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The Kennedy Center

National Symphony Orchestra: 2017-2018 Season

Preview 2017 - 2018 Season

NSO Pops: West Side Story in Concert (Pops Concert)

Wed., Feb 14 - Sat., Feb 17 2018

Francesca Zambello, Director
Corey Cott, Tony
Eric Sean Fogel, Assistant Director
Mark McCullough, Visual Designer
Solea Pfeiffer, Maria
Ephraim Sykes, Riff
Joel Perez, Bernardo


Celebrate Leonard Bernstein's beloved updated interpretation of Romeo & Juliet in a thrilling performance by the NSO, joined by a full cast of favorites from Broadway and more, and specially staged for the Concert Hall experience by a visionary creative team.

NSO Family Concert: Let's Remix the Classix! (Family Concert)

Sun., Feb 18 2018

Learn the language of music with a fresh twist as the NSO reunites with Grammy®-nominated beatboxer and multi-instrumentalist Christylez Bacon and wildly original electric cellist/composer Wytold for a crash course in the fundamentals of remixing! Age 5+

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Two Divas and a Bear (Family Concert)

Sun., Mar 04 2018

Join NSO violinist Marissa Regni, soprano Kari Paludan, and everyone's favorite stuffed animal as they explore the human voice along with the voice of the violin! Age 3+

Bill Murray, Jan Vogler & Friends: New Worlds (Classical Concert)

Sun., Mar 04 2018 8:00 PM

The acclaimed actor and renowned cellist team up to showcase core American values in literature and music. Murray brings his wit and charm to classic songs, prose, and poetry by Twain, Hemingway, Whitman, Bernstein, Gershwin, Foster, and more in dialogue with Vogler’s transfixing Stradivari cello. 

NSO Pops: Black Violin (Pops Concert)

Wed., Apr 04 2018 8:00 PM

Violinist Kevin Sylvester (“Kev Marcus”) and violist Wilner Baptiste (“Wil B”) join the NSO to showcase their dynamic music style bridging Hip Hop beats and lyrical melodies with classical instrumentation and searing technique. Age 5+

National Symphony Orchestra (part of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras) (Classical Concert)

Sat., Apr 14 2018 8:00 PM

Gianandrea Noseda


New NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda conducts an all-Russian program dedicated to the memory of Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who was scheduled to perform as a soloist at this concert but passed away in November 2017. 

NSO Music for Young Audiences: The String Thing (Family Concert)

Sat., Apr 21 - Sun., Apr 22 2018

A “silent” comedic tag-team—bassist Paul DeNola and violinist Heather LeDoux Green—takes a break from the NSO to introduce young audiences to some of the greatest music ever written in a hilarious program of music and mayhem. Age 3+

NSO Family Concert: Young People's Concert with Ben Folds (Family Concert)

Sun., Apr 29 2018

In the spirit of a concert series made popular by Leonard Bernstein at Carnegie Hall, new NSO Artistic Advisor Ben Folds hosts this enlightening music-filled performance for children and families, with special guests to be announced. 

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Brass of Peace (Family Concert)

Sat., May 19 2018

Comprised of 13 D.C.-area high school students, one of the city’s finest young brass ensembles joins retired NSO hornist Sylvia Alimena to teach audiences all about how this family of instruments makes music out of metal and wind. Age 3+

DECLASSIFIED: Selections from Bach with the National Symphony Orchestra / Gianandrea Noseda, conductor (Classical Concert)

Fri., May 18 2018 9:00 PM

James Ehnes


Gianandrea Noseda, the NSO's new music director, leads an abbreviated DECLASSIFIED concert featuring selected Bach works with violinist James Ehnes. The evening will also include pre- and post-concert activities.

NSO Pops: Space, the Next Frontier  (Pops Concert)

Fri., Jun 01 - Sat., Jun 02 2018

Explore the sights and sounds of deep space and the music, art, and fiction that it has inspired as the NSO and NASA present a celebration of science fact and fiction in honor of NASA’s 60th anniversary.

National Symphony Orchestra: Eschenbach conducts Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony / Walton's Viola Concerto (Classical Concert)

Thu., Jun 07 - Sat., Jun 09 2018

Christoph Eschenbach
Daniel Foster


The first of Christoph Eschenbach's trio of programs concluding the NSO's classical season includes R. Strauss' Potpourri from The Silent Woman and Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony. The program also features NSO Principal Viola Daniel Foster in Walton's Viola Concerto.

National Symphony Orchestra: Eschenbach conducts Beethoven's Fourth Symphony / Mozart's Oboe Concerto (Classical Concert)

Tue., Jun 12 - Wed., Jun 13 2018

Christoph Eschenbach
Nicholas Stovall


Christoph Eschenbach's second program of his late-season trio includes Beethoven's splendid Symphony No. 4, Mozart's fascinating Oboe Concerto featuring NSO Principal Oboe Nick Stovall, and overtures to Rossini's William Tell and Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

National Symphony Orchestra: Eschenbach conducts Haydn's "Oxford" Symphony / R. Strauss's First Horn Concerto (Classical Concert)

Fri., Jun 15 - Sat., Jun 16 2018

Christoph Eschenbach
Abel Pereira


Christoph Eschenbach concludes the NSO's classical season with a program of Haydn's exuberant "Oxford" Symphony, plus Mozart's A Little Night Music, Wagner's Prelude to The Mastersingers of Nuremberg, and R. Strauss' Horn Concerto No. 1 featuring NSO Principal Horn Abel Pereira.

NSO Pops: Audra McDonald (Pops Concert)

Tue., Jun 19 2018 8:00 PM

As beloved on Broadway and opera stages as she is in her roles in film and on television, iconic singer and actress Audra McDonald joins the NSO for an exquisite selection of her favorite music.

NSO Pops: Melissa Etheridge (Pops Concert)

Fri., Jun 22 - Sat., Jun 23 2018

Melissa Etheridge brings her raw, expressive voice and powerhouse guitar prowess to the Concert Hall for a sampling of heartfelt hits from her groundbreaking career.

NSO Pops: A Night of Jazz with Gregory Porter (Pops Concert)

Wed., Jun 27 2018 8:00 PM

An artist whose music is at once timeless yet utterly of its time, Gregory Porter returns for an exciting evening of jazz.

BEN FOLDS PRESENTS. Part of the National Symphony Orchestra's DECLASSIFIED concert series. (Classical Concert)

Fri., Jun 29 2018 9:00 PM

Ben Folds presents another in his special series of unique live concert experiences, produced by Folds, that feature artists from multiple genres sharing the spotlight with the NSO to perform their hits, as well as new music. Featured artists will be announced at a later date.