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The Kennedy Center

National Symphony Orchestra: 2018-2019 Season

Preview 2018 - 2019 Season

NSO Pops: A Holiday Pops! Under the Mistletoe with Ashley Brown (Pops Concert)

Fri., Dec 14 - Sat., Dec 15 2018

Steven Reineke
Ashley Brown


Warm your spirit with fresh takes on comforting classics in this singalong tradition with the NSO and The Washington Chorus, a perfect holiday treat for the entire family! Join us in the festively decorated Concert Hall for this year’s program that welcomes musical theater darling Ashley Brown—originator of the title role in Mary Poppins on Broadway—in her NSO debut.

National Symphony Orchestra: Handel's Messiah (Classical Concert)

Thu., Dec 20 - Sun., Dec 23 2018

Music for Young Audiences: Timbalooloo Live (Family Concert)

Wed., Dec 26 - Mon., Dec 31 2018

Explore the thrilling language of instruments! Grammy Award®–winning clarinetist and composer Oran Etkin and his band use games, stories, songs, and movement to teach children rich musical and cultural heritage. Age 3+

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

Tue., Jan 22 - Thu., 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.

NSO Pops: An Evening with Brandy (Pops Concert)

Fri., Jan 25 - Sat., Jan 26 2019

Following her acclaimed Broadway debut and Kennedy Center engagement as Roxie Hart in the Tony®-winning revival of Chicago, Brandy is the latest entertainer to join the NSO in exploring fascinating connections between R&B and symphony, following the likes of Ledisi, Boyz II Men, Fantasia, and many others. In her first collaboration with a live orchestra, the multi-platinum, Grammy®-winning singer/actress performs favorites from her iconic career.

The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works of Hindemith, Respighi, Lutosławski & Schubert (Classical Concert)

Sun., Feb 03 2019 2:00 PM

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

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

Thu., Feb 21 - Sat., 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.

NSO Family Concert: Let's Go to the Moon! (Classical Concert)

Sun., Feb 24 2019

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.

National Symphony Orchestra: Glass's Itaipu & Auerbach's ARCTICA (part of DIRECT CURRENT) (Classical Concert)

Thu., Mar 28 - Sat., 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.

NSO Family Concert: Symphonic Storytelling: TheTravels of Babar (Classical Concert)

Sun., Apr 07 2019

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.

The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works of Loeffler, Shostakovich & Brahms (Classical Concert)

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.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Break it Down! (Family Concert)

Sat., Apr 27 - Sun., Apr 28 2019

This energetic program delights in dissecting parts of music and musical instruments. Children will be amazed by the way instruments from the wind and percussion families are taken apart and put back together again. Age 3+

NSO Pops: An Evening with Leslie Odom Jr. (Pops Concert)

Wed., May 01 - Fri., May 03 2019

Leslie Odom Jr.'s remarkable talents continue to inspire audiences across the globe, from his Tony®-winning role in Hamilton to singing “America the Beautiful” at the 2018 Super Bowl™. In his first collaboration with the NSO, he returns to the Kennedy Center with a sensational program combining Broadway and jazz classics, including songs from Rent, Spring Awakening, and a tribute to Nat King Cole.

The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works of Poulenc, Penderecki & Beethoven (Classical Concert)

Sun., Jun 02 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.

NSO Pops: 50 Years Over the Rainbow: A Judy Garland Celebration (Pops Concert)

Fri., Jun 28 - Sat., Jun 29 2019

Marking half a century to the week since the entertainment world lost one of its greatest treasures, the NSO and a trio of exceptional singers remember the immortal music and extraordinary cultural impact of Judy Garland—star of The Wizard of Oz, Easter Parade, Meet Me in St. Louis, A Star Is Born, and countless more.