The Kennedy Center
NSO Season Opening Gala 2018 logo

The National Symphony Orchestra Season Opening Gala

Saturday, September 22, 2018
5:30 pm

Jennifer and David Fischer
Anita and Tim McBride
Gala Co-Chairs

Michael Neidorff
Chairman and CEO, Centene Corporation
Corporate Chair


Program to include

  • Gustav Holst: The Planets, "Mars”
  • Claude Debussy arr. Leopold Stokowski: Clair de lune
  • Pablo de Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy
  • Gustav Holst: The Planets, "Venus"
  • Michael Giacchino: Voyage
  • Gustav Holst: The Planets, "Mercury"
  • Antonin Dvořák: "Song to the Moon" from Rusalka
  • Manuel Ponce: Estrellita
  • Gustav Holst: The Planets, "Jupiter"

The 2018 NSO Season Opening Gala will take place on Saturday, September 22 and will celebrate the beginning of Maestro Gianandrea Noseda’s second season as Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra. As part of the NSO’s season-long focus on space-themed programming, this event will highlight music’s relationship in expressing the vastness and spirit of deep space and space exploration. Maestro Noseda continues to lead the NSO to new heights and, through this event and beyond, is dedicated to exploring a new frontier of artistic possibilities with the Orchestra.

The evening will begin with an elegant cocktail reception on the Kennedy Center’s scenic River Terrace. This will be followed by a gala performance in the Concert Hall featuring a program of space-themed and space-inspired works. Maestro Noseda will also joined on stage by the celebrated, Grammy-winning violinist Joshua Bell.

Following the concert, guests will be transported to another world as they enter the grand pavilion on the Kennedy Center North Plaza for a dinner and reception with Maestro Noseda, guest artists, and NSO musicians. The Gala will engage guests in a dynamic, immersive experience, including themed décor and entertainment, a delicious dinner, and dancing throughout the evening.

The NSO Season Opening Gala regularly attracts executives from Fortune 500 companies, members of Congress and other government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, and philanthropic leaders from across the nation. It is the perfect opportunity for corporate and individual hospitality, and all proceeds from the evening go to support the Orchestra’s many artistic, educational, and community engagement programs throughout the year

The fundraising goal for this year’s event is $1.75 million, and your support is critical to reaching that ambitious target. 

If you would like more information on the NSO Season Opening Gala, please call (202) 416-8102 or e-mail us.

Download a copy of the sponsorship benefits and registration form.

Now is the time to mark your calendars for this remarkable and extraordinary celebration!


  • Gianandrea Noseda

    Gianandrea Noseda

  • Joshua Bell

    Joshua Bell

Presenting Sponsor: