The Kennedy Center

National Symphony Orchestra

Featured this season 2

Upcoming Events


NSO at Wolf Trap: Emil de Cou, conductor / Jaws In Concert

Sat, Jul 21, 2018, 8:30 PM

Join us at Wolf Trap for a screening of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws as the National Symphony Orchestra performs the iconic score.
Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.


NSO at Wolf Trap: Emil de Cou, conductor / Casino Royale in Concert (film with orchestra)

Sun, Jul 22, 2018, 8:30 PM

Film Concerts Live! proudly presents Casino Royale in Concert, produced in association with EON Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios (MGM). 
Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.


NSO at Wolf Trap: Leonard Bernstein at 100 / Michael Barrett, conductor

Fri, Jul 27, 2018, 8:15 PM

Luminaries from the worlds of musical theater, dance, and classical music join forces to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of American musical icon Leonard Bernstein.
Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.


NSO at Wolf Trap:The Best of Wagner's Ring / Patrick Summers, conductor

Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 8:15 PM

A quartet of Wolf Trap Opera alumni and internationally renowned singers join with the National Symphony Orchestra to perform the most memorable and exhilarating moments from Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle.
Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.


NSO National Trustees' NSO Summer Music Institute Orchestra

Sun, Jul 29, 2018, 6:00 PM

These free concerts mark the first public performances of the orchestral portion of the 2018 Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra's four-week festival of orchestral and chamber music for young people ages 15 to 20. 


NSO at Wolf Trap: Verdi's Rigoletto / Grant Gershon, conductor

Fri, Aug 3, 2018, 8:15 PM

This year’s grand opera at the Filene Center tells the tale of a father whose fierce desire to protect his daughter leads to a tragic quest for revenge. 
Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.


NSO at Wolf Trap: Emil de Cou, conductor / Hanson String Theory

Sat, Aug 4, 2018, 8:15 PM

Fueled by a drive to create great art, inspire connection, and cultivate community, pop rock trio Hanson has been entertaining audiences for more than 25 years.
Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.


NSO Pops: Star Wars: A New Hope (film with live orchestra)

Sep 12 - Sep 15, 2018

Experience the classic original film in the Concert Hall! Join Luke, Leia, and Han Solo on their epic journey as the NSO’s performance of John Williams's Oscar®-winning score takes the music to new heights, from the bustling Cantina scene to the foreboding trumpets echoing Darth Vader’s first appearance.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Season Opening Gala Concert

Sat, Sep 22, 2018, 7:00 PM

Joshua Bell is internationally renowned as “one of the most imaginative, technically gifted, and altogether extraordinary violinists of our time” (The Washington Post). This year, he joins Music Director Gianandrea Noseda to officially open the NSO’s new season.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Noseda conducts Pictures from an Exhibition

Sep 27 - Sep 29, 2018

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda conducts a program of music inspired by the visual arts including Rachmaninoff’s The Isle of the Dead, Respighi’s Trittico botticelliano, and Musorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky's Fifth & Ax plays Mozart

Oct 4 - Oct 6, 2018

Hear beloved pianist Emanuel Ax, renowned for his poetic performances, in Mozart’s popular Piano Concerto No. 17 in a program conducted by John Storgårds that also features Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and a work by Silvestrov.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto

Oct 11 - Oct 13, 2018

NSO Conductor Laureate Christoph Eschenbach returns to lead a program of Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage along with his Violin Concerto, featuring dynamic violinist Ray Chen. The concert will conclude with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral.”

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The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works of Dvořák, R. Strauss & Brahms

Sun, Oct 14, 2018, 2:00 PM

In its vibrant first concert of the season, the ensemble of NSO musicians plays Dvořák’s Terzetto in C major, Strauss’s Metamorphosen, and Brahms’s String Quintet in F major.

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NSO Pops: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (film with live orchestra)

Oct 23 - Oct 25, 2018

The National Symphony Orchestra presents John Williams’s iconic Oscar®-nominated score fromThe Empire Strikes Back performed live along with the full feature film.

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NSO Pops: Andrew Bird with Gabriel Kahane

Oct 26 - Oct 27, 2018

Renowned as a “one-man orchestra of the imagination,” versatile singer/songwriter and classically trained violinist Andrew Bird joins the NSO as part of his national tour performing with indie musician Gabriel Kahane. In his Kennedy Center debut, Bird masters delicately layered pop melodies with nuanced creative genius in innovative orchestrations of his songs conceived by Kahane.

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NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular

Sun, Oct 28

An annual tradition! The Concert Hall transforms into a ghostly sight when the NSO performs new and old classics to celebrate Halloween, which this year also marks the Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) with our ghoulishly attired musicians. Arrive early for trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Age 5+

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National Symphony Orchestra: Gaffigan conducts Russian Masterpieces

Nov 1 - Nov 3, 2018

Acclaimed American conductor James Gaffigan returns to lead a program of Russian masterworks including Prokofiev’s Third Symphony and Khachaturian’s Suite from Masquerade. Charismatic pianist Simon Trpceski will play Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2, a piece famously written for the composer’s son.

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National Symphony Orchestra: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3

Nov 15 - Nov 17, 2018

Denis Kozhukhin makes his NSO debut in Rachmaninoff’s striking third Piano Concerto in a program conducted by Carlos Miguel Prieto from Mexico. The concert will also feature Copland’s El Salón México and Revueltas’ La noche de los Mayas, pieces both closely associated with Prieto's birthplace of Mexico.

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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.

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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 ground-breaking Mahler’s First Symphony. The NSO will also premiere a new work by Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates.

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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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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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NSO Pops: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (film with live orchestra)

Jan 22 - Jan 24, 2019

The National Symphony Orchestra presents John Williams’s iconic Oscar®-nominated score from Return of the Jedi performed live along with the full feature film.

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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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The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works of Hindemith, Respighi, Lutosławski & Schubert

Sun, Feb 3, 2019, 2:00 PM

The Kennedy Center Chamber Players return to play works by Respighi, Schubert, Lutoslawski, and Hindemith.

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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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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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NSO Pops: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (film with live orchestra)

Feb 21 - Feb 23, 2019

The National Symphony Orchestra presents John Williams’s iconic Oscar®-nominated score from The Force Awakens performed live along with the full feature film.

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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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National Symphony Orchestra: Glass's Itaipu & Auerbach's ARCTICA

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, and 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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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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The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works of Loeffler, Shostakovich & Brahms

Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 2:00 PM

In their Spring concert, the ensemble of NSO musicians present a varied program of music by Loeffler, Shostakovich, and Brahms.

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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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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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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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The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works of Poulenc, Penderecki & Beethoven

Sun, Jun 2, 2019, 2:00 PM

In their last concert of the season, The Kennedy Center Chamber Players will play an eclectic program of Poulenc and Penderecki, concluding with Beethoven’s Serenade for Flute, Violin, and Viola in D major.

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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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