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Kennedy Center

Todd Fickley plays youthful Bach’s organ works at the Kennedy Center

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2016 – Following this past Thursday evening’s NSO program at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, a goodly portion of the audience hung around for one of the NSO’s more interesting periodic features: a free-to-ticketholders “Organ Postlude” recital that highlights the KenCen’s magnificent and still quite new Rubenstein Family Organ. These occasional post-concert ...

Mason Bates’ KC Jukebox 2: Music, visuals ‘Of Land & Sea’

WASHINGTON, February 27, 2016 – This Monday past, Kennedy Center composer-in-residence Mason Bates presented the second edition of his free-range musical series. Edition 2 of “KC Jukebox” was subtitled “Of Land and Sea,” and the program encompassed a freeform musical view of the planet’s endlessly varied terrains and environments. Staged this time in the Kennedy ...

Pianist Daniel Lebhardt: Formidable Liszt at the KenCen

WASHINGTON, February 26, 2016 – The Young Concert Artists (YCA) series of recitals returned to the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater earlier this week, highlighting the considerable artistry of young Hungarian pianist Daniel Lebhardt. This was the first YCA performance we’ve had a chance to review in quite some time, and this excellent performance reminded us ...

WNO’s ‘Lost in the Stars’: South Africa as social metaphor

WASHINGTON, February 14, 2016 – For better or worse, Washington National Opera artistic director Francesca Zambello has most certainly been carrying out her promise to more prominently feature “American opera” each season at the Kennedy Center. Cases in point: the entirety of WNO’s 206 spring season slate of operas includes not only the company’s upcoming ...

Gianandrea Noseda appointed new music director of NSO

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4, 2015 — In a Monday afternoon press release, the National Symphony Orchestra announced its appointment of Gianandrea Noseda, 51, as the ensemble’s new music director. “I am honored to become a part of the National Symphony Orchestra and the Kennedy Center family,” stated Mr. Noseda, “and look forward to a partnership that ...

American Opera Initiative 2015: A mixed bag of mini-operas

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2015 – As with any contemporary new music series, the short opera edition of the Washington National Opera’s (WNO) American Opera Initiative can prove to be a mixed bag. That was certainly the case Wednesday during the 2015 edition of this now-annual WNO event, which is held each year around this time ...

DC Traffic info for the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2015 – All of a sudden it’s December. And today, Thursday, the annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will launch the official 2015 holiday season in the nation’s capital city. The president, holiday luminaries and military bands highlight each year’s annual celebration on the Ellipse, and this year is no exception. In ...

American Opera Initiative adds extra performance Wednesday

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2015 – The Washington National Opera (WNO) has added a second performance tonight of its annual American Opera Initiative short-opera world premiere series. Attendance has been surprisingly good for this series over the past several seasons, so much so that demand for tickets this year prompted WNO’s decision to add an additional ...

Absinthe and Old Lace: Mason Bates’ ‘KC Jukebox’ premieres

WASHINGTON, November 11, 2015 – And now for something completely different… That old Monty Python tagline gained some new life Monday evening, when the premiere event of “KC Jukebox” took center stage at the Kennedy Center, more or less. Let me explain. “KC (for “Kennedy Center”) Jukebox” is described by the Center as “a new ...

Eschenbach, Lang Lang rock the KenCen with Romantic Era hits

WASHINGTON, October 30, 2015 – National Symphony Orchestra conductor and music director Christoph Eschenbach returned to the podium Thursday evening to lead a triumphal series concert highlighted by two stirring 19th century hits plus a slightly lesser-known symphonic gem from the same Romantic Era. The program included Richard Wagner’s Overture to his opera “Tannhäuser,” Edvard ...

Performing Arts 2015-2016: The Washington National Opera

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2015 – After a brief summertime hiatus, Washington’s classical music scene swings back into action this month. We’ll be bringing you a series of short previews highlighting this season’s wealth of musical choices, starting today with the Washington National Opera (WNO), which kicks off its 2015-2016 bill of operatic fare Saturday with ...

Thierry Escaich meets the Rubenstein Family Organ

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2015 — Having had the opportunity to interview internationally famed French organist and composer Thierry Escaich last week, we found ourselves very much looking forward to his recital last week at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in a special NSO event. Currently serving as organist at the church of Saint Étienne du ...

Organist Thierry Escaich: Bach, Vierne and improv at the KenCen

WASHINGTON, May 12, 2015 — Described by French newspaper Le Monde as a “brilliant improviser” who plays with a “virtuosity that combines great insight and feeling,” internationally famed French organist and composer Thierry Escaich will appear in the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall Wednesday, May 13, to present an intriguing and unique recital on the Center’s ...

WNO’s ‘Cinderella’: A longish evening of colorful family fun

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2015 – Rossini’s “Cinderella” (better known to Italian opera buffs as “La Cenerentola”) is, like Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “Magic Flute,” and Puccini’s “La Bohème” and Bizet’s “Carmen,” one of those operas that critics must involuntarily see time and again. Opera companies schedule these audience favorites and a few others with considerable ...

The NSO’s industrial strength evening of Sibelius and Mahler

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2015 – Thursday evening at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach successfully brought two complex and vivid late-Romantic masterpieces to vivid, sometimes anguished, but ultimately triumphal life; namely, Mahler’s imposing Symphony No. 5 and Sibelius’ eclectic and highly challenging Violin Concerto in D ...

DC’s Top Ten high school performing artists to take center stage

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2015 – Selected via a city-wide audition and public voting process, the top 10 outstanding D.C. public and public charter high school student DC-CAPITAL STARS finalists will take center stage on April 1 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to compete for college scholarships in the star-studded “7th Annual ...

Incoming: WNO’s “American Ring” in 2016 – all of it

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2015 – We left one thing out of our previous article detailing the Washington National Opera’s upcoming 2015-2016 season: the Main Event. As WNO’s March 3 news release states: “WNO concludes its 60th anniversary season with the most ambitious undertaking in all of opera: Richard Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung. Three ...

Eric Owens cancels February 28 WNO-KenCen jazz recital due to illness

WASHINGTON, February 27, 2015 — As a public service, we’re reproducing the following release, which we received Friday morning from the Washington National Opera and the Kennedy Center: “Washington National Opera (WNO) and Kennedy Center Jazz today announced the cancellation of An Evening of Jazz Standards with Eric Owens featuring the Music of Eckstine and ...

Christoph Eschenbach to step down as NSO, KenCen Music Director

WASHINGTON, February 18, 2015 – In a surprise press release today, the National Symphony Orchestra and, by extension, the Kennedy Center announced that Christoph Eschenbach “will not extend his position as Music Director after the conclusion of the 2016-2017 season.” After that season, Maestro Eschenbach will then serve an additional three years as the NSO’s ...

The Kennedy Center’s magical “Little Dancer”

WASHINGTON, November 23, 2014 – Members of the media finally got their chance to see the Kennedy Center’s new musical, “Little Dancer,” this Thursday past. Set to close this coming weekend, this production actually opened to the public on October 25 at the KenCen’s Eisenhower Theater. But given that this world premiere Kennedy Center commission aspires ...