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National Symphony Orchestra

NSO’s Heavy Classix: Mahler songs, Bruckner symphony on tap

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2016 – Thursday evening’s Mahler-Bruckner concert by the National Symphony Orchestra was an oddly mixed bag. This series concert, with Christoph Eschenbach at the orchestra helm, featured only two works, the relatively short and not-too-well-known “Rückert-Lieder” of Gustav Mahler, which featured contralto Nathalie Stutzmann as soloist; and Anton Bruckner’s marvelous Symphony No. ...

NSO, visiting artists launch Kennedy Center’s ‘Ireland 100’

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2016 – The Kennedy Center launched its 2016 “Ireland 100” festival Tuesday evening with an evening gala concert by the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. They were joined by some of the many Irish performing artists who will be participating in concerts, plays and various events at the ...

‘Declassified’: Mason Bates Month continues at the KenCen

WASHINGTON, April 19, 2016 – April has clearly been Mason Bates Month at the Kennedy Center. Not only was the KenCen’s composer-in-residence on the National Symphony Orchestra’s menu in a weekend menu of concerts highlighting his violin concerto and other 20th century American works, all expertly conducted by Hugh Wolff. Festivities continued Monday evening with ...

National Symphony Orchestra’s Mason Bates explosion

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2016 – Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra celebrated what amounted to a Mason Bates Festival this past weekend, devoting a pair of series concerts and a special Friday evening “Declassified” concert to works by the Kennedy Center’s current composer-in-residence. All three concerts focused on Anne Akiko Meyers’ high-energy performance of Mr. Bates’ 2012 ...

Măcelaru, Znaider headline eclectic NSO series concert

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2016 – The National Symphony Orchestra opened the first of a pair of regular series programs Thursday evening at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall that feature well-known violinist-conductor Nikolaj Znaider in each of his roles. Thursday’s series concert, conducted by Cristian Măcelaru, offered an eclectic program in which Johannes Brahms’ epic Violin ...

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 ...

NSO’s unusual program of Prokofiev, Bruch and violinist Ray Chen

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2016 – After a long local hiatus due to their recent European concert tour, the National Symphony Orchestra returned to the Kennedy Center this week with an unusual program that bookended Max Bruch’s rarely heard “Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra,” Op. 46 with a pair of wildly different Prokofiev symphonies. Read ...

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 ...

Cameron Carpenter, Sarah Hicks, NSO go contemporary classical

WASHINGTON, December 4, 2015 – The Kennedy Center’s classical music programming seems to be in the midst of a slow, gradual, but studied drift in the direction of Gen-X and millennial music fans for whom “the classics” remain largely museum pieces of absolutely no interest to anyone younger than 60. Evidence? Kennedy Center composer-in-residence Mason ...

Noseda, NSO in brilliant performance of Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2

WASHINGTON, November 13, 2015 – This week’s regular season concert by the National Symphony Orchestra added a touch of newness to a pair of popular Russian compositions. Under the baton of Italian guest conductor Gianandrea Noseda, the orchestra performed (for the very first time) Alfredo Casella’s “Elegia Eroica,” Rachmaninoff’s brooding “Symphony No. 2,” and Prokofiev’s ...

NSO’s uneven but often visceral Mahler Symphony No. 3

WASHINGTON, November 6, 2015 – Given the popularity of Mahler’s First, Second (Resurrection), Fourth and Ninth Symphonies and the famous Adagio of the Fifth (used in the film “Death in Venice”), it’s not often you get a chance to hear a live performance of his massive Third Symphony. Indeed, the NSO last performed it here ...

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 ...

Organist William Neil, NSO brass launch 2015-2016 organ recital series

WASHINGTON, October 18, 2015 – For many years now, William Neil, organist of Washington’s National Presbyterian Church and the NSO’s organist and harpsichordist has been a familiar albeit somewhat occasional presence in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. For example, he dropped by just a couple of weeks ago to add a welcome bit of organ ...

NSO’s spirited 2015-2016 regular season launch

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2015 – It’s October and Washington’s classical music scene is now running at full tilt, as evidenced by the National Symphony Orchestra’s regular season debut Thursday evening. Led by guest conductor Donald Runnicles and featuring as guest artist rising Russian soprano Olga Peretryatko, this weekend’s series concert got things off to a ...

From steelpan to ‘West Side Story’: NSO’s tropical heat wave

WASHINGTON, May 29, 2015 — In a non-regular season, non-pops special concert Friday evening, Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) blew the lid off the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall with a scorching-hot program of Latin American and Latin-influenced classical music. Scheduled works included the world premiere performance of young South Carolina-born composer Andy Akiho’s new concerto ...

National Memorial Day Concert encore Monday on PBS

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2015 – In case you missed yesterday’s live PBS simulcast of the annual National Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the hour-and-a-half show will be encored Memorial Day afternoon, May 25, at 4:30 p.m. EDT on many PBS TV stations. For Washingtonians, that includes WETA, WETA HDTV ...

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 ...