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The National Symphony Orchestra
Chris Eschenbach

Christoph Eschenbach

Music Director

Christoph Eschenbach, music director of both the National Symphony Orchestra and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is in great demand by the finest orchestras and opera houses the world over. 2012-2013 marks his third season with both organizations.

Recent Highlights

Recent highlights have included a series of Schubert lieder recitals with baritone Matthias Goerne, with performances in Paris, Washington, and Los Angeles, among other major music centers; a tour with the Vienna Philharmonic encompassing Australia and Asia, and an intense group of programs in the Kennedy Center's The Music of Budapest, Prague, and Vienna that saw him performing two full recitals at the piano and conducting 12 performances in three weeks.

He continues relationships with the Ravinia and Tanglewood Festivals, the orchestras of Boston and Philadelphia, the London Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, and Orchestre de Paris, among others.

Conductor and Pianist

A prolific recording artist over five decades, Christoph Eschenbach has an impressive discography as both a conductor and a pianist on a number of prominent labels. His first recording with the National Symphony was released in 2011 on the Ondine label, Remembering JFK. His previous recordings include works ranging from J.S. Bach to music of our time, and have been recognized with BBC Magazine's Disc of the Month, Gramophone's Editors' Choice, German Record Critics' Award, and 2009 MIDEM Classical Award in Contemporary Music. A particular highlight of his discography is his series of Schubert lieder recorded with the distinguished baritone Matthias Goerne, currently in process of being released. Also of note is his recording and filming of the full cycle of Mahler symphonies, available on his web site for free streaming.

He continues to mentor gifted young performers, and works regularly with the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra. In the U.S. he works with various university students, and offers rehearsal opportunities to the students of the NSO's Youth Fellowship Program, side-by-side with the Orchestra, as well.

Arabella Steinbacher


German violinist Arabella Steinbacher has firmly established herself as one of today's leading violinists on the international concert scene, performing with the world's major orchestras. Ms. Steinbacher's career was launched in 2004 with an extraordinary and unexpected debut in Paris, when she stepped in on short notice for an ailing colleague and performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France conducted by Sir Neville Marriner. Her diverse and deep repertoire includes more than thirty concertos for violin. Among Ms. Steinbacher's numerous recording honors are 2 ECHO-Klassik Awards (considered to be the German equivalent of the Grammy) "Les Chocs du Mois" from Le Monde de la Musique, and two German Record Critics Awards as well as the prestigious Editors Choice Award from Gramophone magazine. Highlights of her current season include performances with the San Francisco, Boston, Sydney, São Paulo and Seattle Symphonies, Philharmonia Orchestra and Münchner Philharmoniker. Furthermore Ms. Steinbacher will perform with Orchestra National de France, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna Symphony and will make her debut with the New York Philharmonic under Joshua Weilerstein. Ms. Steinbacher currently plays the "Booth" Stradivari (1716) generously provided by the Nippon Music Foundation.

Tzimon Barto


Tzimon Barto had his international breakthrough in the mid-1980s when he appeared at Vienna's Musikverein and the Salzburg Festival at the invitation of Herbert von Karajan, and has since performed with nearly every internationally renowned orchestra. During his 25-year career he has often collaborated with conductor Christoph Eschenbach.

His recordings are numerous; after releases of works by Rameau and Ravel for the Ondine label, his most recent release is of selected Haydn sonatas, as well as a recording devoted to the works of Schumann, with Mr. Barto as soloist with the NDR Sinfonieorchester, and in piano duos with Christoph Eschenbach.

In 2006, his home town of Eustis, Florida, founded an international composition competition for solo piano called the "Barto Prize."

Mr. Barto speaks five languages fluently; reads ancient Greek, Latin and Hebrew; and is studying Mandarin Chinese. In addition to his career as a pianist, he is also a writer. His first book, a lady of Greek origin, was published in 2001, and recently re-published by Jan Oidium Press. A stage version was performed in Frankfurt and Vienna, and has been issued as a DVD by Oidium. Oidium Press also published a novel, Harold Flanders, in 2010.

Dan Zhu


Dan Zhu is quickly gaining world recognition. He performs regularly in North America, Europe, and Asia, and has appeared as soloist with l'Orchestre National de Belgique, National Symphony Orchestra of China, Hong Kong Philharmonic, l'Orchestre National d'Ile de France, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, l'Orchestre symphonique de Montreal, and l'Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with such artists as Philippe Entremont, Richard Goode, Paul Meyer, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, performing at Marlboro Festival (USA), Prades-Casals Festival, Festival Pont-Levoy, Festival de Giverny (France), and Spoleto Festival (Italy).