Beyond Psycho: The Musical Genius of Bernard Herrmann

Saturday, June 1, 2019 | 7:30pm

Cinema’s most gifted composer, Bernard Herrmann, may be best known for his riveting scores that thrilled audiences during Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Vertigo, Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, and Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.

Herrmann is credited as a radio pioneer and for his musical genius in providing rich, atmospheric music, meshing words and music to paint emotionally stirring stories in the minds of listeners.

In addition to experiencing Hermann’s music in the awe-inspiring ambience of Washington National Cathedral, this concert will also be the world premiere performance of a forgotten masterpiece scored by Herrmann, the radio play “Whitman,” in honor of Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday.

“Whitman” was scripted by American radio legend Norman Corwin, and was broadcast in 1944 to counter anti-Axis propaganda and to inspire domestic support of World War II. “Whitman” comforted families, mothers and loved ones during the darkest days of the war, and his words gave faith in our nation’s ability to triumph over any threat to democracy and in the future of civilization.

Experience the sublime power of Hermann’s music, and his unique ability to leverage the power of Walt Whitman’s beautiful poetry, in this special one-night-only performance.



  • Clarinet Quintet – Bernard Herrmann
  • Psycho – a narrative for string orchestra – Bernard Herrmann
  • Intermission
  • “Whitman”  a classic 1944 radio play with music by Bernard Herrmann and script by Norman Corwin (world premiere performance)


  • PCE, conducted by Angel Gil-Ordonez
  • William Sharp, the voice of Walt Whitman
  • Admission
  • Dates Offered
    • June 1, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm