The Kennedy Center

Classical Music

Featured this season 2

Upcoming Events

National Symphony Orchestra: Bernstein's "The Age of Anxiety" / Ravel's Bolero

Jan 11 - Jan 13, 2018

Yutaka Sado leads a tribute of works composed or conducted by Bernstein, with whom Sado studied conducting. The program includes Rossini's Overture to The Thieving Magpie, Bernstein's "The Age of Anxiety" featuring pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Tchaikovsky's Francesca da Rimini, and Ravel's Boléro.

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Young Concert Artists presents: Benjamin Baker, violin with Daniel Lebhardt, piano

Tue, Jan 23, 2018, 7:30 PM

Violinist Benjamin Baker debuts with YCA in the Alexander Kasza-Kasser Concert in a program of Schubert, Britten, and Elgar.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Eschenbach conducts Schumann & Brahms / Josefowicz plays Knussen

Jan 25 - Jan 27, 2018

Christoph Eschenbach conducts Brahms's Variations on a Theme by Haydn and Schumann's "Rhenish" Symphony, both linked by religious themes. The program also features violinist Leila Josefowicz in Oliver Knussen's Violin Concerto as part of Josefowicz's Kennedy Center residency.

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The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works of Françaix, Poulenc & Brahms

Sun, Jan 28, 2018, 2:00 PM

The Kennedy Center Chamber Players return for their winter concert with a mix of lesser-heard works by Françaix, Poulenc, and Brahms.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto / Tchaikovsky's The Tempest

Feb 1 - Feb 3, 2018

Pianist Kirill Gerstein shines in Rachmaninoff's charged Piano Concerto No. 2 on an all-Russian program. Conductor Hannu Lintu also pays homage to Tchaikovsky through the composer's The Tempest and Stravinsky's The Fairy's Kiss, a work written in Tchaikovsky's memory.

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Washington Performing Arts presents: Anderson & Roe Piano Duo

Sat, Feb 3, 2018, 2:00 PM

Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe are on a mission: to make classical music a relevant and powerful force in society. The Juilliard-trained duo have performed together since 2002, known for their inventive programs, which blend classical masterworks with contemporary and pop—along with their own arrangements—making them "the very model of complete 21st-century musicians" (The Washington Post).

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Washington Performing Arts presents: Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Wed, Feb 7, 2018, 8:00 PM

Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra return to Washington after a long hiatus with a program of music by Samuel Adams, Brahms, and Verdi.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Shostakovich's Ninth Symphony / Gerhardt plays Bloch

Feb 8 - Feb 10, 2018

Fabien Gabel conducts a program inspired by nonmusical sources, from a heartbreaking love poem to World War II politics to the book of Ecclesiastes. He leads Dukas's Overture to Polyeucte, Bloch's Schelomo featuring cellist Alban Gerhardt, Rachmaninoff's The Rock, and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 9.

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Lunar New Year 2018: Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra / Tan Dun, conductor

Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 8:00 PM

The cornerstone event of our 2018 festivities! World-renowned artist Tan Dun conducts one of China's most outstanding orchestras in a program of Stravinsky classics combined with works by Guan Xia and Tan Dun himself.

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Music Celebrations International presents: The Capital Orchestra Festival

Mon, Feb 19, 2018, 2:00 PM

MCI's Capital Orchestra Festival returns to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in 2018 with five outstanding American student orchestras.
Please see below for details on reserving free tickets for this event.

Young Concert Artists presents: Xavier Foley, double bass

Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 7:30 PM

A multiple award winner at several prestigious international competitions, double bassist Xavier Foley offers a program of selections by Bach, Sperger, Franck, and a composition of his own.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Janowski conducts Brahms's First Symphony / Jackiw plays Bruch

Feb 22 - Feb 24, 2018

Known for his skill with the core classical repertoire, conductor Marek Janowski leads Bruch's electrifying First Violin Concerto featuring the NSO debut of Stefan Jackiw. The program also includes Brahms's Beethoven-influenced Symphony No. 1.

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Washington Performing Arts presents: Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos & Yo-Yo Ma

Fri, Feb 23, 2018, 8:00 PM

This “super trio” of musicians lend their artistic mastery the richness of Schubert's and Brahms’s chamber music.

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Cancelled: Lang Lang in Recital (presented by the National Symphony Orchestra)

Sun, Feb 25, 2018, 4:00 PM

Update Note: This event has been cancelled. Please see further details below. 

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National Symphony Orchestra: Runnicles conducts Mahler's Tenth Symphony

Mar 1 - Mar 3, 2018

Donald Runnicles returns to lead Mahler's Symphony No. 10, a moving work sketched in the wake of his daughter's death and completed after his own. This posthumous entry continues the NSO's multi-season Mahler exploration.

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National Symphony Orchestra: John Adams's The Gospel According to the Other Mary

Mar 8 - Mar 10, 2018

In celebration of John Adams's 70th birthday year, Gianandrea Noseda conducts Adams's expansive composition for chorus, soloists, and orchestra depicting Jesus's final weeks as told from the unique perspective of Mary Magdalene.

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Philip Glass's 20 Etudes: A 5-Pianist Collaboration with Philip Glass, Jason Moran, Aaron Diehl, Devonté Hynes, and Jenny Lin

Fri, Mar 9, 2018, 8:00 PM

Contemporary classical piano meets jazz improvisation in this live musical performance featuring Glass in his eagerly awaited Kennedy Center debut, along with our Artistic Director of Jazz Jason Moran and three other pianists.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Bronfman plays Brahms

Mar 15 - Mar 18, 2018

Gianandrea Noseda leads Yefim Bronfman in Brahms's monumental Piano Concerto No. 2 in this program that also explores the spirit of dance in Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic through dance music by Brahms, R. Strauss, Kodály and Dvorák.

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Young Concert Artists presents: Anthony Trionfo, flute

Thu, Mar 15, 2018, 7:30 PM

Young flutist Anthony Trionfo offers an eclectic program which includes a Premiere by YCA Composer-in-Residence Katherine Balch.

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Philip Glass's Koyaanisqatsi: Film & Music with the Philip Glass Ensemble

Fri, Mar 16, 2018, 8:00 PM

The legendary American composer's iconic multimedia collaboration with experimental filmmaker Godfrey Reggio receives its Kennedy Center premiere, with the Philip Glass Ensemble and The Washington Chorus performing the score live.

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Washington Performing Arts presents: Itzhak Perlman, violin & Martha Argerich, piano

Tue, Mar 20, 2018, 8:00 PM

Washington Performing Arts brings two titans of classical music to the Concert Hall stage, the renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman and the incomparable pianist Martha Argerich. 

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National Symphony Orchestra: Noseda conducts Verdi's Requiem

Mar 22 - Mar 24, 2018

Gianandrea Noseda conducts Verdi's Requiem, a spectacular masterpiece composed in memory of an Italian poet and novelist whom Verdi deeply admired. Pairing striking trumpet solos with sweeping symphonic and choral moments, Requiem is a legendary musical experience.

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The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works by Beethoven, Mozart & Franck

Sun, Mar 25, 2018, 2:00 PM

The ensemble of NSO musicians offer a mix of playfulness and melancholy in its spring concert with Beethoven’s Duo with Two Obbligato Eyeglasses for Viola and Cello, Mozart’s String Quintet in G minor, and Franck’s Piano Quintet.

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Young Concert Artists presents: Dasol Kim, piano

Mon, Apr 9, 2018, 7:30 PM

Korean pianist Dasol Kim brings a recital program of music by Chopin, Ravel, and Schubert to the Terrace Theater stage. 

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Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (part of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras)

Tue, Apr 10, 2018, 8:00 PM

Conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya and featuring guest soloists Augustin Hadelich on violin and dancers from Texas Ballet Theater, this fascinating evening features two works inspired by literary connections as well as a symphonic ballet choreographed for six dancers on stage.

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Albany Symphony (part of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras)

Wed, Apr 11, 2018, 8:00 PM

This concert, "The River Flows Through Us," explores the history of upstate New York through the lens of bodies of water that surround and connect communities. David Allen Miller conducts a program that welcomes soloists Joyce Yang on piano and Carol Jantsch on tuba. 

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Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (part of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras)

Fri, Apr 13, 2018, 8:00 PM

The ISO's program reflects its mission of engaging performers of all ages, as well introducing classic and contemporary Polish works to the Orchestra and its audiences. Joining the program are conductor Krzysztof Urbanski and cellist Alisa Weilerstein, along with the Indianaopolis Symphonic and Children's Choirs. 

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National Symphony Orchestra (part of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras)

Sat, Apr 14, 2018, 8:00 PM

New NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda conducts the NSO in concert as part of the second annual SHIFT Festival. 

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World Projects Corporation presents: Washington, D.C. International Music Festival 2018

Tue, Apr 17, 2018, 8:30 PM

World Projects Corporation brings its 2018 Washington, D.C. International Music Festival back to the Concert Hall stage.

On Sale 2/1/2018

National Symphony Orchestra: A Portrait & a Frame: Works by Stravinsky, Mozart & W.F. Bach

Apr 19 - Apr 21, 2018

Gianandrea Noseda presents a portrait of Stravinsky's complex artistry through his Symphonies of Wind Instruments and his Violin Concerto featuring Leila Josefowicz. Mozart's Adagio and Fugue in F minor and Symphony No. 39 bookend the portrait with a classical frame.

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Washington Performing Arts presents: Los Angeles Philharmonic

Thu, Apr 26, 2018, 8:00 PM

Music director Gustavo Dudamel leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic, distinguished soloists, and several choruses in a performance of Beethoven's majestic Choral  Symphony.

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NSO Family Concert: Young People's Concert with Ben Folds

Sun, Apr 29

In the spirit of a concert series made popular by Leonard Bernstein at Carnegie Hall, new NSO Artistic Advisor Ben Folds hosts this enlightening music-filled performance for children and families, with special guests to be announced. 

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National Symphony Orchestra: Elder conducts Strauss's Ein Heldenleben / Haydn's Symphony No. 80

May 3 - May 4, 2018

Sir Mark Elder offers a musical biography of Richard Strauss, pairing his triumphant and famously autobiographical Ein Heldenleben with his earlier, more intimate Serenade for 13 Wind Instruments. The program also includes an interlude of Haydn's Symphony No. 80.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Elder conducts Vaughan Williams's "Pastoral Symphony" / Ravel's Ma mère l'oye

May 10 - May 12, 2018

For his second week with the NSO, Sir Mark Elder unites the works of three First World War-era composers and contemporaries. The program includes Butterworth's A Shropshire Lad Rhapsody, Vaughan Williams's "A Pastoral Symphony," and Ravel's Mother Goose and Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2.

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Havana Lyceum Orchestra with soloists Ulises Hernández, piano, and Alí Arango, guitar (part of Artes de Cuba)

Thu, May 10, 2018, 7:30 PM

The award-winning orchestra conducted by Maestro José Antonio Méndez Padrón performs music by Cuban-born composers, to include contemporary works by Leo Brouwer featuring pianist Ulises Hernández and guitarist Alí Arango in his U.S. debut.

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Washington Performing Arts presents: Evgeny Kissin, piano

Wed, May 16, 2018, 8:00 PM

Piano master Evgeny Kissin brings his ambitious repertoire and masterful talent back to the Concert Hall stage following a U.S. tour hiatus.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Noseda conducts Brahms's Fourth Symphony

May 17 - May 19, 2018

In his final concerts of the season, Gianandrea Noseda leads a program unified by J.S. Bach. The program includes Berio's take on Bach's unfinished Contrapunctus XIX, plus two more Bach-influenced works: Berg's Violin Concerto featuring James Ehnes and Brahms's Symphony No. 4.

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DECLASSIFIED: Selections from Stravinsky & Mozart with the National Symphony Orchestra / Gianandrea Noseda, conductor

Fri, May 18, 2018, 9:00 PM

Gianandrea Noseda, the NSO's new music director, leads an abbreviated DECLASSIFIED concert featuring selected Bach works with violinist James Ehnes. The evening will also include pre- and post-concert activities.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Eschenbach conducts Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony / Walton's Viola Concerto

Jun 7 - Jun 9, 2018

The first of Christoph Eschenbach's trio of programs concluding the NSO's classical season includes R. Strauss' Potpourri from The Silent Woman and Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony. The program also features NSO Principal Viola Daniel Foster in Walton's Viola Concerto.

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The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works by Handel, Carter, Stravinsky & Enescu

Sun, Jun 10, 2018, 2:00 PM

In its vibrant final concert of the season, the ensemble of NSO musicians plays Handel’s Trio Sonata and Sonata for Violin and Basso continuo, Elliot Carter’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, and George Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody No. 1.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Eschenbach conducts Beethoven's Fourth Symphony / Mozart's Oboe Concerto

Jun 12 - Jun 13, 2018

Christoph Eschenbach's second program of his late-season trio includes Beethoven's splendid Symphony No. 4, Mozart's fascinating Oboe Concerto featuring NSO Principal Oboe Nick Stovall, and overtures to Rossini's William Tell and Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Eschenbach conducts Haydn's "Oxford" Symphony / R. Strauss's First Horn Concerto

Jun 15 - Jun 16, 2018

Christoph Eschenbach concludes the NSO's classical season with a program of Haydn's exuberant "Oxford" Symphony, plus Mozart's A Little Night Music, Wagner's Prelude to The Mastersingers of Nuremberg, and R. Strauss' Horn Concerto No. 1 featuring NSO Principal Horn Abel Pereira.

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