As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are temporarily closed to the public as of Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time.
In the first rank of American composers, Duke Ellington was-to use a favorite phrase of his own-"beyond category." He produced what has been called the "single most impressive body of composition in American jazz": more than two thousand compositions that ranged from such popular classics as "Satin Doll" and "Sophisticated Lady" to extended works such as Black, Brown and Beige, which premiered at Carnegie Hall in 1943. Ellington continually expanded his work as a composer and bandleader, composing for Broadway (Beggar's Opera) and Hollywood (including the film score for Anatomy of a Murder); undertaking extensive international tours; and working with younger jazz musicians such as John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach. He received the 1965 Pulitzer Prize for his long-term achievement and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969.