The Kennedy Center

Classical Music

Featured this season 2

Upcoming Events

National Symphony Orchestra: Renée Fleming sings Schubert

Jan 18 - Jan 20, 2019

At the mention of Renée Fleming's name, many of us can recall the first time we heard her interpret the great opera, classical, and contemporary repertoire. In a thrilling all-Schubert program, the internationally celebrated soprano joins NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda for the first time. 

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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.
Update on 12/28: Please see ticket note below.

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CPAA Productions Ltd Presents Image China: Xuanzang's Pilgrimage

Jan 25 - Jan 27, 2019

China Performing Arts Agency brings the U.S. premiere of Xuanzang's Pilgrimage to the Kennedy Center Opera House in January 2019.

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

Jan 31 - Feb 2, 2019

Brilliant Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov—Musical America’s 2019 Artist of the Year—marks his very first collaboration with Music Director Gianandrea Noseda and the NSO with Beethoven’s most famous piano concerto, the triumphant Fifth.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Schumann’s Piano Concerto / Noseda conducts Brahms and Liszt

Feb 7 - Feb 9, 2019

Arguably the composer’s most popular work, Schumann’s dynamic and colorful Piano Concerto gets the grand treatment when NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda welcomes American pianist Nicholas Angelich in his NSO debut.  

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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

Over Valentine’s Day weekend, the NSO Music Director conducts a richly romantic program, in which the cornerstone event is an orchestral suite from Berlioz’s soaring Romeo & Juliet inspired by Shakespeare’s tale of young, doomed love. 

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NSO DECLASSIFIED: A Valentine's Concert with Gianandrea Noseda & special appearance by Ben Folds

Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 9:00 PM

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda leads a colorful DECLASSIFIED concert inspired by love and passion in honor of Valentine’s Day! NSO Artistic Advisor Ben Folds joins Noseda, the Orchestra, and talented soloists for this program that includes music from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette, Puccini’s La bohème, and three songs by Ben Folds himself.

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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! Tap into your imagination and be transported from the Concert Hall to outer space with music from Star Trek and a new NSO Commission from Oscar®-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Star Trek trilogy, Star Wars: Rogue One, numerous Pixar films), Also sprach Zarathustra (the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey), and more.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Shaham & Mozart

Feb 28 - Mar 2, 2019

“One of today’s preeminent violinists” (The New York Times), Grammy® winner Gil Shaham brings his flawless technique and inimitable spirit to Mozart’s formidable Fifth Violin Concerto, a work of dramatic scope and electrifying imagination.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Eschenbach returns with Glorious Bruckner /  Acclaimed cellist Kian Soltani plays Haydin

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

Ton Koopman is a champion of baroque music, conducting the world's top orchestras in performances and on recordings. Experience his "sublime" artistry (NY Times) with the NSO in colorful program of 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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Music Celebrations International Presents  2019 John Philip Sousa Band Festival

Sun, Mar 24, 2019, 2:00 PM

A Music Festival tribute to Bandmaster and Composer, John Philip Sousa, “The March King,” featuring bands from across the United States.

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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World Projects Corporation presents Washington, D.C. International Music Festival 2019

Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 8:00 PM

World Projects Corporation brings its 2019 Washington, D.C. International Music Festival back to the Concert Hall stage.

On Sale 2/1/2019

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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