The Kennedy Center

Classical Music

Featured this season 2

Upcoming Events

National Symphony Orchestra: Britten's War Requiem

Nov 29 - Dec 1, 2018

As November marks 100 years since the final armistice of World War I, the NSO will combine forces with some of today’s most gifted voices and choral groups for Britten’s epic War Requiem, conducted by NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda.
Note: This performance has no late seating and no intermission.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Noseda conducts Mahler's First Symphony

Dec 6 - Dec 9, 2018

Gianandrea Noseda conducts a program of spirited and expressive works including Mahler’s ground-breaking First Symphony. The NSO will also premiere Art of War, a new work by Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates.

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New York Concert Artists & Associates presents Jiaxin Tain, pianist, in Recital

Tue, Dec 18, 2018, 7:30 PM

New York Concert Artists is pleased to present the Kennedy Center debut of internationally recognized Chinese pianist Jiaxin Tian.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Handel's Messiah

Dec 20 - Dec 23, 2018

Join the NSO, exceptional singers, and a heavenly chorus in the festively decorated Concert Hall for our holiday tradition! Experience all of the hope, redemption, and grace of Handel’s much-loved Messiah, conducted by Nicholas McGegan.

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International School of Music presents The Student Honors Recital

Fri, Dec 21, 2018, 7:30 PM

In a debut performance, the International School of Music presents some of its most talented students in recital.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Renée Fleming sings Schubert

Jan 18 - Jan 20, 2019

Internationally celebrated soprano Renée Fleming returns for an all-Schubert program, which includes music from Rosamunde, orchestrations of some of his greatest songs, and Berio's Rendering, based on Schubert's uncompleted 10th Symphony.

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Pan American Symphony Orchestra presents Passion and Fire: The Music of Spain

Sun, Jan 20, 2019, 7:30 PM

Take a journey to Andalucia as Pan American Symphony Orchestra brings an evening of beautiful music, song, and flamenco dance to the Terrace Theater..

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National Symphony Orchestra: Trifonov plays Beethoven's "Emperor"

Jan 31 - Feb 2, 2019

Gianandrea Noseda will be joined by sensational pianist Daniil Trifonov playing Beethoven’s most famous Piano Concerto—the triumphant Fifth. The program will conclude with Shostakovich’s bold Symphony No.6.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Brahms, Schumann & Liszt

Feb 7 - Feb 9, 2019

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda conducts A Faust Symphony by Liszt, a piece inspired by Goethe's magnum opus. Also on the program is Brahms’s turbulent Tragic Overture and Schumann’s Piano Concerto with soloist Nicholas Angelich, whose commanding technique is not to be missed.

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Washington Performing Arts presents Leon Fleisher & Friends: A 90th Birthday Celebration

Sat, Feb 9, 2019, 7:30 PM

Celebrating one of the most revered pianists and teachers of the last century, Leon Fleisher.

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Washington Performing Arts presents: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Wed, Feb 13, 2019, 8:00 PM

Lauded as the “Number One Orchestra in the World” by Gramophone, the acclaimed Royal Concertgebouw returns to D.C. with a program evoking emperors and heroes.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Noseda conducts Berlioz's Romeo & Juliet

Feb 14 - Feb 16, 2019

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda leads a richly romantic program with a suite of orchestral music from Berlioz’s Suite from Romeo & Juliet, Wagner’s Prelude and "Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde, and Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini.

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Music Celebrations International presents: 2019 Capital Orchestra Festival

Mon, Feb 18, 2019, 2:00 PM

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

NSO Family Concert: Let's Go to the Moon!

Sun, Feb 24

As the 50th anniversary of the moon landing draws near, join the NSO for a fun-filled concert of interstellar proportions! 

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National Symphony Orchestra: Shaham & Mozart

Feb 28 - Mar 2, 2019

In his NSO subscription debut, Lionel Bringuier will conduct Mozart’s glorious Violin Concerto No. 5, played by renowned violinist Gil Shaham in a program that also includes symphonic fragments from Roussel’s The Spider’s Feast and Stravinsky’s Petrushka.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Eschenbach conducts Haydn & Bruckner

Mar 7 - Mar 9, 2019

Christoph Eschenbach leads Bruckner’s powerful Symphony No. 2, a work not played by the NSO for over 25 years. The NSO Conductor Laureate pairs this work with one by Joseph Haydn, another master of vivid orchestral colors: his Cello Concerto in D, which will feature acclaimed cellist Kian Soltani in his NSO debut.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Baroque & Beyond

Mar 14 - Mar 16, 2019

After his triumphant 2017 NSO subscription debut last May, Baroque master Ton Koopman returns to the Concert Hall leading a program of colorful works by Rebel, Rameau, CPE Bach, Mozart, and Haydn.

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Washington Performing Arts presents Master Class: Sir James Galway

Thu, Mar 14, 2019, 7:30 PM

Sir James Galway is recognized the world over as a flute master, having sold over 30 million albums through his extensive international tours. “Nonchalant virtuosity and sterling musicianship” (Chicago Tribune)

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Washington Performing Arts presents: San Francisco Symphony

Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 8:00 PM

Michael Tilson Thomas makes his momentous final appearance in Washington, D.C., as music director of the San Francisco Symphony in a program featuring Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony and one of Thomas’ own compositions.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Glass's Itaipu & Auerbach's ARCTICA (part of DIRECT CURRENT)

Mar 28 - Mar 30, 2019

In his NSO debut, Teddy Abrams will lead two programs of pieces by Dvořák and Sibelius as well as a work by Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates. The Thursday concert will conclude with Philip Glass’s Itaipu. The Saturday concert will conclude with contemporary Russian-American composer and pianist Lera Auerbach in the world premiere of her piece ARCTICA.

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Caroline Shaw and Friends (part of DIRECT CURRENT)

Sat, Apr 6, 2019, 9:00 PM

Composer Caroline Shaw, the versatile New York-based musician who is not only the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, but also a member of vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, is joined some of her musician friends in our intimate club-like venue. 

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NSO Family Concert: Symphonic Storytelling: TheTravels of Babar

Sun, Apr 7

Come children (and children at heart!) for a concert that mixes the magic of stories, images, and music, including the U.S. premiere of Return to the Land of the Elephants by composer Raphael Mostel, based on The Travels of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Debussy's La mer

Apr 11 - Apr 13, 2019

Up-and-coming conductor Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla makes her NSO debut conducting two of Debussy’s most celebrated works: La mer and Ibéria. This program also features Ravel’s Shéhérazade and Martin’s Guitare.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven's Fifth Symphony

Apr 18 - Apr 20, 2019

The iconic opening motif of Beethoven’s Fifth has astounded audiences since its 1808 premiere, and conductor Gianandrea Noseda will bring fresh perspective to this revolutionary masterpiece with all of its original urgency and triumph intact in a program that includes Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 2 and Brahms’s Variations on a Theme of Joseph Haydn.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Saint-Saëns's "Organ" Symphony

Apr 25 - Apr 27, 2019

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda presents a lively program featuring Franck’s The Accursed Huntsman and young piano virtuoso Seong-Jin Cho in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. Saint-Saëns’s stunning “Organ” Symphony brings the concert to a majestic close.

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Washington Performing Arts presents: Itzhak Perlman, violin, and Evgeny Kissin, piano

Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 4:00 PM

Blockbuster soloists Itzhak Perlman and Evgeny Kissin unite for an evening of chamber music on a grand scale. The eminence of the performers is matched by the prominence of the repertoire, including timeless favorites of the violin repertoire by Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique

May 9 - May 11, 2019

Edward Gardner returns to the Concert Hall to conduct Wagner’s Overture to The Flying Dutchman and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. The program will also feature Renaud Capuçon in Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, one of the iconic works in the concerto repertoire.

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Washington Performing Arts presents Weilerstein, Barnatan, Khachatryan & Currie: Transfigured Nights

Thu, May 9, 2019, 7:30 PM

Four transcendent musicians—each an in-demand soloist on the international scene—explore a fascinating program anchored by works that have been “transfigured” through the act of transcription. 

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National Symphony Orchestra: Unexpected Italy (I): Liszt & Rossini

May 16 - May 17, 2019

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda leads the NSO and outstanding singers in Rossini’s dramatic Stabat Mater in a remarkable program that also features Liszt's Dante Symphony.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Unexpected Italy (II): Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

May 30 - Jun 1, 2019

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda continues the Kennedy Center’s Spring celebration of his home country with a program featuring works by Respighi, Casella, and perhaps Rachmaninoff’s best-known work, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, featuring pianist Francesco Piemontesi.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Dvořák's "New World" Symphony

Jun 6 - Jun 9, 2019

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda presents a program of folk-inspired pieces with a musical language at once original and familiar including Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony: “From the New World,” Copland’s cowboy ballet Billy the Kid, and Berio’s Folk Songs, which features mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Mozart Forever I

Jun 14 - Jun 15, 2019

In the first concert of our three-part salute to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Nathalie Stutzmann conducts the delightful overture to The Marriage of Figaro and “Haffner” Symphony. Concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef and NSO Principal Viola Daniel Foster showcase virtuosity in their respective instruments playing the Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola, and Principal Bassoon Sue Heineman shines in the Bassoon Concerto.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Mozart Forever II

Jun 18 - Jun 19, 2019

Nathalie Stutzmann continues the NSO’s celebration of Mozart in a concert with opens with the dramatic Overture to Don Giovanni. The program will also contain Mozart’s Symphonies No. 25 and 40, as well as his Horn Concerto No. 4 featuring NSO Principal Horn Abel Pereira.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Mozart Forever III

Jun 21 - Jun 22, 2019

The NSO concludes its Mozart Forever series with a program led by Nathalie Stutzmann that includes the glorious “Jupiter” symphony and the famous Overture to The Magic Flute. The concert will also feature Principal Musicians Aaron Goldman and Adriana Horne in the Concerto for Flute and Harp.

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