Classical Music


NSO Messiah

National Symphony Orchestra: Handel's Messiah

Dec 15 - Dec 18, 2016

Get in the holiday spirit with Handel's epic masterpiece, performed each year with a fresh perspective by the NSO. This year, Laurence Cummings conducts four gifted singers and the University of Maryland Concert Choir in this NSO tradition.

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The Kennedy Center

Messiah Sing-Along

Fri, Dec 23, 2016, 6:00 PM

The Kennedy Center's Messiah Sing-Along, a family and community tradition since 1971, returns to the Concert Hall on Friday evening, December 23, at a new start time of 6 p.m. Ticket distribution begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Hall of Nations.


Mark Elder

National Symphony Orchestra: Stravinsky's The Firebird / Ravel's "Left Hand" Concerto

Jan 12 - Jan 14, 2017

Stravinsky's The Firebird and Rimsky-Korsakov's Legend of the Invisible City Suite bookend the season's first folklore-inspired program. Sir Mark Elder also conducts pianist Jeremy Denk in Ravel's "Left Hand" Concerto.

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Shen Yun in January 2017

Shen Yun Performing Arts 2017: Experience a Divine Culture: presented by Falun Dafa Association of Washington, D.C.

Jan 17 - Jan 22, 2017

Shen Yun Performing Arts, the world's premier classical Chinese dance and music company originating from America, invites you to experience a grand performance of Chinese arts and culture from the Middle Kingdom.

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Gianandrea Noseda

National Symphony Orchestra: Portraits of America / Gianandrea Noseda, conductor

Jan 19 - Jan 22, 2017

The NSO's next Music Director joins "insightful [and] energetic" (The New York Times) pianist Jon Kimura Parker for a celebration of America's musical landscape featuring works by Gershwin, Bernstein, John Williams, and more.

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The Kennedy Center

Washington Performing Arts presents The Philadelphia Orchestra / Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 8:00 PM

The legendary Philadelphia Orchestra returns under the baton of its new music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, with guest Louis Lortie playing Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1.

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The Kennedy Center

38th Young Concert Artists Series presents: Zorá String Quartet

Wed, Jan 25, 2017, 7:30 PM

Young Concert Artists brings the Zorá String Quartet to the Family Theater for a program of Mozart, Webern, and Shostakovich.

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Gidon Kremer

National Symphony Orchestra: Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony / Kremer plays Weinberg - part of A Salute to Slava

Jan 26 - Jan 28, 2017

In a celebration of the artistic legacy of late former NSO Music Director Mstislav Rostropovich, Christoph Eschenbach conducts Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony and Gidon Kremer in Weinberg's Violin Concerto--both celebrated works by Slava's dear friends.

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John Adams

Mason Bates's KC Jukebox: Ravishment

Mon, Jan 30, 2017, 7:30 PM

Step into a dreamlike world with Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates and a cadre of skilled artists for hot-off-the-press chamber music, anchored by a string quartet from the trailblazing John Adams, in celebration of the Pulitzer Prize–winning composer's 70th birthday.

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Christoph Eschenbach

National Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven's Eighth Symphony / Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings

Feb 2 - Feb 4, 2017

Christoph Eschenbach conducts Beethoven's Eighth Symphony and Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings on a program that also features NSO Principal Trombone Craig Mulcahy in the orchestra's first performances of Christopher Rouse's Trombone Concerto.

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DECLASSIFIED: Rhymes and Rhythms Poetry Collective

DECLASSIFIED: Rhymes and Rhythms Poetry Collective with the National Symphony Orchestra

Fri, Feb 3, 2017, 9:00 PM

When poetry and music meet, magnificent things can happen. Join us for a unique evening of sound and spoken word featuring electric cellist Wytold and hip hop poet Christylez Bacon.

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Muhai Tang

Lunar New Year at the Kennedy Center: Beijing Symphony Orchestra / Muhai Tang, conductor

Mon, Feb 6, 2017, 8:00 PM

The Kennedy Center's Lunar New Year Celebration--for 2017, ringing in the Year of the Rooster--culminates with one of China's most internationally acclaimed orchestras. This fascinating program features Chinese orchestral works plus a special orchestration of Mahler's Song of the Earth to include traditional Chinese instruments.

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The Kennedy Center

Washington Performing Arts presents Joshua Bell, violin and Sam Haywood, piano

Fri, Feb 10, 2017, 8:00 PM

Superstar American violinist Joshua Bell performs with pianist Sam Haywood in a recital program that includes a reading of Robert Frost's poem "Dedication," written for President Kennedy's inauguration.

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Joshua Bell

National Symphony Orchestra: An Evening with Joshua Bell

Sat, Feb 11, 2017, 8:00 PM

Joshua Bell, "the greatest American violinist active today" (The Boston Herald), plays and conducts in this program exploring both music and movement, culminating in Lalo's Symphonie espagnole played alongside a world premiere dance performance by the Brooklyn–based ensemble Dance Heginbotham.

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Hilary Hahn

National Symphony Orchestra: Hahn plays Mendelssohn / Strauss, Janácek & Dvorák

Feb 16 - Feb 18, 2017

Hilary Hahn brings her "warm tone, stunning technique, and flawless intonation" (The Wall Street Journal) to Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. Conducted by Cornelius Meister, the program also features fantasy-influenced works by Dvorák, Janácek, and Richard Strauss.

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The Kennedy Center

Music Celebrations International presents: Capital Orchestra Festival 2017

Mon, Feb 20, 2017, 2:00 PM

Free tickets to the 2017 Capital Orchestra Festival concert by three American student orchestras are available from the Presenter only. Please see further details below.


Victor Gama

Mason Bates's KC Jukebox: Music & Instruments of Victor Gama

Wed, Feb 22, 2017, 8:00 PM

The renowned composer and instrument builder brings his unique vision to KC Jukebox for an exciting performance including a piece informed by his upbringing in Angola, performed on an array of beautifully constructed instruments.

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The Kennedy Center

Washington Performing Arts presents St. Petersburg Philharmonic / Yuri Temirkanov, music director

Mon, Feb 27, 2017, 8:00 PM

The eminent St. Petersburg Philharmonic and guest soloist Nikolai Lugansky offer an all-Russian program of Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich. 

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Jaap van Zweden

National Symphony Orchestra: Brahms's Second Symphony / Shostakovich's First Violin Concerto

Mar 2 - Mar 4, 2017

Equipped with a "piercingly beautiful" tone (Chicago Tribune), violinist Simone Lamsma makes her NSO debut in Shostakovich's First Violin Concerto. Conducted by Jaap van Zweden, the program also includes Brahms's Symphony No. 2.

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Alisa Weilerstein

National Symphony Orchestra: Weilerstein plays Shostakovich / Schubert's Ninth Symphony - part of A Salute to Slava

Mar 9 - Mar 11, 2017

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein returns in Shostakovich's First Cello Concerto, a work written for late former NSO Music Director Mstislav Rostropovich. Led by NSO Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, the program also includes Schubert's Ninth Symphony and Tobias Picker's Old and Lost Rivers.

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Christoph Eschenbach

National Symphony Orchestra: Bruckner's First Symphony / Mozart's Third Violin Concerto

Mar 16 - Mar 18, 2017

Christoph Eschenbach conducts Bruckner's titanic First Symphony on a program that also features NSO Concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef in Mozart's celebrated Third Violin Concerto.

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Boulder Phil at Macky Auditorium

SHIFT A Festival of American Orchestras: Boulder Philharmonic

Tue, Mar 28, 2017, 8:00 PM

"Nature and Music" is this program's theme, inspired by Boulder's natural beauty and an example of how the orchestra responds to its location. The concert features a multimedia commission commemorating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

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North Carolina Symphon

SHIFT A Festival of American Orchestras: North Carolina Symphony

Wed, Mar 29, 2017, 8:00 PM

The orchestra offers an innovative program, deeply evocative of North Carolina, represented in particular by four composers with ties to the state: Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Mason Bates, and Robert Ward.

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Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

SHIFT A Festival of American Orchestras: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Fri, Mar 31, 2017, 8:00 PM

ASO presents "Creation/ Creator" by Christopher Theofanidis, a theatrical and multimedia oratorio featuring soloists, a 180-piece choir, and a full orchestra. The work explores creation and the creative process using texts from a wide range of sources.

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The Knights

SHIFT A Festival of American Orchestras: The Knights

Sat, Apr 1, 2017, 8:00 PM

This deeply collaborative and creative chamber orchestra from Brooklyn brings a program featuring the San Francisco Girls Chorus along with works by Brahms, Vivaldi, Aaron Jay Kernis, an original commission by Lisa Bielawa, and a work created by the orchestra.

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The Kennedy Center

Washington Performing Arts presents Daniil Trifonov, piano

Tue, Apr 4, 2017, 8:00 PM

Exciting young Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov returns to Washington, D.C. in a recital program of Schubert, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky.

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James Conlon

National Symphony Orchestra: Prokofiev's Piano Concerto / Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony - part of A Salute to Slava

Apr 6 - Apr 8, 2017

James Conlon conducts three cherished works by long-time colleagues and collaborators of former late NSO Music Director Mstislav Rostropovich: Prokofiev's First Piano Concerto featuring the NSO debut of Lise de la Salle, Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony, and selections from Britten's Peter Grimes.

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The Kennedy Center

Washington Performing Arts presents Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin and Lambert Orkis, piano

Sat, Apr 8, 2017, 3:00 PM

World-acclaimed violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter returns to the Concert Hall, in recital with her longtime duet partner, NSO keyboardist Lambert Orkis.

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Sergey Khachatryan

National Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven's Violin Concerto

Apr 20 - Apr 22, 2017

Cristian Macelaru conducts Beethoven's Violin Concerto featuring the return of Sergey Khachatryan. The program also includes works by Smetana and Sibelius, plus an electronica-influenced piece from Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates.

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Zakir Hussain

DECLASSIFIED: featuring Zakir Hussain with the National Symphony Orchestra

Fri, Apr 21, 2017, 9:00 PM

Classical tabla virtuoso and international phenomenon Hussain performs his new concerto Peshkar with the NSO and is joined by santoor player Rahul Sharma for a unique world music duet.

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The Kennedy Center

The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents Mozart: Requiem, K. 626

Sun, Apr 23, 2017, 5:00 PM

The Choral Arts' Concert Hall season closes with a trio of choral works by Bach, Jake Runestad (a world premiere commission) and the Mozart Requiem.

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Chanticleer

Mason Bates's KC Jukebox: Chanticleer

Tue, May 2, 2017, 8:00 PM

Hailed as "the world's reigning male chorus" by the New Yorker, the Grammy–winning a cappella ensemble performs the world premiere of a new Kennedy Center co-commission from Mason, in addition to works by a range of contemporary luminaries.

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Gustavo Gimeno

National Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite / Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade

May 11 - May 13, 2017

Gustavo Gimeno leads the last fantasy-inspired program of the season, pairing Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite with Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. Organist Paul Jacobs returns in the D.C. premiere of Christopher Rouse's Organ Concerto.

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The Washington Chorus presents Orff's Carmina Burana & Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex

The Washington Chorus presents Orff's Carmina Burana & Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex

Sun, May 14, 2017, 5:00 PM

The Washington Chorus joins forces with other DC-area choruses and NOVUS NY to present two of the 20th century's iconic vocal masterpieces, Carmina Burana and Oedipus Rex. 

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Thievery Corporation

Mason Bates's KC Jukebox: Thievery Corporation

Mon, May 15

This D.C.-based duo performs its own bossa nova-inspired music plus new arrangements from today's leading young composers. Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates kicks off the evening with an instrumental/electronica work.

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Ton Koopman

National Symphony Orchestra: Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 / Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks

May 18 - May 20, 2017

Conductor Ton Koopman makes his NSO subscription concert debut on a program of Baroque favorites including J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 and Orchestral Suite No. 3 as well as Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks and Concerto a due cori No. 3.

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Yo-Yo Ma

National Symphony Orchestra: John F. Kennedy Centennial Celebration with Yo-Yo Ma

Wed, May 24, 2017, 8:00 PM

World-renowned cellist and Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor at Large Yo-Yo Ma joins the NSO for a concert celebration of John F. Kennedy's monumental legacy that also features a new commission from Mason Bates.

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Christoph Eschenbach

National Symphony Orchestra: Mahler's Second Symphony

Jun 1 - Jun 3, 2017

Christoph Eschenbach conducts Mahler's transformative "Resurrection" Symphony featuring the return of mezzo-soprano Nathalie Stutzmann, the NSO debut of soprano Golda Schultz, and The Washington Chorus.

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Alice Sara Ott

National Symphony Orchestra: Ott plays Tchaikovsky / Rachmaninoff's Third Symphony

Jun 8 - Jun 10, 2017

Hailed by The Telegraph as "the hottest new talent in classical music," Alice Sara Ott returns in Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto. Edo de Waart also conducts Rachmaninoff's Third Symphony and Mason Bates's Garages of the Valley.

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Christoph Eschenbach

National Symphony Orchestra: Christoph Eschenbach conducts Beethoven's Ninth Symphony

Jun 15 - Jun 17, 2017

In his final program as NSO Music Director, Christoph Eschenbach conducts a program that includes Beethoven's unforgettable Ninth Symphony--the masterwork that began his tenure.

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National Symphony Orchestra: DECLASSIFIED: Fridays at 9: Ben Folds plays his piano concerto

DECLASSIFIED: Ben Folds Presents with the National Symphony Orchestra

Fri, Jun 30, 2017, 9:00 PM

The Kennedy Center favorite curates and hosts a special evening of exquisite and inspired music featuring exciting guest artists to be announced.

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