The Kennedy Center

slatkin/ stravinsky

National Symphony Orchestra: Slatkin conducts Bernstein / Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring

Thursday, November 2, 2017 - Saturday, November 4, 2017

Select dates for the concerts below feature ForeWords and/or AfterWords discussions!

Former NSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin leads two Bernstein compositions: the lively fanfare Slava! A Political Overture and Songfest, a tribute to American perspectives and writers. He concludes with Stravinsky's legendary ballet score The Rite of Spring.

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Former NSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin leads two Bernstein compositions - Slava! A Political Overture and Songfest - as well as Stravinsky's ballet score The Rite of Spring.

More about the works:

The lively fanfare Slava! A Political Overture is a piece Leonard Bernstein dedicated to and wrote for late former Music Director Mstislav Rostropovich, to conduct on the occasion of his own first concerts as Music Director in 1977.

Bernstein’s Songfest was commissioned by the NSO, and Bernstein himself conducted the premiere and its recording, nearly 40 years ago to the date. The song cycle attaches music to the words of American poets and writers including Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, and Edgar Allen Poe. The NSO's performances feature current and former members of Washington National Opera's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, including sopranos Raquel González and Leah Hawkins, mezzo-soprano Daryl Freedman, tenor Frederick Ballentine, baritone Christopher Kenney, and bass-baritone Hunter Enoch. 

Slatkin closes the program with a piece that Bernstein loved to conduct: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. This powerful and unpredictable ballet score not only sent the audience in the Parisian theater where it premiered into chaos and revolt, but it also changed the landscape of contemporary music and composition.

Performance Timing: Part One - 45 min.; Intermission - 15 min.; Part Two - 35 min.

Note: Leonard Slatkin will sign CDs and books following the performance on Sat., Nov. 4, in the Grand Foyer outside of the Concert Hall.

Part of Leonard Bernstein at 100

Immediately following the Thu., Nov. 2 performance
Stay after the performance for an insightful discussion with the some of the exciting guest artists and NSO musicians featured on the night's program, moderated by NSO Director of Artistic Planning Nigel Boon. You may even have an opportunity to ask a question! Look for even more of these offerings throughout the season; each AfterWords is free with your concert ticket.

ForeWords, with Ted Libbey
Beginning at 6:45 p.m. before the Sat., Nov. 4 performance
Take a journey into the fascinating stories behind the music led by knowledgeable and engaging artists and scholars! Look for even more of these offerings throughout the season; each ForeWords begins at 6:45 p.m. (the Concert Hall doors open 15 minutes prior), lasts 30 minutes, and is free and open to the public.