The Kennedy Center

National Symphony Orchestra: 2017-2018 Season

Preview 2018 - 2019 Season

NSO Family Concert with a special appearance by Ben Folds (Family Concert)

Sun., Apr 29 2018

In the spirit of a series of Young People’s Concerts made popular by Leonard Bernstein at Carnegie Hall, Emil de Cou conducts this delightful performance that explores the concepts of melody and rhythm.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Brass of Peace (Family Concert)

Sat., May 19 2018

Comprised of 13 D.C.-area high school students, one of the city’s finest young brass ensembles joins retired NSO hornist Sylvia Alimena to teach audiences all about how this family of instruments makes music out of metal and wind. Age 3+

DECLASSIFIED: "Bach and Beyond" with the National Symphony Orchestra / Gianandrea Noseda, conductor (Classical Concert)

Fri., May 18 2018 9:00 PM

James Ehnes


DECLASSIFIED is part concert and part party, where you can experience the NSO in a more casual setting. Join new Music Director Gianandrea Noseda, violinist James Ehnes, and the NSO to explore fascinating music created and influenced by J.S. Bach.

National Symphony Orchestra: National Memorial Day Concert (Classical Concert)

Sun., May 27 2018 8:00 PM

The National Symphony Orchestra delivers its traditional Memorial Day Concert, an uplifting performance honoring the military service of all men and women in uniform as well as their families at home.

NSO Pops: Jurassic World - In Concert (Pops Concert)

Wed., May 30 2018 8:00 PM

The National Symphony Orchestra, led by Emil de Cou, performs Oscar®-winning composer Michael Giacchino’s score live as the record-setting blockbuster is projected onto a massive screen.

Jurassic World is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment, Inc. Licensed by Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

NSO Pops: Space, the Next Frontier  (Pops Concert)

Fri., Jun 01 - Sat., Jun 02 2018

Join the NSO for a celebration of NASA’s 60th anniversary, featuring music inspired by space and several special guests including will.i.am, Michael Giacchino, Grace Potter, Coheed & Cambria, John Cho, and Nick Sagan.

NSO Pops: Audra McDonald (Pops Concert)

Tue., Jun 19 2018 8:00 PM

As beloved on Broadway and opera stages as she is in her roles in film and on television, iconic singer and actress Audra McDonald joins the NSO for an exquisite selection of her favorite music.

NSO Pops: A Night of Jazz with Gregory Porter (Pops Concert)

Wed., Jun 27 2018 8:00 PM

An artist whose music is at once timeless yet utterly of its time, Gregory Porter joins the National Symphony Orchestra for an evening in support of his album Nat King Cole & Me.
Alert: Second performance added due to demand! Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 8 p.m. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 18 at 10 a.m.

NSO Pops: Melissa Etheridge (Pops Concert)

Fri., Jun 22 - Sat., Jun 23 2018

Melissa Etheridge brings her raw, expressive voice and powerhouse guitar prowess to the Concert Hall for a sampling of heartfelt hits from her groundbreaking career.

BEN FOLDS PRESENTS. Part of the National Symphony Orchestra's DECLASSIFIED concert series. (Classical Concert)

Fri., Jun 29 2018 9:00 PM

Ben Folds presents another in his special series of unique live concert experiences, produced by Folds, that feature artists from multiple genres sharing the spotlight with the NSO to perform their hits, as well as new music. Featured artists will be announced at a later date.

NSO at Wolf Trap: Steven Reineke, conductor / Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban™ (film with orchestra) (Classical Concert)

Fri., Jul 06 - Sat., Jul 07 2018

This concert will feature the National Symphony Orchestra performing every note from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™.
Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

NSO at Wolf Trap: Bramwell Tovey, conductor / Beethoven's Ninth (Classical Concert)

Sat., Jul 14 2018 8:15 PM

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the "Choral," is the composer’s ultimate expression of brotherhood and humanity. 
Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

NSO at Wolf Trap: Emil de Cou, conductor / Jaws In Concert (Classical Concert)

Sat., Jul 21 2018 8:30 PM

Join us at Wolf Trap for a screening of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws as the National Symphony Orchestra performs the iconic score.
Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

NSO at Wolf Trap: Emil de Cou, conductor / Casino Royale in Concert (film with orchestra) (Classical Concert)

Sun., Jul 22 2018 8:30 PM

Film Concerts Live! proudly presents Casino Royale in Concert, produced in association with EON Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios (MGM). 
Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

NSO at Wolf Trap: Leonard Bernstein at 100 / Michael Barrett, conductor (Classical Concert)

Fri., Jul 27 2018 8:15 PM

Luminaries from the worlds of musical theater, dance, and classical music join forces to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of American musical icon Leonard Bernstein.
Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

NSO at Wolf Trap:The Best of Wagner's Ring / Patrick Summers, conductor (Classical Concert)

Sat., Jul 28 2018 8:15 PM

A quartet of Wolf Trap Opera alumni and internationally renowned singers join with the National Symphony Orchestra to perform the most memorable and exhilarating moments from Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle.
Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

NSO at Wolf Trap: Verdi's Rigoletto / Grant Gershon, conductor (Classical Concert)

Fri., Aug 03 2018 8:15 PM

This year’s grand opera at the Filene Center tells the tale of a father whose fierce desire to protect his daughter leads to a tragic quest for revenge. 
Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

NSO at Wolf Trap: Emil de Cou, conductor / Hanson String Theory (Classical Concert)

Sat., Aug 04 2018 8:15 PM

Fueled by a drive to create great art, inspire connection, and cultivate community, pop rock trio Hanson has been entertaining audiences for more than 25 years.
Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

NSO Pops: Star Wars: A New Hope (film with live orchestra) (Classical Concert)

Wed., Sep 12 - Sat., Sep 15 2018

Experience the classic original film in the Concert Hall! Join Luke, Leia, and Han Solo on their epic journey as the NSO’s performance of John Williams's Oscar®-winning score takes the music to new heights, from the bustling Cantina scene to the foreboding trumpets echoing Darth Vader’s first appearance.

National Symphony Orchestra: Season Opening Gala Concert (Classical Concert)

Sat., Sep 22 2018 7:00 PM

Joshua Bell is internationally renowned as “one of the most imaginative, technically gifted, and altogether extraordinary violinists of our time” (The Washington Post). This year, he joins Music Director Gianandrea Noseda to officially open the NSO’s new season.

National Symphony Orchestra: Noseda conducts Pictures from an Exhibition (Classical Concert)

Thu., Sep 27 - Sat., Sep 29 2018

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda conducts a program of music inspired by the visual arts including Rachmaninoff’s The Isle of the Dead, Respighi’s Trittico botticelliano, and Musorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition.

National Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky's Fifth & Ax plays Mozart (Classical Concert)

Thu., Oct 04 - Sat., Oct 06 2018

Hear beloved pianist Emanuel Ax, renowned for his poetic performances, in Mozart’s popular Piano Concerto No. 17 in a program conducted by John Storgårds that also features Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and a work by Silvestrov.

National Symphony Orchestra: Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto (Classical Concert)

Thu., Oct 11 - Sat., Oct 13 2018

NSO Conductor Laureate Christoph Eschenbach returns to lead a program of Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage along with his Violin Concerto, featuring dynamic violinist Ray Chen. The concert will conclude with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral.”

The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works of Dvořák, R. Strauss & Brahms (Classical Concert)

Sun., Oct 14 2018 2:00 PM

In its vibrant first concert of the season, the ensemble of NSO musicians plays Dvořák’s Terzetto in C major, Strauss’s Metamorphosen, and Brahms’s String Quintet in F major.

NSO Pops: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (film with live orchestra) (Classical Concert)

Tue., Oct 23 - Thu., Oct 25 2018

The National Symphony Orchestra presents John Williams’s iconic Oscar®-nominated score fromThe Empire Strikes Back performed live along with the full feature film.

NSO Pops: Andrew Bird with Gabriel Kahane (Pops Concert)

Fri., Oct 26 - Sat., Oct 27 2018

Renowned as a “one-man orchestra of the imagination,” versatile singer/songwriter and classically trained violinist Andrew Bird joins the NSO as part of his national tour performing with indie musician Gabriel Kahane. In his Kennedy Center debut, Bird masters delicately layered pop melodies with nuanced creative genius in innovative orchestrations of his songs conceived by Kahane.

NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular (Classical Concert)

Sun., Oct 28 2018

An annual tradition! The Concert Hall transforms into a ghostly sight when the NSO performs new and old classics to celebrate Halloween, which this year also marks the Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) with our ghoulishly attired musicians. Arrive early for trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Age 5+

National Symphony Orchestra: Gaffigan conducts Russian Masterpieces (Classical Concert)

Thu., Nov 01 - Sat., Nov 03 2018

Acclaimed American conductor James Gaffigan returns to lead a program of Russian masterworks including Prokofiev’s Third Symphony and Khachaturian’s Suite from Masquerade. Charismatic pianist Simon Trpčeski will play Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2, a piece famously written for the composer’s son.

National Symphony Orchestra: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 (Classical Concert)

Thu., Nov 15 - Sat., Nov 17 2018

Denis Kozhukhin makes his NSO debut in Rachmaninoff’s striking third Piano Concerto in a program conducted by Carlos Miguel Prieto from Mexico. The concert will also feature Copland’s El Salón México and Revueltas’ La noche de los Mayas, pieces both closely associated with Prieto's birthplace of Mexico.

National Symphony Orchestra: Britten's War Requiem (Classical Concert)

Thu., Nov 29 - Sat., Dec 01 2018

As November marks 100 years since the final armistice of World War I, the NSO will combine forces with some of today’s most gifted voices and choral groups for Britten’s epic War Requiem, conducted by NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda.

National Symphony Orchestra: Noseda conducts Mahler's First Symphony (Classical Concert)

Thu., Dec 06 - Sun., Dec 09 2018

Gianandrea Noseda conducts a program of spirited and expressive works including ground-breaking Mahler’s First Symphony. The NSO will also premiere a new work by Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates.

NSO Pops: A Holiday Pops! Under the Mistletoe with Ashley Brown (Pops Concert)

Fri., Dec 14 - Sat., Dec 15 2018

Warm your spirit with fresh takes on comforting classics in this singalong tradition with the NSO and The Washington Chorus, a perfect holiday treat for the entire family! Join us in the festively decorated Concert Hall for this year’s program that welcomes musical theater darling Ashley Brown—originator of the title role in Mary Poppins on Broadway—in her NSO debut.

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

Thu., Dec 20 - Sun., Dec 23 2018

Join the NSO, exceptional singers, and a heavenly chorus in the festively decorated Concert Hall for our holiday tradition! Experience all of the hope, redemption, and grace of Handel’s much-loved Messiah, conducted by Nicholas McGegan.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Timbalooloo Live (Family Concert)

Wed., Dec 26 - Mon., Dec 31 2018

Explore the thrilling language of instruments! Grammy Award®–winning clarinetist and composer Oran Etkin and his band use games, stories, songs, and movement to teach children rich musical and cultural heritage. Age 3+

National Symphony Orchestra: Renée Fleming sings Schubert (Classical Concert)

Fri., Jan 18 - Sun., Jan 20 2019

Internationally celebrated soprano Renée Fleming returns for an all-Schubert program, which includes music from Rosamunde, orchestrations of some of his greatest songs, and Berio's Rendering, based on Schubert's uncompleted 10th Symphony.

NSO Pops: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (film with live orchestra) (Classical Concert)

Tue., Jan 22 - Thu., Jan 24 2019

The National Symphony Orchestra presents John Williams’s iconic Oscar®-nominated score from Return of the Jedi performed live along with the full feature film.

NSO Pops: An Evening with Brandy Norwood (Pops Concert)

Fri., Jan 25 - Sat., Jan 26 2019

Following her acclaimed Broadway debut and Kennedy Center engagement as Roxie Hart in the Tony®-winning revival of Chicago, Brandy is the latest entertainer to join the NSO in exploring fascinating connections between R&B and symphony, following the likes of Ledisi, Boyz II Men, Fantasia, and many others. In her first collaboration with a live orchestra, the multi-platinum, Grammy®-winning singer/actress performs favorites from her iconic career.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Banda Magda (Family Concert)

Sat., Jan 26 - Sun., Jan 27 2019

This award-winning band combines South American rhythms with jazz improvisation, sung in six languages for a globetrotting adventure. Age 7+

The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works of Hindemith, Respighi, Lutosławski & Schubert (Classical Concert)

Sun., Feb 03 2019 2:00 PM

The Kennedy Center Chamber Players return to play works by Respighi, Schubert, Lutoslawski, and Hindemith.

National Symphony Orchestra: Brahms, Schumann & Liszt (Classical Concert)

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

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda conducts A Faust Symphony by Liszt, a piece inspired by Goethe's magnum opus. Also on the program is Brahms’s turbulent Tragic Overture and Schumann’s Piano Concerto with soloist Nicholas Angelich, whose commanding technique is not to be missed.

National Symphony Orchestra: Noseda conducts Berlioz's Romeo & Juliet (Classical Concert)

Thu., Feb 14 - Sat., Feb 16 2019

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda leads a richly romantic program with a suite of orchestral music from Berlioz’s Suite from Romeo & Juliet, Wagner’s Prelude and "Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde, and Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini.

NSO Pops: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (film with live orchestra) (Classical Concert)

Thu., Feb 21 - Sat., Feb 23 2019

The National Symphony Orchestra presents John Williams’s iconic Oscar®-nominated score from The Force Awakens performed live along with the full feature film.

NSO Family Concert: Let's Go to the Moon! (Classical Concert)

Sun., Feb 24 2019

As the 50th anniversary of the moon landing draws near, join the NSO for a fun-filled concert of interstellar proportions! 

National Symphony Orchestra: Shaham & Mozart (Classical Concert)

Thu., Feb 28 - Sat., Mar 02 2019

In his NSO subscription debut, Lionel Bringuier will conduct Mozart’s glorious Violin Concerto No. 5, played by renowned violinist Gil Shaham in a program that also includes symphonic fragments from Roussel’s The Spider’s Feast and Stravinsky’s Petrushka.

National Symphony Orchestra: Eschenbach conducts Haydn & Bruckner (Classical Concert)

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

Christoph Eschenbach leads Bruckner’s powerful Symphony No. 2, a work not played by the NSO for over 25 years. The NSO Conductor Laureate pairs this work with one by Joseph Haydn, another master of vivid orchestral colors: his Cello Concerto in D, which will feature acclaimed cellist Kian Soltani in his NSO debut.

National Symphony Orchestra: Baroque & Beyond (Classical Concert)

Thu., Mar 14 - Sat., Mar 16 2019

After his triumphant 2017 NSO subscription debut last May, Baroque master Ton Koopman returns to the Concert Hall leading a program of colorful works by Rebel, Rameau, CPE Bach, Mozart, and Haydn.

National Symphony Orchestra: Glass's Itaipu & Auerbach's ARCTICA (Classical Concert)

Thu., Mar 28 - Sat., Mar 30 2019

In his NSO debut, Teddy Abrams will lead two programs of cherished pieces by Dvořák and Sibelius as well as a work by Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates. The Thursday concert will conclude with Phillip Glass’s Itaipu, and the Saturday concert will conclude with the world premiere of contemporary Russian-American composer Lera Auerbach’s ARCTICA.

NSO Family Concert: Symphonic Storytelling: TheTravels of Babar (Classical Concert)

Sun., Apr 07 2019

Come children (and children at heart!) for a concert that mixes the magic of stories, images, and music, including the U.S. premiere of Return to the Land of the Elephants by composer Raphael Mostel, based on The Travels of Babar storybooks.

National Symphony Orchestra: Debussy's La mer (Classical Concert)

Thu., Apr 11 - Sat., Apr 13 2019

Up-and-coming conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla makes her NSO debut conducting two of Debussy’s most celebrated works: La mer and Ibéria. This program also features Ravel’s Shéhérazade and Martin’s Guitare.

The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works of Loeffler, Shostakovich & Brahms (Classical Concert)

Sun., Apr 14 2019 2:00 PM

In their Spring concert, the ensemble of NSO musicians present a varied program of music by Loeffler, Shostakovich, and Brahms.

National Symphony Orchestra: Unexpected Italy (I): From Vivaldi to Rossini (Classical Concert)

Thu., Apr 18 - Sat., Apr 20 2019

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda leads the NSO and outstanding singers in Rossini’s unquestionably dramatic Stabat Mater in a remarkable program that also features rarely performed gems by Vivaldi, Gesualdo, and Dallapiccola.

National Symphony Orchestra: Saint-Saëns's "Organ" Symphony (Classical Concert)

Thu., Apr 25 - Sat., Apr 27 2019

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda presents a lively program featuring Franck’s The Accursed Huntsman and young piano virtuoso Seong-Jin Cho in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. Saint-Saëns’s stunning “Organ” Symphony brings the concert to a majestic close.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Break it Down! (Family Concert)

Sat., Apr 27 - Sun., Apr 28 2019

This energetic program delights in dissecting parts of music and musical instruments. Children will be amazed by the way instruments from the wind and percussion families are taken apart and put back together again. Age 3+

NSO Pops: An Evening with Leslie Odom Jr. (Pops Concert)

Wed., May 01 - Fri., May 03 2019

Leslie Odom Jr.'s 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™. In his first collaboration with the NSO, he returns to the Kennedy Center with a sensational program combining Broadway and jazz classics, including songs from Rent, Spring Awakening, and a tribute to Nat King Cole.

National Symphony Orchestra: Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique (Classical Concert)

Thu., May 09 - Sat., May 11 2019

Edward Gardner returns to the Concert Hall to conduct Wagner’s Overture to The Flying Dutchman and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. The program will also feature Renaud Capuçon in Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, one of the iconic works in the concerto repertoire.

National Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven's Fifth Symphony (Classical Concert)

Thu., May 16 - Sat., May 18 2019

The iconic opening motif of Beethoven’s Fifth has astounded audiences since its 1808 premiere, and conductor Krzysztof Urbański will bring fresh perspective to this revolutionary masterpiece with all of its original urgency and triumph intact in a program that includes Vilde Frang playing Elgar’s Violin Concerto.

National Symphony Orchestra: Unexpected Italy (II): Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Classical Concert)

Thu., May 30 - Sat., Jun 01 2019

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda continues the Kennedy Center’s Spring celebration of his home country with a program featuring works by Respighi, Casella, and perhaps Rachmaninoff’s best-known work, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, featuring pianist Francesco Piemontesi.

The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Works of Poulenc, Penderecki & Beethoven (Classical Concert)

Sun., Jun 02 2019 2:00 PM

In their last concert of the season, The Kennedy Center Chamber Players will play an eclectic program of Poulenc and Penderecki, concluding with Beethoven’s Serenade for Flute, Violin, and Viola in D major.

National Symphony Orchestra: Dvořák's "New World" Symphony (Classical Concert)

Thu., Jun 06 - Sun., Jun 09 2019

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda presents a program of folk-inspired pieces with a musical language at once original and familiar including Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony: “From the New World,” Copland’s cowboy ballet Billy the Kid, and Berio’s Folk Songs, which features mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili.

National Symphony Orchestra: Mozart Forever I (Classical Concert)

Fri., Jun 14 - Sat., Jun 15 2019

In the first concert of our three-part salute to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Nathalie Stutzmann, conducts the delightful overture to The Marriage of Figaro and “Haffner” Symphony. Concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef and NSO Principal Viola Daniel Foster showcase virtuosity in their respective instruments playing the Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola, and Principal Bassoon Sue Heineman shines in the Bassoon Concerto.

National Symphony Orchestra: Mozart Forever II (Classical Concert)

Tue., Jun 18 - Wed., Jun 19 2019

Nathalie Stutzmann continues the NSO’s celebration of Mozart in a concert with opens with the dramatic Overture to Don Giovanni. The program will also contain Mozart’s Symphonies No. 25 and 40, as well as his Horn Concerto No. 4 featuring NSO Principal Horn Abel Pereira.

National Symphony Orchestra: Mozart Forever III (Classical Concert)

Fri., Jun 21 - Sat., Jun 22 2019

The NSO concludes its Mozart Forever series with a program led by Nathalie Stutzmann that includes the glorious “Jupiter” symphony and the famous Overture to The Magic Flute. The concert will also feature Principal Musicians Aaron Goldman and Adriana Horne in the Concerto for Flute and Harp.

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

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

Marking half a century to the week since the entertainment world lost one of its greatest treasures, the NSO and a trio of exceptional singers remember the immortal music and extraordinary cultural impact of Judy Garland—star of The Wizard of Oz, Easter Parade, Meet Me in St. Louis, A Star Is Born, and countless more.