The Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center Announces 2018–2019

Season Highlights

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We’re pleased to announce the first round of programs for the Kennedy Center’s 2018-2019 Hip Hop Culture Season.

Led by Artistic Director for Hip Hop Culture Q-Tip, the upcoming season will not only continue to celebrate our history, but look to our future, highlighting powerful women, pivotal creatives, and events that capture the breadth and influence of the Culture today.

Hip Hop Culture


MC Lyte: Lyte as a Rock 30th Anniversary Concert (part of The Bridge Concert Series)

Fri, Sep 21 , 2018   8:00 PM

Grammy-nominated emcee MC Lyte takes it back to the beginning with a 30th anniversary celebration of her debut album Lyte as a Rock.


Roxanne Roxanne

Tue, Oct 9 , 2018   7:30 PM

From the producers of Fruitvale Station and Dope comes this Netflix film that chronicles the journey of Lolita “Roxanne Shanté” Gooden from a fierce teenage battle emcee to Hip Hop legend. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Kennedy Center Hip Hop Culture Council member and film producer Mimi Valdés, Roxanne Shanté, and more.


Maimouna Youssef (part of The Bridge Concert Series)

Sat, Oct 13 , 2018   7:30 PM

Baltimore born and D.C. raised, Maimouna Youssef is a global citizen, a musical healer, a cultural philanthropist, and a community pillar. Her latest project is already making its mark on the international music scene with her single “Shine Your Light"; she returns to the Kennedy Center for a one-night-only concert. 


Dance Party: Soul in the Horn with Natasha Diggs and DProsper

Sat, Oct 13 , 2018   9:00 PM

This NYC-based dance party, social gathering, and music showcase aims to bridge the gap between all music and culture, with events featuring horn-infused sounds from around the globe and sets played by world-renowned DJs and today's most innovative musicians.


Lyrics from Lockdown

Oct 18 - Oct 20, 2018

A critically acclaimed exposé of the ways race, class, power, and privilege shape prisons and policing in America, Lyrics from Lockdown is a story of survival that reveals how the justice system can radically change a young person’s life. In this one-man multimedia production, Bryonn Bain tells his own unbelievable true story by weaving together the voices of more than 40 characters. Each show is followed by a town hall dialogue.

The Kennedy Center

Hip Hop Listening Session: #LifeIn5 Edition

Wed, Oct 24 , 2018   7:30 PM

Drawing from the “Top 5” concept, participants create a collaboratively generated musical experience exploring the top five songs that tell their Hip Hop stories, facilitated by special guests and with a live soundtrack spun by one of today’s most exciting DJs.


Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop: Book Talk, Panel Discussion, and Signing

Fri, Nov 16 , 2018   7:30 PM

Journalist, author, and producer Vikki Tobak and special guests participate in a panel discussion celebrating Tobak’s new book, which takes readers on a chronological journey from old-school to alternative Hip Hop and from analog to digital photography.


SHAOLIN JAZZ: Can I Kick It? - The Warriors

Sat, Dec 8 , 2018   7:30 PM

This innovative film experience pushes the envelope of sound syncing, where classic martial arts films are remixed live by 2-Tone Jones, accentuating specific scenes with well-timed DJ techniques. For this special presentation of Can I Kick It?, SHAOLIN JAZZ focuses on the 1979 cult classic The Warriors, an influential film in Hip Hop culture. 


Oddisee & Good Compny, Phonte, and Olivier St. Louis (part of The Bridge Concert Series)

Thu, Dec 13 , 2018   8:00 PM

A respected underground MC both locally and abroad, Oddisee returns to his hometown for a specially curated evening with individual sets by his group Oddisee & Good Compny, North Carolina emcee Phonte, and Berlin-based singer/songwriter Olivier St. Louis.


Queen Latifah (part of The Bridge Concert Series)

Sun, Apr 14 , 2019   8:00 PM

The Grammy®- and Golden Globe®–winning artist is one of Hip Hop’s pioneer feminists. Queen Latifah became the first Hip Hop artist to be crowned with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and she makes her Kennedy Center performance debut in this program.


HERstory: Love Forever

Jun 14 - Jun 15, 2019

Drawing inspiration from Common’s 1994 classic “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” playwright, performer, poet, and teacher Goldie Patrick will examine the roles of several women and their changing relationship with Hip Hop in this immersive full-length play. 



Kurt Elling

Fri, Oct 5 , 2018

“The standout male vocalist of our time” (The New York Times), Grammy Award® winner and 12-time nominee Kurt Elling is an artist with no creative limits. Kicking off the 2018–2019 season, he presents new songs from his album The Questions, and breathes new life into old favorites for today’s audiences.


KC Jazz Club: Odean Pope

Fri, Oct 19 , 2018

Recent recipient of the 2017 BYN Mellon Living Legacy Jazz Award, fiery and intense saxophonist Odean Pope has been the “real thing” in modern jazz since John Coltrane personally chose him as his replacement in Jimmy Smith’s band. 


Crossroads Club: Mwenso & the Shakes

Sat, Oct 27 , 2018   9:00 PM

Charismatic singer and bandleader Michael Mwenso’s new high-energy troupe merges the highest form of raw talent while commanding a strong blues essence through African and Afro-American music and the stylings of Fats Waller, Muddy Waters, James Brown, and many other legends. All tickets are general admission—standing room only.


KC Jazz Club: Songs of Freedom: Ulysses Owens Jr., Music Director, featuring Alicia Olatuja, René Marie, and Theo Bleckmann

Sat, Nov 3 , 2018

Songs of Freedom explores three iconic voices of the 1960s—Joni Mitchell, Abbey Lincoln, and Nina Simone—and the complex ways in which they relate. Developed for Jazz at Lincoln Center by Grammy®-winning drummer Ulysses Owens Jr., the performance includes powerful vocal performances by Alicia Olatuja, René Marie, and Theo Bleckmann.


KC Jazz Club: Miguel Zenón & Spektral Quartet:Yo Soy La Tradición

Fri, Nov 16 , 2018

Jazz saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and educator Miguel Zenón is joined by Grammy®-nominated Spektral Quartet to perform original compositions from his new album, an ambitious work­­­ inspired by the music and rhythms of his birthplace of Puerto Rico. 


Cécile McLorin Salvant: Ogresse
Arranged and Conducted by Darcy James Argue

Sat, Nov 17 , 2018   7:30 PM

One of the brightest stars in jazz today, this classically trained vocalist follows up her 2016 Grammy Award® for Best Jazz Vocal Album by writing and performing her original concert concept Ogresse, a Kennedy Center commission, in its D.C. premiere


NPR's A Jazz Piano Christmas

Sat, Dec 1 , 2018

Join the Kennedy Center and NPR for this annual holiday tradition highlighting jazz pianists and their favorite seasonal music! This year, Jason Moran will be joined by Booker T. Jones and James Francies, among others. This perennially sold-out event will be recorded for future broadcast on NPR and streaming online.


Jason Moran—James Reese Europe and The Harlem Hellfighters: The Absence of Ruin

Sat, Dec 8 , 2018   8:00 PM

How does war impact art? Jason Moran seeks the answer in this U.S. premiere, a music and multimedia salute to the early African American ragtime musician and first black bandleader who created an international demand for jazz and served as an inspiration to generations of musicians to follow.


Discovery Artist in the KC Jazz Club: Quiana Lynell

Fri, Dec 14 , 2018

Winner of the 2017 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, the New Orleans–based singer approaches music as a storyteller, infusing her classical training with her gospel upbringing. Her sound—jazz, classical, soul, and funk, or as she has coined "Jazzicalsofunk"—is unlike any artist’s today.


A Jazz New Year's Eve: Patti Austin's Bebop Hip Hop Ella featuring Trevor Lawrence Jr.

Mon, Dec 31 , 2018

Ring in 2019 in style with a night of Hip Hop scatting and Bebop-Hip Hop mashups celebrating Ella Fitzgerald! This year stars legendary jazz and pop singer Patti Austin and acclaimed Hip Hop drummer Trevor Lawrence Jr. Your ticket includes the Grand Foyer Party, with festive dancing to great bands, a countdown to midnight, a big balloon drop, and more.


Bobby Sanabria MultiVerse Big Band: West Side Story Reimagined

Fri, Jan 18 , 2019

With an all-new instrumental orchestration of lively Latin jazz, electrifying percussionist/bandleader Bobby Sanabria and his MultiVerse Big Band pay tribute to the beloved Broadway masterpiece that redefined the American musical.


David Sánchez: CARIB

Sat, Jan 26 , 2019   7:30 PM

The Grammy®-winning Puerto Rican saxophonist's deeply personal new project uses modern jazz to explore the kinship between the West African drum rhythms of Yuba, Calinda, and Sika and music from Haiti, Carriacou, and his native Puerto Rico.


Discovery Artist in the KC Jazz Club: Camille Thurman with the Darrell Green Trio

Fri, Feb 1 , 2019

Multi-talented saxophonist, flutist, and vocalist Camille Thurman has amazed audiences all over the world. She returns to the KC Jazz Club headlining a night dedicated to her own imaginative artistry and warm voice.


I AM A MAN featuring Ron Miles, Brian Blade, Bill Frisell, Jason Moran, and Scott Colley

Sat, Feb 2 , 2019   7:00 PM

On the day before his assassination in 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood alongside the striking sanitation workers of Memphis who carried signs declaring “I AM A MAN.” Ron Miles, “one of the finest trumpeters in jazz today” (Jazz Times), makes his most compelling artistic statement to date with a night of music from his new project, a record titled after this simple, powerful phrase that challenged centuries of discrimination. 


NEA Jazz Master Archie Shepp's All-Star Tribute to John Coltrane featuring Jason Moran

Sun, Feb 10 , 2019   8:00 PM

In this momentous concert event, Shepp celebrates the boundless impact and talent of his good friend and mentor. He’s joined by pianist and Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran and other contemporary greats, including Amir ElSaffar, Darryl Hall, Nasheet Waits, and Marion Rampal.


Discovery Artist in the KC Jazz Club: James Francies

Fri, Feb 15 , 2019

The pianist, composer, and newly signed Blue Note musician is no stranger to the Kennedy Center stage. Last season, he dazzled audiences in José James’s Lean on Me and the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert. Now, the spotlight belongs to him as he performs selections from Flight, Vol. 1, his debut Blue Note recording.


KC Jazz Club: Pedrito Martinez and Alfredo Rodríguez

Sat, Feb 16 , 2019

Two Cuban jazz masters--percussionist Pedrito Martinez and pianist Alfredo Rodríguez--collaborate in a rare concert experience with an exciting exploration of their homeland. 


NEA Jazz Master Dianne Reeves

Mar 8 - Mar 9, 2019

The pre-eminent jazz vocalist in the world today, Dianne Reeves’s talents are rich in each and every song in her limitless repertoire. She has received five Grammy Awards® for Best Jazz Vocal Album, an honorary doctorate of music from Juilliard, and was recently named a 2018 NEA Jazz Master. 


Nicholas Payton: Afro-Caribbean Mixtape

Fri, Mar 15 , 2019   7:00 PM

The New Orleans–born trumpeter, pianist, singer, and composer presents his signature BAM, “Black American Music,” exploring art beyond the confines of genre classification, with pieces from his ambitious 2017 album that fuses the musical traditions of his Louisiana hometown with be-bop, swing, blues, and soul, all rooted in the rhythms of Africa.


Crossroads Club: Nate Smith + KINFOLK with Van Hunt

Sat, Mar 16 , 2019   9:00 PM

Drummer Nate Smith is joined by neo-soul singer/songwriter Van Hunt for Smith’s first solo project—a fresh and restless urban pop/jazz hybrid that will have everyone in the Crossroads Club grooving easy. All tickets are general admission—standing room only.


NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron

Fri, Mar 22 , 2019

A giant of modern mainstream piano, the NEA Jazz Master celebrates his 75th year with his highly anticipated return to the Kennedy Center—this time with a quintet playing music from his new album in a swinging program of contemporary hard bop. 


KC Jazz Club: Mary Halvorson's Code Girl

Thu, Mar 28 , 2019

Mary Halvorson is unlike any other guitarist. A brilliant musical dissenter, her dynamic style stands at the interface of jazz, rock, improvisation, and avant-garde. Halvorson’s quintet makes its KC Jazz Club debut with rich and wayward sounds from her cutting-edge and critically acclaimed new album. 


KC Jazz Club: Tyshawn Sorey

Fri, Mar 29 , 2019

Tyshawn Sorey isn’t just a jazz musician—he’s a conductor, composer, scholar, educator, multi-instrumentalist, and undeniable champion of artistic evolution. A recent winner of a MacArthur Fellowship, Sorey’s revolutionary rhythms flash brightly from behind the dark sunglasses that he wears at every electrifying show.


KC Jazz Club: Amir ElSaffar, Two Rivers Ensemble

Sat, Mar 30 , 2019

The Iraqi American trumpeter Amir ElSaffar weaves together Middle Eastern musical languages with jazz, pushing the boundaries of each tradition. His Two Rivers Ensemble’s unique fusion has won accolades from DownBeat Magazine to rowdy ovations at the Newport Jazz Festival.


Henry Threadgill: Double Up Plays Double Up Plus

Fri, Apr 5 , 2019   7:30 PM

The saxophonist/flautist makes his highly anticipated Kennedy Center debut accompanied by his mind-blowing ensemble on piano, saxophone, drums, tuba, and cello. A mentor of Jason Moran, who calls Threadgill his “favorite living composer,” the Pulitzer Prize winner brings his avant-garde musical innovations and intense, unyielding originality to audiences in the spring of 2019.


Vijay Iyer Sextet

Sat, Apr 6 , 2019

"One of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today" (Pitchfork), the pianist, composer, and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient catapults his audiences into an exotic realm of sound where American jazz and traditional Indian music seamlessly intersect. 


Discovery Artist in the KC Jazz Club: Michael Mayo

Fri, Apr 12 , 2019

Phenomenal vocalist Michael Mayo is a New England Conservatory, Thelonious Monk Institute, and Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead alumnus and one of the leading artists to watch. His classic style and lively energy will close our Discovery Artists series with a bang!


Jason Moran and Alicia Hall Moran—Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration

Sun, Apr 14 , 2019   8:00 PM

Jason and Alicia Hall Moran’s compelling new concert experience examines the major demographic shift known as the Great Migration, in which millions of African Americans left the American South after emancipation for all points North, West, and beyond. Vocalist Smokie Norful and the Imani Winds quintet join them for music, spoken word, visual media, and more.

Announcement Collage for KC

2019 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert

Mon, Apr 15 , 2019   8:00 PM

The National Endowment for the Arts will honor the 2019 NEA Jazz Masters— Bob Dorough, Stanley Crouch, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Maria Schneider—with a free concert. More information about the concert and how to reserve free tickets will be available in Spring 2019.


Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival

May 10 - May 11, 2019

Hosted by NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater, this year’s 24th annual festival includes two nights of sensational music. May 10's program is Feed the Fire, a night dedicated to prolific pianist and composer Geri Allen, while May 11's program is TBD. Performers for both concerts to be announced at a later date. Tickets may be purchased for one or both programs. 


The Messengers Legacy

Fri, May 31 , 2019

Drummer Ralph Peterson Jr. assembles an all-star group for a tribute to The Jazz Messengers, the prolific big band collective led by his mentor, the late Art Blakey. Marking the 100th year of Blakey’s birth with selections from a new recording, the band will include Peterson on percussion, saxophonists Bobby Watson and Bill Pierce, bassist Essiet Essiet, pianist Geoffrey Keezer, and trumpeter Brian Lynch.



Shear Madness


Set today in the Shear Madness hairstyling salon, this record-breaking comedy is Washington's hilarious whodunit. After more than 13,200 performances, the show has stayed in great shape. Performances are ongoing.


WORLD STAGES: Measure for Measure

Oct 10 - Oct 13, 2018

Through a series of “swiftly changing spectacular scenes” (Russia’s Teatral), Shakespeare’s classic play becomes a mirror of modern society in a dexterously crafted adaption from director Declan Donnellan, designer Nick Ormerod, English theater company Cheek by Jowl, and the Pushkin Theatre Moscow.


Broadway Center Stage: Little Shop of Horrors

Oct 24 - Oct 28, 2018

Seymour Krelborn is a meek, floral shop assistant who discovers a strange plant, which he affectionately names “Audrey II” after his crush. Little does he know that his plant will develop a soulful R&B voice and an unquenchable thirst for human flesh.



Oct 30 - Nov 25, 2018

Inspired by the beloved films, the romantic and adventure-filled new musical Anastasia is on a journey to Washington at last! From the Tony Award®–winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, this dazzling show transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s.


The Choir of Man

Nov 23 - Nov 25, 2018

The runaway hit of numerous international music festivals is hitting the road for its first U.S. tour! Known across the globe as “the ultimate feel-good show” (Edinburgh Evening News), The Choir of Man offers up 90 minutes of indisputable joy! 


WORLD STAGES: Barber Shop Chronicles

Nov 28 - Dec 1, 2018

Set in barbershops in Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos, Accra, and London, Barber Shop Chronicles welcomes you into this unique, intimate community where African men gather to discuss the world and their lives.


The Second City's Love, Factually

Dec 4 - Dec 31, 2018

Love, Factually is a holiday satire from the twisted minds at The Second City, which gets to the truth of December life, love, and romance. Whether you love or hate the movie Love, Actually, you're going to fall in love with this mashup of parody, original comedy, music, improv, and audience participation. 


Miss Saigon

Dec 11 - Jan 13, 2019

Experience the acclaimed “thrilling, soaring, and spectacular” (The London Times) new production of the legendary Tony®–winning musical Miss Saigon, from the creators of Les Misérables


The Play That Goes Wrong

Dec 18 - Jan 6, 2019

What would happen if Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python had an illegitimate Broadway baby? You’d get New York and London’s award-winning smash comedy The Play That Goes Wrong!


Broadway Center Stage: The Music Man

Feb 6 - Feb 10, 2019

Starring Norm Lewis, this American favorite and winner of six Tony Awards® follows traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa. Presented in a semi-staged concert format.



Feb 13 - Feb 16, 2019

Making its U.S. premiere, this collaboration between Denmark’s artistic incubator Hotel Pro Forma and the Latvian Radio Choir daringly explores the Anthropocene, a new geological age characterized by the harsh impact of humanity on our vulnerable eco-system. 


Tap Dogs

Feb 19 - Feb 24, 2019

Dein Perry's global dance sensation Tap Dogs hits the road on an international tour of jaw-dropping new surprises. An adrenaline-pumped cast turns traditional tap dancing upside-down and into the ultimate night out. 


WORLD STAGES: Cirkus Cirkör: Limits 

Mar 6 - Mar 9, 2019

“Boundaries are meant to be crossed. Limits are meant to be exceeded!” From Tilde Björfors and Sweden’s Cirkus Cirkör, Limits will turn perspectives on their heads.


Sundance Institute—Theater from the Middle East and North Africa: Jogging

Mar 12 - Mar 13, 2019

A Lebanese woman follows a daily routine of jogging to keep herself safe from obesity, bone diseases, and anxiety, creating a connection between her intimate personal space and the city.


WORLD STAGES: The Last Supper

Mar 14 - Mar 16, 2019

Making its U.S. premiere, this darkly comedic satire highlights the harsh indifference of the bourgeoisie in Egypt and the hollow exchanges which masquerade as human connection. 


Sundance Institute—Theater from the Middle East and North Africa: Love, Bombs & Apples

Mar 20 - Mar 21, 2019

This is the comic tale of four men from different parts of the globe experiencing a moment of revelation. Featuring actor Asif Khan. 


Broadway Center Stage: The Who's Tommy

Apr 25 - Apr 28, 2019

Based on the iconic 1969 rock concept album, The Who's Tommy is an exhilarating story of hope, healing, and the human spirit. 


Betty Buckley in Hello Dolly!

Jun 4 - Jul 7, 2019

Tony Award®-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley stars in Hello, Dolly!—the universally acclaimed smash that NPR calls “the best show of the year!” 


Byhalia, Mississippi

Jun 11 - Jun 30, 2019

Don’t miss this new Kennedy Center production of playwright Evan Linder’s uncompromising exploration of race, family, and betrayal in the American South, which won Chicago’s prestigious Jefferson Award in 2016 for Best New Work.



Jun 11 - Jun 23, 2019

William Finn and James Lapine’s groundbreaking, Tony Award®–winning musical comes to the Kennedy Center in an all new production from Lincoln Center. It’s a hilarious and achingly poignant look at the infinite possibilities that make up a modern family. 


The Band's Visit

Jul 9 - Aug 4, 2019

This critically acclaimed new musical celebrates the deeply human ways music, longing, and laughter can connect us all. “One of the most ravishing musicals you will ever be seduced by.”—The New York Times


Disney's Aladdin

Jul 18 - Sep 7, 2019

Discover a whole new world at Disney’s Aladdin, the hit Broadway musical! From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of Aladdin, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy, and breathtaking spectacle. 


Dear Evan Hansen

Aug 6 - Sep 8, 2019

Winner of 6 Tony Awards® including Best Musical and the 2018 Grammy Award, Dear Evan Hansen is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it.  The Washington Post calls Dear Evan Hansen “one of the most remarkable shows in musical theater history.”

NSO Pops


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.


NSO Pops: Get Out (film with live orchestra)

Thu, Sep 20 , 2018   8:00 PM

Watch the groundbreaking film in the Concert Hall with the score performed live by the NSO! In this speculative thriller/comedy that won the 2017 Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay, a young African American man visits his white girlfriend’s family estate—only to become ensnared in a more sinister reason for the invitation.


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.


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.


NSO Pops: Walt Disney Animation Studios: A Decade in Concert

Nov 23 - Nov 25, 2018

Celebrating iconic musical moments from favorite films released over the last decade, this melodic journey explores Disney Animation’s latest stories through unforgettable film clips and scores performed live by the National Symphony Orchestra. 


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

Dec 14 - Dec 15, 2018

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.


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.


NSO Pops: An Evening with Brandy

Jan 25 - 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.


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.


NSO Pops: An Evening with Leslie Odom Jr.

May 1 - May 3, 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.


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

Jun 28 - 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.

Events for Young Audiences


American Revolution

Oct 12 - Oct 14, 2018

Using only 7 actors and their bodies on a tiny stage, Theater Unspeakable recreates the entire American fight for independence in 50 minutes. Age 9+


Long Way Down

Oct 27 - Nov 4, 2018

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Age 12+


How to Catch a Star

Nov 21 - Dec 16, 2018

Best-selling author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers's beloved children’s book about chasing your dreams comes to vivid life, featuring colorful projections and choreographed movement. Age 3+


Washington National Opera: Holiday Family Opera: The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me

Dec 14 - Dec 16, 2018

As the first Christmas nears, a special character will share the Nativity story from his perspective: the donkey! Director Francesca Zambello brings the award-winning children's book to vibrant life in this heartwarming family opera, revived after its acclaimed 2013 world premiere.



NSO Music for Young Audiences: Timbalooloo Live

Dec 26 - 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+



Jan 11 - Jan 13, 2019

From the effects of climate change to war and poverty, this powerful story examines the forces that shape where we have come from, how we have moved, and where we are going. Age 12+


NSO Music for Young Audiences: Banda Magda

Jan 26 - Jan 27, 2019

This award-winning band combines South American rhythms with jazz improvisation, sung in six languages for a globetrotting adventure. Age 7+


She A Gem

Feb 15 - Feb 24, 2019

Jump into a tale of double-dutch, friendship, and teamwork. In this original play by Josh Wilder, Krystin, Jaleesa, and Amber form a double-dutch team in inner city Philadelphia to compete in their neighborhood pageant. Age 12+


The Watsons Go to Birmingham1963

Mar 15 - Mar 24, 2019

Experience the beloved story of a family’s bond and endurance amidst one of the darkest periods in America’s history. Age 9+


VOYAGERS: A Dance Among The Planets

Mar 29 - Mar 31, 2019

D.C. dance ensemble Company | E shares an interplanetary display of modern movement set to Gustav Holst’s The Planets. Age 5+


The Me I Want to Sing

Sat, Apr 13 , 2019

This riveting two-performer show blends opera legends Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price’s most memorable performances—including opera, art songs, and more—with narrative spoken word. Age 12+


NSO Music for Young Audiences: Break it Down!

Apr 27 - 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+



May 18 - May 19, 2019

Dancers maneuver a set brought to life with fabric, projections, and sensors to explore children’s relationships to colors. Age 5+

Renée Fleming VOICES


Renée Fleming VOICES: Meow Meow

Sat, Sep 15 , 2018   7:30 PM

The international song siren extraordinaire makes her Kennedy Center debut with her outrageous and glorious brand of “kamikaze cabaret.” This post-post-modern diva will seduce you with her spellbinding vocal talents and uproarious comic absurdity. 


Renée Fleming VOICES: Christopher Jackson

Sat, Sep 29 , 2018   7:30 PM

Before earning international acclaim and a Tony® nomination for originating the role of George Washington in Hamilton, Christopher Jackson garnered raves for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s other Broadway smash In the Heights and for portraying Simba in The Lion King


Renée Fleming VOICES: An Evening with Robert Fairchild

Fri, Oct 12 , 2018   7:30 PM

The Tony®-nominated former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer returns as part of our vocal spotlight series to offer an evening of song and dance with classics from An American in Paris and more.


Renée Fleming VOICES: Youssou NDOUR

Tue, Oct 30 , 2018   8:00 PM

The Senegalese singer, percussionist, and humanitarian—dubbed “perhaps the most famous singer alive” by Rolling Stone—brings his stratospheric vocals, visionary African rhythms, and powerful messages of social activism and tolerance to the Concert Hall.


Renée Fleming VOICES: Nellie McKay

Fri, Feb 8 , 2019   7:30 PM

The always-unpredictable singer-songwriter Nellie McKay is impossible to categorize, from doing Brecht on Broadway to creating tributes to the likes of Doris Day and Joan Rivers. Part cabaret, part sparkly pop, her music is as tuneful and clever as the best of the Great American Songbook.


Renée Fleming VOICES: Jamie Barton

Sat, Mar 23 , 2019   7:30 PM

Noted for her “imperturbable steadiness of tone” (The Guardian), Grammy®-nominated mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton shares her radiant vocals, accompanied by pianist Kathleen Kelly.


Renée Fleming VOICES: Patina Miller

Sat, Apr 27 , 2019   7:30 PM

Patina Miller’s star power transcends the divide between Hollywood and Broadway. On stage, she won the Tony Award® for Best Actress in a Musical for Pippin, On screen, she’s wowed with recurring roles in The Hunger Games and TV’s Madam Secretary.



Throwing Shade Live 2018: There's No Place Like Condo Tour

Sat, Sep 22 , 2018   7:00 PM

Comedians Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson give their fresh takes on women’s issues, LGBTQ issues and pop culture with hilarity and vulgarity. Plus Singing! Dancing! Guests! Games! Clowns! Can you handle it?


Colin Quinn: One in Every Crowd

Sat, Oct 6 , 2018

From the old MTV days to SNL to Comedy Central to Broadway, Colin Quinn is apparently refusing to leave the business. So if you enjoyed his other one man shows, or you just are at a place in your life where you are lost and you need intelligent laughs, come see his new show, One In Every Crowd.


Lily Tomlin

Wed, Oct 17 , 2018   8:00 PM

Lily Tomlin, one of America's foremost comediennes, continues to venture across an ever-widening range of media, starring in television, theater, motion pictures, animation, video, and social media. 


Off Book: The Improvised Musical Podcast

Fri, Oct 26 , 2018   6:00 PM

Every week Jessica McKenna and Zach Reino sit down with a fantastic guest and record a completely improvised musical in an attempt to combat the notion that musicals should be "carefully crafted" or "thought out at all." This time they are doing it live!


Handmaid's Tale: The Musical

Sat, Oct 27 , 2018

A comical and cathartic parody of the Margaret Atwood novel and Hulu original series The Handmaid’s Tale. Set in 2028 Brooklyn, the show depicts modern millennials in a dystopian near future and the phone-less perils they must endure. A campy romp that finally gives the Handmaids some power and a voice, starring such characters as "Extremely Hot Nick," "Aunt Betsy DeVos," "Rory Gilmore," "Janine the One Eyed Bitch," and more. 


Maz Jobrani

Fri, Nov 16 , 2018   8:00 PM

Iranian American comedian and actor Maz Jobrani is back at the Kennedy Center after a sold-out show in 2017 where he filmed his first original Netflix special.


Puddles Pity Party

Fri, Dec 14 , 2018   8:00 PM

The “Sad Clown with the Golden Voice” is back with a suitcase full of all-new emotional anthems, plenty of Kleenex, and a brilliant sense of the absurd, mixing humor with the awkward, tender moments.


Brian Regan

Thu, Mar 21 , 2019

Critics, fans, and fellow comedians agree: Brian Regan is one of the most respected comedians in the country with Vanity Fair calling Brian, “The funniest stand-up alive,” and Entertainment Weekly calling him, “Your favorite comedian’s favorite comedian.”



San Francisco Ballet: 2 PROGRAMS of East Coast Premieres from Unbound: A Festival of New Works

Oct 23 - Oct 28, 2018

The world-renowned company brings two programs of new works selected from its groundbreaking festival. Program A (Oct. 23, 24, 27e & 28m) includes works by Trey McIntyre, Christopher Wheeldon, and David Dawson. Program B (Oct. 25, 26 & 27m) includes works by Edwaard Liang, Cathy Marston, and Justin Peck. 


Ballet West: The Nutcracker

Dec 5 - Dec 9, 2018

Ballet West returns to perform the D.C. premiere of its whimsical new production of The Nutcracker, which was unveiled in Salt Lake City last year. Pairing reimagined designs with beloved choreography, the opulent production delivers treasured moments and surprising new delights.


American Ballet Theatre: Harlequinade

Jan 29 - Feb 3, 2019

ABT presents the D.C. premiere of Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky's retelling of Harlequinade. Playful costumes and vivid sets create a charming tribute to the Italian commedia dell’arte style, known for its slapstick humor and rollicking characters.

The Kennedy Center

Family Dance Workshop: American Ballet Theatre

Sun, Feb 3 , 2019   11:00 AM

Join us for these 45-minute workshops led by artists from our visiting ballet companies.


National Ballet of China: Raise the Red Lantern

Feb 13 - Feb 16, 2019

The renowned company returns with the award-winning ballet, performed with full orchestra as the cornerstone event of our 2019 Lunar New Year festivities.


New York City Ballet: 2 PROGRAMS - Works by Reisen, Balanchine & Robbins (Apr. 2, 3, 7) / New Works & New Productions (Apr. 4, 5, 6)

Apr 2 - Apr 7, 2019

Featuring a roster of powerhouse dancers heralded for enriching repertory created by today’s top choreographers, New York City Ballet performs two programs of new and celebrated repertory.

The Kennedy Center

Family Dance Workshop: New York City Ballet 

Sun, Apr 7 , 2019   11:00 AM

Join us for these 45-minute workshops led by artists from our visiting ballet companies.


Mariinsky Ballet: Le Corsaire

Apr 9 - Apr 14, 2019

For its annual engagement, the legendary company presents Marius Petipa’s captivating story of bold pirates, passionate maidens, shocking betrayal, and a dramatic shipwreck rescue.


Ballet Across America

May 28 - Jun 2, 2019

Our fifth extraordinary Ballet Across America series returns, illustrating the dynamic variety of artistry happening across American companies today.

Contemporary Dance


Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker: Dog Without Feathers (Cão Sem Plumas)

Oct 18 - Oct 20, 2018

Last at the Kennedy Center in 2010, Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker returns with an evocative performance inspired by a poem by Brazilian author João Cabral de Melo Neto. 


DEMO I: Gathering

Mon, Oct 29 , 2018   7:30 PM

The former NYCB principal dancer curates and hosts an evening of recent commissions and D.C. premieres from some of today’s most creative voices in dance and music.


Ragamala Dance Company: Written in Water

Nov 2 - Nov 3, 2018

Ragamala Dance Company, the creation of mother/daughter team Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy, returns with one of the company's newest productions. 


Malavika Sarukkai: Thari—The Loom

Nov 9 - Nov 10, 2018

Last seen at the Kennedy Center in 2013, master bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer Malavika Sarukkai presents the U.S. premiere of her latest production Thari—The Loom.


Matthew Bourne's New Adventures: Cinderella

Jan 15 - Jan 20, 2019

Following the dazzling adaptation of The Red Shoes in 2017, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures return with one of its most popular and beloved productions, Cinderella—a thrilling twist on the classic fairy tale.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Feb 5 - Feb 10, 2019

Now more than ever, the world needs the power of dance to bring people together and connect us all by our common humanity. Celebrating its 60th anniversary, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater continues to push the art form into fascinating new territory while still honoring signature classics.

The Kennedy Center

Revelations Workshop with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Sat, Feb 9 , 2019   5:30 PM

One of America's favorite dance companies offers a special workshop, teaching choreography from Revelations, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's most iconic work.


Akiko Kitamura's Cross Transit

Tue, Mar 19 , 2019   7:30 PM

Cross Transit steps into the history of folk culture in Cambodia as captured by photographer Kim Hak and transformed into movement by international choreographer and dancer Akiko Kitamura. 


Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company: Analogy Trilogy

Mar 28 - Mar 30, 2019

A true pillar of modern dance, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company makes a triumphant return to the Kennedy Center with three separate evening-length works that delve into the voice of the marginalized in our society. 



Mar 29 - Mar 30, 2019

The former NYCB principal dancer curates and hosts an evening of recent commissions and D.C. premieres from some of today’s most creative voices in dance and music.


Lucky Plush: Rooming House

May 2 - May 4, 2019

Lucky Plush Productions makes its Kennedy Center debut with this insightful and surprisingly humorous dance/theater “whodunit.”

Mason Bates's KC Jukebox


Mason Bates's KC Jukebox: Future Folk

Thu, Oct 18 , 2018   7:30 PM

Indie-rock meets alt-classical in an immersive, innovative evening featuring performances by King Creosote, Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw, and The Dover Quartet.

National Symphony Orchestra


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.


National Symphony Orchestra: Season Opening Gala Concert

Sat, Sep 22 , 2018   7:00 PM

The Washington Post calls internationally renowned Joshua Bell “one of the most imaginative, technically gifted, and altogether extraordinary violinists of our time.” This year, he joins Music Director Gianandrea Noseda to officially open the NSO’s new season with a night of space-themed pieces including movements from Gustav Holst’s famed The Planets suite and Academy Award®-winning composer Michael Giacchino’s (Star Trek trilogy, Star Wars: Rogue One) soaring new work Voyage.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular

Sun, Oct 28 , 2018

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+


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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! 


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.


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.


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.


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.


NSO Family Concert: Symphonic Storytelling: TheTravels of Babar

Sun, Apr 7 , 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Washington National Opera


Washington National Opera: Opera in the Outfield®, presented by Mars, Incorporated—The Barber of Seville

Sat, Sep 29 , 2018   7:00 PM

Celebrate the 11th season of free opera broadcasts by joining Washington National Opera at Nationals Park for Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. Gates open at 5 p.m. for pre-opera activities.


Washington National Opera: 2018 Marian Anderson Vocal Award Winner: Ryan Speedo Green in Concert

Thu, Oct 4 , 2018   7:30 PM

This year’s winner, Ryan Speedo Green, has been named by the New York Times as a “scene-stealing bass-baritone with a robust voice.”


Washington National Opera: La traviata

Oct 6 - Oct 21, 2018

Violetta delights in high-class pleasures, but she is secretly dying. Will she know true love before death claims her? We launch the 2018–2019 season with a stunning new production of Verdi’s everlasting story of fate and sacrifice, renowned for its soaring arias and heart-wrenching ending.
Note: Artists from the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program star in the Friday, Oct. 19 performance of La traviata. Please see additional details below.


Washington National Opera: Silent Night

Nov 10 - Nov 25, 2018

On Christmas Eve at the height of World War I, a spontaneous cease-fire arises between enemy soldiers. Based on the true story and 2005 film, Silent Night features Pulitzer Prize–winning music in multiple languages, capturing humanity and hope amidst a devastating war.


Washington National Opera: Holiday Family Opera: The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me

Dec 14 - Dec 16, 2018

As the first Christmas nears, a special character will share the Nativity story from his perspective: the donkey! Director Francesca Zambello brings the award-winning children's book to vibrant life in this heartwarming family opera, revived after its acclaimed 2013 world premiere.



Washington National Opera: Taking Up Serpents, a New Hour-Long Opera, part of the American Opera Initiative Festival

Jan 11 - Jan 13, 2019

This world premiere is the story of 25-year-old Kayla, the estranged daughter of a fire-and-brimstone preacher who is dangerously bitten by one of his own snakes. Kayla’s journey home forces her to confront her troubled upbringing.


Washington National Opera: Three New 20-Minute Operas, part of the American Opera Initiative Festival

Sat, Jan 12 , 2019

Three world premiere short operas will be staged in a concert performance, accompanied by a small chamber orchestra and followed by a Q&A with the artists and creative team. This season's distinguished mentors include composer Jake Heggie, composer and librettist Gene Scheer, and conductor Steven Osgood.


Washington National Opera: Eugene Onegin

Mar 9 - Mar 29, 2019

Time shifts desires—and one man will regret his choice—in Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece of unrequited love and missed opportunities, inspired by Pushkin’s novel. More than 30 years have passed since WNO last staged this dramatic tale of rejection and remorse, and now a visually stunning production marks its return.


Washington National Opera: Faust

Mar 16 - Mar 30, 2019

A deal with the devil goes awry in Gounod’s captivating tragedy. The aging Faust makes a pact with Méphistophélès to exchange his soul for Earth's mortal pleasures. But along the seductive path to riches and power, Faust will realize his salvation is devastatingly bound to others.


Washington National Opera: Tosca

May 11 - May 25, 2019

Love gets political in Puccini’s striking drama set against 19th-century Rome. Passionate singer Tosca takes matters into her own hands when dreaded chief of police Scarpia hunts for her lover. But no one is guaranteed to get out alive.


Washington National Opera: Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program: A Concert of Comic Masterpieces

Fri, May 24 , 2019   7:30 PM

The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program presents one lively night of comic chaos, featuring works from beloved operatic comedies.

Fortas Chamber Music Concerts


Fortas Chamber Music Concerts: Dover Quartet

Wed, Oct 10 , 2018   7:30 PM

Fresh from playing a key part in 2017’s Terrace Theater grand re-opening, the Dover Quartet returns as the Kennedy Center’s new Quartet-in-Residence. In its first season of this three-year residency, the group will showcase classic repertoire alongside a work by our Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates.


Fortas Chamber Music Concerts: Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio

Tue, Oct 23 , 2018   7:30 PM

Hailed as "the greatest piano trio on the face of the Earth" (The Washington Post), Joseph Kalichstein, Jaime Laredo, and Sharon Robinson dazzle audiences once again with a stunning program featuring Schumann, Ravel, and Mendelssohn.


Fortas Chamber Music Concerts: Escher String Quartet

Wed, Nov 14 , 2018   7:30 PM

As former BBC New Generation Artists, the Escher String Quartet has established itself as a creative force in the UK and beyond. The group’s strength as expressive and nuanced performers is clear as they play with a “penetrating intelligence and curiosity” (The New York Times).


Fortas Chamber Music Concerts: The Tallis Scholars

Wed, Dec 5 , 2018   7:30 PM

After their last sold-out performance in 2015, The Tallis Scholars return to fill the Terrace Theater once again with richly textured vocal music from the Renaissance—this time in a delightfully festive concert for the holidays. 


Fortas Chamber Music Concerts: Imani Winds

Wed, Jan 30 , 2019   7:30 PM

The Grammy®-nominated quintet Imani Winds returns with a diverse program highlighting works from six contemporary composers including a new commission from Pulitzer Prize recipient Henry Threadgill.


Fortas Chamber Music Concerts: Juilliard String Quartet

Wed, Feb 6 , 2019   7:30 PM

The ever-evolving institution that is the Juilliard String Quartet has become a living American legend. The group continues to be “the standard by which all other quartets must be judged” (The New York Times).  


Fortas Chamber Music Concerts: Shai Wosner and Orion Weiss

Tue, Mar 5 , 2019   7:30 PM

Pianists Shai Wosner and Orion Weiss unite for an exhilarating evening including works for four hands—a rare treat for Fortas concertgoers. 


Fortas Chamber Music Concerts: Takács Quartet with Garrick Ohlsson

Tue, Mar 12 , 2019   7:30 PM

The Grammy®-winning Takács Quartet return with their trademark blend of drama, spirit, and levity. Star pianist Garrick Ohlsson joins them for Elgar’s Piano Quintet.


Fortas Chamber Music Concerts: Benjamin Beilman in Recital

Thu, Mar 21 , 2019   7:30 PM

Charismatic young violinist Benjamin Beilman returns for an evening of Beethoven and Bartók sonatas, plus a new piece by prolific composer Frederic Rzewski, specially composed for Beilman.


Fortas Chamber Music Concerts: Morgenstern Trio

Tue, Mar 26 , 2019   7:30 PM

Morgenstern Trio offers delightful 20th-century works alongside a lighthearted favorite by Schubert—all with the same “polished technique and musical imagination” that made its last Kennedy Center performance a “night to remember” (The Washington Post).


Fortas Chamber Music Concerts: Venice Baroque Chamber Ensemble with Robin Johannsen

Wed, Apr 10 , 2019   7:30 PM

This collective of musicians from the Grammy®-nominated Venice Baroque Orchestra returns with a program highlighting some of the quintessential composers of the era. 


Fortas Chamber Music Concerts: Russian Renaissance

Thu, May 23 , 2019   7:30 PM

With classic Russian instruments, Russian Renaissance dexterously melds traditional folk music with an infusion of modernity. Their program reflects this diversity with its broad range of works by classical composers to jazz favorites.

Special Concerts


West-Eastern Divan Orchestra / Daniel Barenboim, founder & conductor

Wed, Nov 7 , 2018   8:00 PM

This Seville, Spain–based orchestra brings together young Palestinian, Israeli, and Arab musicians and defies the fierce political divide in the Middle East. Their program, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, will include R. Strauss’s Don Quixote and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.

Explore the Arts


Guided Rehearsal: La traviata

Sun, Sep 30 , 2018   7:00 PM

Audience members get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a world-class opera production as it comes together through this unique open rehearsal experience.

The Kennedy Center

Film Screening; The Unseen Sequence with Malavika Sarukkai

Thu, Nov 8 , 2018   7:00 PM

This screening explores Malavika Sarukkai’s Thari—The Loom and the traditional Indian dance form bharatanatyam.


Opera Master Class with Francesca Zambello

Mon, Nov 19 , 2018   7:00 PM

Observe the WNO Artistic Director, an internationally acclaimed director of theater and opera, as she leads this master class for pre-professional singers.


Open Working Rehearsal: American Ballet Theatre

Tue, Jan 29 , 2019   1:30 PM

Dance scholars provide commentary, via wireless headsets, about the choreography, dancers, and history of the art form as American Ballet Theatre rehearses on stage.

The Kennedy Center

Family Dance Workshop: American Ballet Theatre

Sun, Feb 3 , 2019   11:00 AM

Join us for these 45-minute workshops led by artists from our visiting ballet companies.

The Kennedy Center

Revelations Workshop with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Sat, Feb 9 , 2019   5:30 PM

One of America's favorite dance companies offers a special workshop, teaching choreography from Revelations, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's most iconic work.


Guided Rehearsal: Eugene Onegin

Thu, Feb 28 , 2019   7:00 PM

Audience members get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a world-class opera production as it comes together through this unique open rehearsal experience.


Guided Rehearsal: Faust

Fri, Mar 8 , 2019   7:00 PM

Audience members get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a world-class opera production as it comes together through this unique open rehearsal experience.


Ballet Beginner Class: Creative Movement with New York City Ballet

Sat, Apr 6 , 2019   10:30 AM

Join this participatory class for adults with little or no dance training led by New York City Ballet company members and held in a rehearsal room.

The Kennedy Center

Family Dance Workshop: New York City Ballet 

Sun, Apr 7 , 2019   11:00 AM

Join us for these 45-minute workshops led by artists from our visiting ballet companies.


Open Working Rehearsal: Mariinsky Ballet

Tue, Apr 9 , 2019   12:30 PM

Dance scholars provide commentary, via wireless headsets, about the choreography, dancers, and history of the art form as Mariinsky Ballet rehearses on stage.

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