The Kennedy Center

National Symphony Orchestra: 2018-2019 Season

Preview 2019 - 2020 Season

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

Fri., Jun 28 - Sat., Jun 29 2019

Marking half a century since the entertainment world lost one of its most treasured talents, the NSO and three of today’s finest singers recreate the 1961 concert Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall, often called the greatest night in show business history. Join Tony® nominee Laura Osnes, Broadway diva Capathia Jenkins, and Pink Martini's Jimmie Herrod for an unforgettable concert experience celebrating the life and legacy of an American icon.

39th Annual A Capitol Fourth
Hosted by John Stamos
Featuring the National Symphony Orchestra & special guests Carole King, Vanessa Williams, the cast of Sesame Street, Colbie Caillat, Lee Brice & more!
(Classical Concert)

Thu., Jul 04 2019 8:00 PM

Celebrate Independence Day with the NSO and special guests in a free concert of patriotic favorites, classical masterworks, and more, all followed by the spectacular fireworks display!

NSO at Wolf Trap: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire™ in Concert  (Classical Concert)

Fri., Jul 05 - Sat., Jul 06 2019

The Harry Potter™ film series is a once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomenon that delights millions of fans around the world. This concert will feature the NSO performing every note from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire™. 
NOTE: Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

NSO at Wolf Trap: Nas - Illmatic—25th Anniversary  (Classical Concert)

Sun., Jul 14 2019 8:00 PM

Twenty-five years after the album’s critically acclaimed release, Hip Hop icon Nas teams up with the NSO to stage a symphonic rendition of Illmatic, one of the most revered albums in Hip Hop history.
NOTE: Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

NSO National Trustees' Summer Music Institute Orchestra (Classical Concert)

Mon., Jul 15 - Sun., Jul 28 2019

These free concerts mark the first public performances of the orchestral portion of the 2019 Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra's four-week festival of orchestral and chamber music for young people ages 15 to 20. 

NSO at Wolf Trap: "Weird Al" Yankovic - The Strings Attached Tour (Classical Concert)

Tue., Jul 16 2019 8:00 PM

“Weird Al” Yankovic is the biggest-selling comedy recording artist in history, earning four Grammy Awards®. The legendary musical satirist is back with his biggest show ever!
NOTE: Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only. 

NSO Pops: Apollo 11: A Fiftieth Anniversary—One Small Step, One Giant Leap (Pops Concert)

Sat., Jul 20 2019 9:00 PM

Join a musical and visual tribute to the 1969 moon landing hosted by Mythbusters's Adam Savage, featuring appearances by Pharrell Williams, Natasha Bedingfield, Charles Fishman, and more.

NSO at Wolf Trap: Noseda Conducts Tchaikovsky & Beethoven (Classical Concert)

Fri., Jul 26 2019 8:00 PM

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda makes his Wolf Trap debut in a program including Tchaikovsky’s thrilling Violin Concerto, performed by acclaimed soloist Ning Feng, and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
NOTE: Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

NSO at Wolf Trap: Disney Pixar's Coco In Concert Live to Film (Classical Concert)

Sat., Jul 27 2019 8:30 PM

Disney Pixar’s Coco In Concert Live to Film is a family-friendly, live-to-picture concert event featuring Michael Giacchino’s beautiful musical score and the 2017 two-time Academy Award®–winning film for Best Original Song as well as Best Animated Feature Film. 
NOTE: Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

NSO at Wolf Trap: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in Concert (Classical Concert)

Fri., Aug 02 2019 8:30 PM

Director Steven Spielberg’s heartwarming masterpiece is one of the brightest stars in motion picture history. Filled with unparalleled magic and imagination, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial follows the moving story of a lost little alien who befriends a 10-year-old boy named Elliott. 
NOTE: Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

NSO at Wolf Trap: Sarah McLachlan (Classical Concert)

Sat., Aug 03 2019 8:00 PM

Sarah McLachlan is one of the most celebrated singer-songwriters in entertainment with over 40 million albums sold worldwide, three Grammy Awards®, and 12 Juno Awards. 
NOTE: Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

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: An Evening with Maxwell (Pops Concert)

Wed., Sep 18 - Fri., Sep 20 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. 

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, special guest artists, 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.

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: Noseda conducts a dance-inspired program / Bar-Josef plays Piazzolla (Classical Concert)

Thu., Nov 07 - Sat., Nov 09 2019

Tango. Ballet. Viennese waltz. Music and dance inspire each other and the audience in this diverse program of classical works connecting the two art forms. Noseda conducts Ellington’s jazz interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s lush ballet score, as well as one of Piazzolla's most popular works, the tango-inspired Four Seasons of Buenos Aires with NSO Concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Peter and Friends (Classical Concert)

Sat., Nov 23 - Sun., Nov 24 2019

Venture with a boy and his animal friends through the forest. This wild adventure features actors, puppets, and a quintet of woodwind and brass musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra. Infants to 5+

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.

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™.

National Symphony Orchestra: Handel's Messiah (Classical Concert)

Thu., Dec 19 - Sun., Dec 22 2019

Since its debut nearly three centuries ago, one work reigns unchallenged as the ultimate celebration of holiday cheer: Handel’s Messiah. This year, experience Messiah’s supreme glory in Sir Andrew Davis's must-hear orchestration of the beloved classic. A stellar cast of singers joins Davis, the Orchestra, and The Washington Chorus.

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 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+

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+

National Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto (Classical Concert)

Thu., Feb 27 - Sat., Feb 29 2020

The youngest-ever winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, Akiko Suwanai joins Noseda for Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, a work radiating Russian spirit. Thursday and Saturday’s program concludes with Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements and Friday’s performance concludes with Dvořák’s “New World Symphony,” two pieces that evoke the Russian and Czech composers’ enthusiastic immersion into American culture.

National Symphony Orchestra: Kozhukhin plays Grieg's Piano Concerto (Classical Concert)

Thu., Apr 02 - Sat., Apr 04 2020

Following his celebrated NSO debut last season, acclaimed Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin returns to perform one of the most-loved concertos of all time, Grieg’s Piano Concerto. Conducted by incoming Music Director for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra Gustavo Gimeno, the program also includes Shostakovich's brilliant Symphony No. 1. Written at the age of eighteen, the work is already characteristic of Shostakovich's trademark style: unafraid, exuberant, and delightfully dramatic.

National Symphony Orchestra: Langrée conducts Brahms's First / Hough plays Beethoven (Classical Concert)

Thu., Apr 16 - Sat., Apr 18 2020

With its grand orchestration and stormy, romantic movements, Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto is a vital precursor to the composer’s “heroic” middle-period style, which the NSO explores later this season in Beethoven at 250. Stephen Hough effortlessly conquers the concerto, which demands remarkable mastery and range of color from the soloist. Brahms’s radiant First Symphony and Julia Wolfe’s Fountain of Youth complete the program, making a thrilling NSO debut for conductor Louis Langrée, Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

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+

National Symphony Orchestra: Eschenbach conducts Ravel's Boléro / Carpenter plays Poulenc (Classical Concert)

Thu., Apr 23 - Sat., Apr 25 2020

Christoph Eschenbach returns once more to lead an all-French program featuring Ravel’s famous Boléro. The sultry slow-burn never fails to excite audiences, unfolding with increasingly rich combinations in the longest-sustained crescendo of any orchestral work. Rock star organist Cameron Carpenter, “a modern-day throwback to the flamboyant virtuosos of the 19th century” (NPR), joins the Orchestra in Poulenc’s vibrant Organ Concerto.

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: Memory and Myth: Music by Sibelius and an NSO premiere (Classical Concert)

Thu., May 14 - Sat., May 16 2020

In a symphonic exploration of legend and lore, visionary maestro David Robertson conducts Mnemosyne's Pool, an NSO co-commission from Grammy Award®–winning composer Steven Mackey. Drawing inspiration from the Greek goddess of memory, Mackey’s work tells the story of souls who dared drink from the river Mnemosyne in Hades, thereby bestowing eternal life in the Elysian Fields. Sibelius weaves Finnish mythology into music in The Swan of Tuonela, a tone poem depicting the hero’s quest to kill a mystical swan swimming through the Finnish realm of the dead.

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.”