The Kennedy Center

National Symphony Orchestra: 2019-2020 Season

Preview 2019 - 2020 Season

National Symphony Orchestra: Labor Day Capitol Concert 2019 (Classical Concert)

Sun., Sep 01 2019 8:00 PM

The National Symphony Orchestra led by Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke performs its annual free Labor Day weekend concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Sunday, Sep. 1, at 8 p.m. The concert features vocalists Mykal Kilgore and Nova Payton in a program of popular songs by R&B hitmakers including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, James Brown, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and others.

NSO Pops: Jim James—The Order of Nature: A Song Cycle (Pops Concert)

Wed., Sep 04 2019 8:00 PM

The eclectic frontman and founder of indie-rock band My Morning Jacket teams up with conductor Teddy Abrams for a special performance of their orchestral song cycle The Order of Nature featuring vocal chorus The Capital Hearings. The first half of the evening features Mason Bates’s Warehouse Medicine from The B-Sides, Julia Wolfe’s Big Beautiful Dark and Scary, and Copland’s Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo.

NSO at Wolf Trap: Jennifer Hudson
(Classical Concert)

Thu., Sep 05 2019 8:00 PM

Showcasing her undeniable powerhouse pipes with the NSO, Grammy® and Oscar® winner Jennifer Hudson brings her signature soul sound to the stage. 
NOTE: Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

NSO Pops: Maxwell: A Night at the Symphony (Pops Concert)

Wed., Sep 18 - Sat., Sep 21 2019

The multi-Grammy® winner has artfully managed to transfix music lovers for more than two decades with songs ranging from “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)” and “Pretty Wings” to “Lake by the Ocean.” Maxwell redefined soul music with his acclaimed debut album Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, and this year releases the final installment of his blacksummers’NIGHT trilogy.
NOTE: Please see important details below about VIP Package merchandise and ticket pick-up.

NSO Pops: Nat King Cole at 100 (Pops Concert)

Thu., Oct 17 - Sat., Oct 19 2019

Celebrate the centennial of the late, great American music legend with a concert showcasing his seminal talents as a vocalist, pianist, and trailblazing icon. Conductor Michael Butterman leads the NSO and an all-star band in such timeless songs as “Unforgettable,” “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66,” “Mona Lisa,” “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” “Smile,” “L-O-V-E,” and more with a stellar cast of vocalists including Patti Austin, Freddy Cole, Dulé Hill, and BeBe Winans. Music direction by Grammy® Award-winning drummer, composer, and bandleader Terri Lyne Carrington.

NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular (Classical Concert)

Sun., Oct 20 2019

An annual tradition! The Concert Hall transforms into a ghostly sight when our ghoulishly attired musicians perform new and old classics to celebrate Halloween. Arrive early for trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Ages 5+

National Symphony Orchestra at The Anthem: Gershwin's An American in Paris (Classical Concert)

Mon., Oct 28 2019 8:00 PM

The NSO continues its series of casual, affordable concerts—a new way to enjoy the symphony! Join them at DC's hottest new venue for An American in Paris, Gershwin's atmospheric love letter to the "City of Lights."  Experience all of the magic and romance of this masterpiece, from a symphony of Parisian taxi horns to trumpets playing the bittersweet blues.

EDU: Peter and Friends (Classical Concert)

Mon., Nov 25 2019

NSO Pops: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix™ in Concert (Pops Concert)

Fri., Nov 29 - Sun., Dec 01 2019

Year Five begins! Between crushing on Cho Chang, studying for his O.W.L.s, and the ever-growing number of detentions from Professor Umbridge™, Harry Potter™ must find the time to discover the secret of his terrible nightmares. Experience the film in HD on a giant screen with composer Nicholas Hooper’s score played live by the NSO.

National Symphony Orchestra DECLASSIFIED: Ben Folds Presents (Classical Concert)

Fri., Dec 06 2019 9:00 PM

NSO Pops: A Holiday Pops! with Leslie Odom, Jr. (Pops Concert)

Fri., Dec 13 - Sat., Dec 14 2019

Our annual tradition, complete with Santa, the joyful voices of The Choral Arts Society of Washington, and even “snow!” Warm your spirit with fresh takes on comforting classics and sing-along favorites in the festively decorated Concert Hall. This year, we welcome Leslie Odom, Jr., whose 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™.

NSO Pops: Game ON! (Pops Concert)

Wed., Jan 08 2020 8:00 PM

Don’t miss this mesmerizing celebration of symphonic video game music in its world premiere! Game music legend Andy Brick conducts the NSO and The Washington Chorus in concert premieres from more than a dozen blockbuster video games combining unrivaled, world-class symphonic arrangements with stunning in-game HD videos and never-before-seen concept art.

NSO Pops: Diana Ross (Pops Concert)

Thu., Jan 09 - Sat., Jan 11 2020

Legendary entertainer and Kennedy Center Honoree Diana Ross returns to perform hits from her remarkable career!

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Beauty and the Beat (Classical Concert)

Sat., Jan 18 - Sun., Jan 26 2020

Marissa Regni
Eric Shin

See NSO principal second violinist Marissa Regni and NSO principal percussionist Eric Shin in an exciting new program exploring the magic created when the violin and percussion join together. Ages 3+

National Symphony Orchestra DECLASSIFIED: Ben Folds Presents (Classical Concert)

Fri., Feb 07 2020 9:00 PM

NSO Pops: Megan Hilty and Cheyenne Jackson (Pops Concert)

Thu., Feb 13 - Sat., Feb 15 2020

The two multi-talented stars of the stage, screen, and music charts join forces with conductor and notable actor Damon Gupton and the NSO over Valentine’s Day weekend to celebrate songs from Broadway, film, and the American Songbook.

NSO Family Concert: Girl Power! Celebrating Women in Music (Classical Concert)

Sun., Feb 16 2020

Don’t miss a special showcase of female composers, conductors, and performers to mark 100 years since the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. Arrive early for a Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Ages 5+

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Mozart Mash-Up (Classical Concert)

Sat., Feb 22 - Sun., Feb 23 2020

Share the magic and music of Mozart in a special family concert when members of the National Symphony Orchestra play favorites from the prolific composer. Age 7+

NSO Family Concert: Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs (a Symphonic Spectacular) (Classical Concert)

Sun., Apr 19 2020

Mo Willems
Ben Folds
Michael Butterman

Once upon a time, there were three hungry Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur… and a Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway! That’s the just the beginning of a hilarious fractured, symphonic take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, as retold by Mo Willems. Don't miss this new classic performed by favorite performers and the NSO, featuring original music composed by indie pop icon and NSO Artistic Advisor Ben Folds. Ages 5+

NSO Pops: Disney•Pixar’s Up in Concert (Pops Concert)

Fri., May 01 - Sat., May 02 2020

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, this animated classic comes back to the big screen with the NSO playing Michael Giacchino’s Oscar®- and Grammy®-winning score live to the film. 

National Symphony Orchestra DECLASSIFIED: Ben Folds Presents (Classical Concert)

Fri., May 15 2020 9:00 PM

Lang Lang in Recital (Classical Concert)

Sat., May 23 2020 8:00 PM

For one concert only, the National Symphony Orchestra presents “the hottest artist on the classical music planet” (The New York Times), Lang Lang. Experience his dazzling piano talents to a solo program of J.S. Bach’s iconic Goldberg Variations.

NSO Pops: Bernstein's On the Town in Concert (Pops Concert)

Thu., Jun 25 - Sun., Jun 28 2020

Don’t miss the NSO in a show-stopping, semi-staged version of Leonard Bernstein’s first Broadway musical hit! The story follows the adventures of three sailors on 24-hour shore leave during WWII and features classic numbers such as “New York, New York,” “Lonely Town,” and “Some Other Time.”

NSO Pops: Amos Lee (Pops Concert)

Tue., Jun 30 2020 8:00 PM

American singer-songwriter Amos Lee—whose musical influences span folk, rock, blues, and soul—joins the NSO Pops for a one-night-only show featuring songs from his latest album, My New Moon. His seventh album, My New Moon reaches into experiences of hope, hopelessness, loss, and renewal. The result is the most wide-ranging musical effort of his career, a set of songs examining issues of mortality, survival, connection, and celebration in ways that are both deeply personal and profoundly universal.