Shift. A festival of North American orchestras.

2017 SHIFT Festival

Two premier presenting organizations, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Washington Performing Arts, are collaborating to present SHIFT, a week-long spotlight on North American orchestras of all sizes, debuting in the spring of 2017.

SHIFT celebrates the vitality, identity, and extraordinary artistry of orchestras and chamber orchestras by creating an immersive festival experience in the nation's capital. The week-long festival is composed of mini-residencies, with each participating orchestra presenting education events, symposia, and community events in venues around Washington, D.C., along with full-orchestra performances in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.

SHIFT Orchestra Concerts — All seats just $25!

The following events will take place in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.

Boulder Philharmonic

"Nature and Music" is this program's theme, inspired by Boulder's natural beauty and an example of how the orchestra responds to its location. The concert features a multimedia commission commemorating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

  • Mar 28
  • Concert Hall

North Carolina Symphony

The orchestra offers an innovative program, deeply evocative of North Carolina, represented in particular by four composers with ties to the state: Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Mason Bates, and Robert Ward.

  • Mar 29
  • Concert Hall

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

ASO presents "Creation/Creator" by Christopher Theofanidis, a theatrical and multimedia oratorio featuring soloists and the 180-piece choir and orchestra. The work explores creation and the creative process using texts from a wide range of sources.

  • Mar 31
  • Concert Hall

The Knights

This deeply collaborative and creative chamber orchestra from Brooklyn brings a program featuring the San Francisco Girls Chorus along with works by Brahms, Vivaldi, Aaron Jay Kernis, an original commission by Lisa Bielawa, and excerpts of a work created by the orchestra.

  • Apr 1
  • Concert Hall

Residency Events — Most events are FREE. Click below for more details.

The following events will take place at venues around Washington, D.C.

Offsite Event--SHIFT: Boulder Philharmonic: Guided Musical Hikes

As part of the SHIFT Festival, the Boulder Philharmonic brings its guided musical hikes to Rock Creek Park, with a special emphasis on birdsong. This is a free, offsite event. Please see below for further details.

  • Mar 27
  • Rock Creek Park

SHIFT: Patrick Henry High School Chamber Orchestra

Mandolinist and public school educator Jeff Midkiff conducts his Roanoke, VA-based student chamber orchestra on the Millennium Stage.

  • Mar 27
  • Millennium Stage

Offsite Event--SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras: Symposium

As part of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras, a group of panelists discusses the challenges facing orchestras as the audience landscape changes and communities call out for more engagement from their non-profit arts organizations, in a free Symposium at the Library of Congress.

  • Mar 28
  • Library of Congress

SHIFT: Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras

The Wind Ensemble and Symphony Strings from the Boulder-based youth orchestra perform on the Millennium Stage preceding the Boulder Philharmonic's 8 p.m. performance in the Concert Hall.

  • Mar 28
  • Millennium Stage

Offsite Event--SHIFT: Boulder Philharmonic: Pop-Up Chamber Concerts

As part of the SHIFT Festival, the Boulder Philharmonic brings its Pop-Up Chamber Concerts to several areas of Washington's Tidal Basin. This is a free, offsite event. Please see below for further details.

  • Mar 29
  • Tidal Basin

Offsite Event--SHIFT: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra: Creation Stories

Vocal soloists from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra offer a recital that explores the theme of creation. This is a free offsite event. Please see additional details below about registering for free tickets.

  • Mar 30
  • National Gallery of Art

Offsite Event--SHIFT: North Carolina Symphony: unCHAMBERed

Not your parents' chamber music! Indie rock meets today's classical music as members of the North Carolina Symphony and guest singers perform works for chamber ensemble and voice. Please see below for further details about this free offsite event.

  • Mar 30
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum

Offsite Event--SHIFT: The Knights: Concert with Christina Courtin

The night before their Kennedy Center debut, the Brooklyn-based, self-declared "orchestral collective" is joined by singer/songwriter (and Knights member) Christina Courtin for an intimate chamber performance.

  • Mar 31
  • The Hamilton

Offsite Event--SHIFT: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra: Conducting Workshop

Robert Spano, ASO Music Director and Norman MacKenzie, ASO Director of Choruses co-lead a free choral workshop for local choral directors, celebrating the rich choral tradition of the Washington region. Please see below for further details about this free offsite event.

  • Apr 1
  • Wonder Bread Factory

All dates, artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.