The Kennedy Center

Classical Music

Featured this season 2

Upcoming Events


National Symphony Orchestra: Season Opening Gala Concert

Sun, Sep 24, 2017, 6:00 PM

In his inaugural concert as the NSO's seventh music director, Gianandrea Noseda leads cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Tony-winning singer Cynthia Erivo in a grand tribute to the late Leonard Bernstein.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Carpenter plays Copland / Favorites by Bernstein & Adams

Sep 28 - Sep 30, 2017

Cristian Macelaru conducts an all-American program featuring organist Cameron Carpenter, pairing Copland's Symphony for Organ and Orchestra and Appalachian Spring Suite with Bernstein's Divertimento in honor of the late composers' famous friendship.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Dvorák's Seventh Symphony / Steinbacher plays Brahms

Oct 5 - Oct 7, 2017

Frequent NSO guest Nathalie Stutzmann conducts a concentrated taste of late 19th-century music with Lalo's Overture from Le roi d'Ys, Brahms's Violin Concerto featuring Arabella Steinbacher, and Dvorák's Symphony No. 7.

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The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works by Leclair, Copland & Schumann

Sun, Oct 8, 2017, 2:00 PM

The acclaimed ensemble of NSO musicians open its 2017–2018 season with a stunning, diverse journey through the Baroque, Romantic, and Contemporary musical eras.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky's "Pathétique" Symphony / Ohlsson plays Barber

Oct 12 - Oct 15, 2017

Conductor Juanjo Mena pairs Tchaikovsky's stirring "Pathétique" Symphony with Barber's Pulitzer Prize–winning Piano Concerto featuring soloist Garrick Ohlsson. The program also includes the ghostly Auditorium by Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates.

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Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with Martha Argerich

Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 8:00 PM

Iconic pianist, classical music legend, and recent Kennedy Center Honoree Martha Argerich returns to D.C. for an inspired concert with the famed Italian orchestra conducted by Antonio Pappano.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Slatkin conducts Bernstein / Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring

Nov 2 - Nov 4, 2017

Former NSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin leads two Bernstein compositions: the lively fanfare Slava! A Political Overture and Songfest, a tribute to American perspectives and writers. He concludes with Stravinsky's legendary ballet score, The Rite of Spring.

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DECLASSIFIED: Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring with the National Symphony Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 9:00 PM

Former NSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin conducts a DECLASSIFIED concert featuring Stravinsky's bold and famously controversial The Rite of Spring. The evening will also include pre- and post-concert activities.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Borrowed from Baroque: Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony & more

Nov 9 - Nov 11, 2017

Gianandrea Noseda showcases three pieces that reach into the past and feature Baroque styles in distinct and innovative ways: Webern's Passacaglia, Dallapiccola's Partita, and Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Tastes of Italy, France & Spain: Classics by Respighi, Chausson, Gershwin & Falla

Nov 16 - Nov 19, 2017

Take a tour of Europe through works heavily inspired by Italy, France, and Spain. Gianandrea Noseda explores Respighi's Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome), Chausson's Poème, Gershwin's An American in Paris, and Falla's The Three-Cornered Hat Suites No. 1 & 2.

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The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents: Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610

Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 3:00 PM

Choral Arts opens its 2017-2018 Kennedy Center concert season with a performance of Claudio Monteverdi's choral masterpiece Vespers of 1610. 

On Sale 9/5/2017


Young Concert Artists welcomes PyeongChang Music Festival in Celebration of the 2018 Winter Olympics

Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 7:30 PM

This Special Chamber Music Event opens the 39th Young Concert Artists Series in the Terrace Theater.
 

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National Symphony Orchestra: Noseda conducts The Artist Abroad: Yuja Wang plays Prokofiev / Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances

Nov 30 - Dec 2, 2017

Gianandrea Noseda examines three composers through the lens of their lives away from home. Britten's Matinées musicales and Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances highlight pieces written in America, while soloist Yuja Wang conquers Prokofiev's Paris-penned Piano Concerto No. 5.

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Mason Bates's KC Jukebox: Ear / Eye

Fri, Dec 8, 2017, 7:30 PM

The intersection of music and imagery will be explored in this multimedia performance, from the beautiful textures of Timo Andres's response to pen-and-ink abstractions to Anna Clyne's industrial response to a film about the creation of the Brooklyn Bridge. A featured work by Marcos Balter pairs startling musical sonorities with Italian design imagery of the 1970s, and the evening also includes Jacob Cooper's moody Ripple the Sky, a piece inspired by the mental illness of Robert Schumann.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Handel's Messiah

Dec 14 - Dec 17, 2017

Join the NSO, gifted singers, and a heavenly chorus for this holiday tradition! Experience all of the hope, redemption, and grace of Handel's cherished Messiah in the festively decorated Concert Hall.

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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

Christopher 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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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: China National Symphony Orchestra / Tan Dun, conductor

Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 8:00 PM

For the Kennedy Center's third year of festivities celebrating the Lunar New Year, Tan Dun returns to lead one of China's most outstanding professional symphony orchestras.

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

Sun, Feb 25, 2018, 4:00 PM

For one concert only, "the hottest artist on the classical music planet" (The New York Times) brings his dazzling piano talents to a diverse solo program of Liszt, Debussy, Albeniz, Granados, and Falla.

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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 The Gospel According to the Other Mary, 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 & Others

Fri, Mar 9, 2018, 8:00 PM

Contemporary classical piano meets jazz improvisation in this live musical performance of Philip Glass's Etudes.


National Symphony Orchestra: Dancing on the Danube: Bronfman, Brahms & more

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

Philip Glass's classic multimedia collaboration with experimental filmmaker Godfrey Reggio is a prescient mediation on the imbalance between humans and our environment. In the D.C. premiere of the film, the Philip Glass Ensemble makes its eagerly anticipated Kennedy Center debut, performing the score live.


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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SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras: Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Tue, Apr 10, 2018, 8:00 PM

This fascinating evening features two works inspired by literary connections: Bel Canto by Jimmy López is based on Ann Patchett's 2001 novel of the same name; Serenade by Leonard Bernstein is based on Plato's "Symposium." Also featured is RIFT, a symphonic ballet by Anna Clyne choreographed for six dancers on stage.


SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras: Albany Symphony

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. The program features three works commissioned by the Albany Symphony, as well as Dorothy Chang's delightful mini-oratorio for children's chorus and orchestra, The Grand Erie Canal.


SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

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. Superstar cellist Alisa Weilerstein joins the orchestra for a piece by Witold Lutos?awski. Also featured is the rarely heard Credo by Krzysztof Penderecki.


SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras: National Symphony Orchestra

Sat, Apr 14, 2018, 8:00 PM

New Music Director Gianandrea Noseda takes a fresh look at the timeless themes of the end of life and what lies beyond. Included is renowned baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky singing Shostakovich's Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarroti, examining Michaelangelo's poetry of art, love, exile, and death; From the Cradle to the Grave, Liszt's last tone poem; and Richard Strauss's Death and Transfiguration, a breathtaking expression of hope.


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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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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National Symphony Orchestra: Noseda conducts Variations on Bach / Brahms's Fourth Symphony / Ehnes plays Berg

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 Variations on Bach 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 works from his Variations on Bach program with violinist James Ehnes taking place the same week. 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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