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The Kennedy Center

The National Symphony Orchestra Season Opening Gala 
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Earl W. and Amanda Stafford, Chairs

The 2017 NSO Season Opening Gala will take place on Sunday, September 24 and will celebrate the beginning of Gianandrea Noseda’s tenure as the National Symphony Orchestra’s new Music Director.  Maestro Noseda is one of the world’s most dynamic and charismatic conductors, and his arrival promises to spark unprecedented interest and excitement in the NSO. 

The evening will begin with an elegant cocktail reception on the Kennedy Center’s scenic River Terrace.  This will be followed by a gala performance in the Concert Hall showcasing the music of beloved American composer Leonard Bernstein.  For this thrilling concert, Noseda and the NSO will welcome the world-renowned superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Tony®-winning sensation Cynthia Erivo to perform some of Bernstein’s most famous works, including the Overture to Candide, "Three Meditations" from Mass, "Symphonic Dances" from West Side Story, and a selection of vocal works.   

Following the concert, guests will be invited into a grand pavilion on the Kennedy Center North Plaza for Notte di Carnevale, an Italian Carnival-themed dinner and reception with Noseda, guest artists, and NSO musicians.  Notte di Carnevale will engage guests like never before, offering a delicious dinner menu curated by to be announced celebrity chef, as well as fun, interactive, multi-sensory experiences such as street performers, Italian dessert stations, Italian wine tasting, and more.  In addition, the Notte di Carnevale will also include a special performance by a popular artist to be announced.  

The NSO Season Opening Gala regularly attracts executives from Fortune 500 companies, members of Congress and other government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, and philanthropic leaders from across the nation.  It is the perfect opportunity for corporate and individual hospitality, and all proceeds from the evening go to support the Orchestra’s many artistic, educational, and community engagement programs throughout the year.

The fundraising goal for this year’s event is $1.5 million, and your support is critical to reaching that ambitious target. 

If you would like more information on the NSO Season Opening Gala, please call (202) 416-8102 or e-mail us.

Download a copy of the sponsorship benefits and registration form.

Now is the time to mark your calendars for this remarkable and extraordinary celebration!

Photo Gallery


  • Yo-Yo Ma

    Yo-Yo Ma

  • Cynthia Erivo

    Cynthia Erivo

  • Gianandrea Noseda

    Gianandrea Noseda