Han has won a number of prestigious international competitions including First Prize 2012 New York International Piano Competition. Since her orchestral debut at age 11, she performed as a soloist with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, West Valley Symphony, MusicaNova Symphony Orchestra, Downtown Sinfonietta, Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra, and Verde Valley Sinfonietta.  
         A 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, she won the 2016 West Piano Concerto Competition. Her performances of Chopin have earned her recognition as a semi-finalist in the Ninth National Chopin Piano Competition and a scholarship from the Chopin Foundation of the United States.


  • Medal of Honor Recipients
    • 2016 Mr. Alan Gilbert

      2012 Jazz at Lincoln Center and Mr. Wynton Marsalis

      2011 Mr. Paddy Moloney

      2009 Mr. Paquito D'Rivera

      2008 Mr. James Moody

      2007 Mr. Lorin Maazel

      2007 Mr. Joshua Bell

      2007 Mr. Ornette Coleman

      2006 Ms. Marilyn Horne

      2006 Ms. Barbara Carroll

      2005 Mr. Joseph Volpe

      2005 Ms. Marian McPartland

      2005 Radio Station WBGO

      2004 The Juilliard String Quartet

      2004 Dr. Billy Taylor

      2003 Sir James Galway

      2004 Mr. Dave Brubeck

      2004 Mr. George Wein

      2002 Mr. John Corigliano

      2002 Mr. Jon Faddis

      2001 Ms. Roberta Peters

      2000 Mr. Daniel Barenboim

      1999 Mr. Emanuel Ax  

      1999 Mr. Benny Carter

      1998 Mr. Robert M errill  

      1998 Sir George Shearing OBE

      1997 Mr. André Previn

      1996 Mr. Kurt Masur

      1995 Mr. James D. Wolfensohn  

      1995 JVC Company

      1994 Mr. Itzhak Perlman

      1993 Mr. Placido Domingo

      1992 Mr. James Levine

      1991 Mr. Gian Carlo Menotti

      1991 Mr. Dick Hyman

      1990 Mr. Zubin Mehta

      1989 Miss Marian Anderson

      1988 Mr. Isaac Stern


      1987 Mr. Gerard R. Schwarz  

      1987 Mr. Benny Goodman

      1986 Ms. Frederica von Stade  

      1986 Radio Station WQXR

      1985 Mr. Morton Gould

      1984 Mr. Martin Bookspan

      1983 Mr. Schuyler G. Chapin

      1982 The New York Philharmonic and Mr. Amyas Ames

      1981 Mr. Gunther Schuller

      1980 Mr. Charles Wadsworth

      1979 Mr. Robert Sherman

      1978 Mr. Avery Fisher

      1977 Mr. Arthur Fiedler

      1976 Mr. Jack Beeson

      1975 Miss Alice Tully

      1974 Mr. Van Cliburn

      1973 Sir Rudolf Bing

      1972 Mr. Edward Cramer, BMI

      1971 Mrs. Jouett Shouse

      1971 Dr. George F. Seuffert

      1970 Dr. Peter Mennin

      1969 Mr. Richard Rodgers

      1968 Mr. Leonard Bernstein

      1967 Mrs. Clifton J. Muir, NFMC

      1966 Mrs. Lytle Hull

      1966 Mr. Richard Korn

      1965 Mr. Stanley Adams, ASCAP

      1964 Dr. William Schuman

      1963 Mr. Paul Creston

      1963 Mme. Olga Koussevitsky

      1962 Dr. Howard Hanson

      1961 Mrs. August Belmont

      1960 Mr. Thomas Scherman

      1959 Mrs. Minnie Guggenheimer

      1958 Mr. Julius Rudel

      1957 Dr. Herman Neumann

      1938 & 1913 Dr. Walter Damrosch


  • Past Events