Metro Weekly

Classical Music: Spring Arts Preview 2016

Symphony Concerts and Chorus Recitals in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Anne Akiko Meyers Photo 1_Credit Molina VisualsNothing is bigger than the Washington National Opera’s staging of the full Ring Cycle. Yet there are plenty more highlights in classical this season. And plenty of events with gay appeal, as well. Both the Baltimore Symphony and the Fairfax Symphony have concerts built on a general diva theme. As if not to be outdone, the National Symphony selected a diva to rally the gay troops: Storm Large of Pink Martini. The Baltimore Symphony also has John Waters reprising his role as narrator in its semi-staged production of Hairspray. But the biggest gay development in classical this season is the work Strathmore is doing with Andrew Lippa’s opera partly based on Harvey Milk. And wouldn’t you know it? There’s even a bona fide diva associated with that too: Kristin Chenoweth.


McLean Community Center
1234 Ingleside Ave.
Mclean, Va.

  • Music Friends Concerts with Young Soloists Recital — A free classical music series featuring internationally recognized professional musicians, as well as a showcase of local school-age musicians, co-sponsored by Music Friends of the Fairfax County Public Library (3/20, 4/17, 5/22, 6/5)
  • U.S. Navy Commodores (4/2)


1333 H St. NE

  • Capital City Symphony Haunted Topography, Heavenly Life is a program of touching meditations on life and death, heaven and healing by contemporary composer David T. Little and Gustav Mahler (3/13)
  • UrbanArias — Composer Tom Cipullo offers a searing double bill, including the world premiere of Josephine, a one-woman show about Josephine Baker performed by soprano Melissa Wimbish, and After Life, an opera that imagines Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso arguing with each other in the afterlife about their actions during World War II (4/2-3, 4/8-9)
  • Capital City Symphony — “Great Masters, Young Stars” features Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F Major and Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D Major, performed with the winner of the Johansen International Competition as special guest soloist (5/8)
  • Great Noise Ensemble — Group closes its season with Michael Gordon’s opera Van Gogh, based on the texts of letters between the artist and his brother Theo (5/28)
  • Sirius Quartet — The precise traditions of the classical genre melded with rock, jazz and world music (6/3)



  • All Beethoven — Markus Stenz conducts this showcase of Beethoven’s range and originality, including his homage to the grandeur of Mozart with his Piano Concerto No. 1, to be performed by German pianist Lars Vogt (3/11, 3/13; Meyerhoff; 3/12, Strathmore)
  • Peter & The Wolf — Nicholas Hersh conducts the BSO in Prokofiev’s famous score for a family concert complete with puppets (3/12, Strathmore; 3/23-24, 3/29, 4/2, Meyerhoff)
  • Yuri Termirkanov Returns — BSO’s Music Director Emeritus explores the authenticity and passion of two classics of the Russian repertoire, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 featuring Denis Matsuev (3/17, Strathmore; 3/18-19, Meyerhoff)
  • SuperPops: Broadway Divas — Jack Everly leads the BSO and four female vocalists, Christina Bianco, N’Kenge, Kristen Plumley and Mandy Gonzalez, in selections from Broadway blockbusters (3/31, Strathmore; 4/1-3, Meyerhoff)
  • Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess: In Concert — Marin Alsop conducts a concert performance of this classic with soloists and the Morgan State University Choir (4/8, 4/10, Meyerhoff; 4/9, Strathmore)
  • Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 — Alsop returns to the monumental work that launched her BSO tenure, which she pairs with the world premiere of The City, a commissioned work by Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts (4/14, Strathmore; 4/15, Meyerhoff)
  • BSO Pulse: The Lone Bellow — A classical and indie-rock collaboration with Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring as a springboard (4/28, Meyerhoff)
  • Tchaikovsky & Prokofiev — Dariusz Skoraczewski performs Tchaikovsky’s cheerful and demanding cello showpiece, Variations on a Rococo Theme as part of a program led by Andrey Boreyko, also featuring Prokofiev’s triumphant Symphony No. 5 (4/29, 5/1, Meyerhoff; 4/30, Strathmore)
  • A Celebration of Uncommon Women — Alsop conducts the world premieres of BSO commissions from two women, Joan Tower and Anna Clyne, in a program that includes selections from Bizet’s Carmen (5/7, Strathmore; 5/8, Meyerhoff )
  • Beethoven’s Emperor — Conductor/composer John Adams guides Jeremy Denk in playing Beethoven’s grandiose concerto and then conducts the BSO through his own expressive Harmonielehre (5/12, Meyerhoff; 5/15, Strathmore)
  • The Planets — John Storgards conducts a program focused on the natural world, from Gustav Holst’s most famous composition to Chinese-American composer Tan Dun’s strikingly original Water Concerto (5/20, 5/22, Meyerhoff; 5/21, Strathmore)
  • Bach’s B Minor Mass — Bach’s final crowning achievement is a fitting centennial season showcase for the BSO and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society (5/26, Strathmore; 5/27-28, Meyerhoff)
  • SuperPops: Hairspray In Concert with John Waters — An encore performance of the BSO’s 2013 semi-staged concert production featuring full orchestra, vocalists and the show’s eccentric creator as narrator (6/2, Strathmore; 6/3-5, Meyerhoff)
  • Appalachian Spring — Performed with its original Martha Graham choreography by Baltimore School for the Arts Dancers, Copland’s masterpiece evokes the wide-open landscape and inherent optimism of American possibility (6/9-10, Meyerhoff; 6/11, Strathmore)
  • Yo-Yo Ma — Celebrity cellist performs Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in an Alsop-led program with Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, “From The New World” (6/15, Meyerhoff)
  • Verdi’s Requiem — Alsop ends the season in full-throttle mode, enlisting virtuoso singers, the Choral Arts Society of Washington and the full orchestra to truly bring out the drama and heft of this classic (6/17, Strathmore; 6/18-19, Meyerhoff)



  • Choral Arts Chamber Singers: The Imitative Game — The beauty and complexity of counterpoint is the focus of this concert led by Scott Tucker, the society’s artistic director, and featuring this 30-member ensemble, now in its second season (4/12, Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW)
  • Renee Fleming and Norm Lewis: Some Enchanted Evening — Tucker helps the full chorus of over 190 members celebrate the American musical and specifically the output of Rodgers and Hammerstein. American opera superstar, dubbed “the people’s diva,” and Tony-nominated Broadway star join to sing through the hits (5/15, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)



  • Tavener: Requiem Fragments, Handel: Messiah Part III — Robert Shafer leads the choir, chamber orchestra and soloists in a Spring concert that opens with John Tavener’s final masterpiece, which premiered in the U.K. in 2014, and concludes with a portion of the most famous choral work in the world, composed originally for Easter (4/10, National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW)
  • Shafer: Psalm 121, Durufle: Requiem — Special, non-subscription concert offers a sneak peek into a commissioned work Shafer will debut in April at Hope College in Michigan, a setting of Psalm 121 for pipe organ, to be played by Paul Skevington; concert also includes a stunning piece by French composer Maurice Durufle written just before the start of WWII (6/5, St. Luke Catholic Church, McLean, Va.)


University of Maryland
College Park, Md.

  • Daraja Ensemble — Graduate Fellowship Wind Quintet at the UMD School of Music explores the unique variations within the French wind quintet repertoire, including pieces by Brod, Jolivet, Franciax and Damase (3/23)
  • Murasaki Duo — Cellist Eric Kutz and pianist Miko Kominami formed this duo, named after original novelist Lady Murasaki, 20 years ago at Juilliard (3/24)
  • Invoke String Quartet, Maryland Palestrina Choir and UMD School of Music Soloists — “Shakespeare’s Music: Not of an Age but for All Time” (3/26)
  • Tempo — Experimental music performance organization, established and run by grad students at UMD, premieres new music (3/29)
  • 10th Annual Men’s Chorus Invitational (4/2)
  • Korean Percussion Ensemble Spring Concert (4/4)
  • UMD Chamber Jazz (4/5-6)
  • Maryland Opera StudioRegina (4/8, 4/10, 4/14, 4/16)
  • Chamber Music Showcase (4/11-12)
  • Margaret Leng Tan (4/12)
  • The 3 Cs — Pioneers of the avant-garde piano (4/13)
  • UMD Symphony Orchestra — Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 (4/13)
  • St. Lawrence String Quartet (4/14)
  • Bach Cantata (4/14)
  • UMD Women’s Chorus & UMD Men’s Chorus — Spring Choral Showcase (4/15)
  • Linda Mabbs, Rita Sloan — Soprano and pianist perform “Music in Mind: Paris, 1920,” with works by Poulenc, Satie, Prokofiev and Cole Porter (4/17)
  • Dimitri Murrath — Viola recital (4/18)
  • New Music at Maryland (4/19)
  • UMD Repertoire Orchestra Pines of Rome (4/20)
  • Opera Al Fresco (4/21)
  • UMD Gamelan Ensemble (4/22)
  • Jonathan Butler and Chelsey Green & The Green Project (4/23)
  • Tanya Tagaq (4/23)
  • Spektral Quartet with special guest Claire Chase — One of Chicago’s most magnetic and forward-thinking chamber ensembles performs with flutist and champion of new music (4/24)
  • Irina Muresanu, Rita Sloan — UMD faculty members, a violinist and pianist respectively, explore classical music infused with ragtime, blues, Spanish melodies and gypsy themes, all connected by the works of Maurice Ravel (4/26)
  • Maryland Opear Studio (4/28-29)
  • Fatoumata Diawara (4/28)
  • UMD Wind Ensemble — Charles Ives Collection (4/29)
  • UMD Symphony Orchestra and the President’s Own United States Marine Band (5/1)
  • UMD Koto Ensemble and Washington Toho Koto Society (5/1)
  • UMD Chamber Singers & University Chorale — “The New Choral Masters,” led by the music of Scottish composer James MacMillan (5/1)
  • UMD Percussion Ensemble Concert (5/2)
  • Outdoor Big Band Finale (5/4)
  • UMD Wind Orchestra & Maryland Opera Studio — Two organizations team up to perform Mozart’s final masterpiece Die Zauberflote (5/6)
  • UMD Faculty Artist Recital: The Versatile Viola — Viola player Kathy Murdock leads a program, also with oboist Mark Hill, percussionist Lee Hinkle and pianist Rita Sloan, of two world premieres and works by Berio and Brahms (5/6)
  • Annual Pops Concert — UMD Wind Ensemble, University Band and Community Band (5/7)
  • Prince George’s Philharmonic (5/22)
  • National Orchestra Institute and Festival – Talented young musicians from around the country engage in a month of professional development and music-making, culminating in several concerts, with highlights: a Pops Concert (5/28)
  • Orchestra Unbound, a showcase of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion, in works by Tchaikovsky and Morelli (6/3)
  • American Symphonies features two bold symphonies by Samuel Barber and Randall Thompson, plus a new work by rising composer Samuel Carl Adams, conducted by James Ross (6/11)
  • Clarinet Masterclass with Yehuda Gilad (6/13)
  • Mahler’s Titan (6/18)
  • Peter and the Wolf — A Family Concert with members of the NOI performing Prokofiev’s classic (6/19)
  • Chamber Music Showcase (6/23)
  • Vanska Conducts Sibelius — Renowned Finnish conductor Osmo Vanska leads the final concert of the season headlined by Jean Sibelius’s rousing Symphony No. 2 (6/25)


Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First St. SE

  • Frederic Rzewski, Jennifer Koh, Benjamin Hochman & The Del Sol String Quartet — An all-star group of musicians will perform chamber music by a trio of remarkable American composers, Ben Johnston, George Antheil and Frederic Rzewski, who will debut a world premiere commissioned by the Library of Congress (4/30) \
  • Yefim Bronfman — Powerhouse pianist will perform some of Prokofiev’s most riveting piano music, the “War Sonatas” composed during World War II(5/3)
  • Musicians from Marlboro — A quartet arrangement performs Kaija Saariaho’s haunting Terra Memoria as well as a late Haydn string quartet and Schumann’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor (5/6)


900 South Carolina Ave. SE

  • Charles Mokotoff and John Armato — Lute and guitar duos and solos playing music from the Renaissance to the present day (3/13)
  • Trio Sefardi — A confluence of three performers who share a love of Sephardic music (3/20)



  • This 20-year-old series offers public access to foreign embassies and diplomatic homes in D.C. via classical concerts, followed by receptions, aimed at “uniting people through musical diplomacy.” This season’s offerings are: Guy Mintus Jazz Trio — Last year’s recipient of ASCAP’s Herb Albert Young Jazz Composer Award, among other accolades, leads a New York-based group with fellow Israeli bassist Tamir Shmerling and Dutch drummer Philippe Lemm; concert will be presented by the Embassy of Israel (3/28, venue TBA)
  • Vassily Primakov — “In Chopin, no one currently playing sounds as good as this,” asserts the American Record Guide, something Primakov will display with a program of Chopin but also Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, and all set in one of the most beautiful residences in the city (4/1, Russian Ambassador’s Residence, 1125 16th St. NW)
  • Esterhazy Trio — Named after the famous Hungarian noble family, this group specializes in the music from the court of Esterhazy and will dedicate this concert, with works by Haydn, Tomasini and Abel, to the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian Uprising (4/12, Embassy of Hungary)
  • Edgar Moreau — This 21-year-old French cellist will display how virtuosic and dynamic his playing is with a mixed program of Bach, Franck, Scnittke and Chopin accompanied by pianist Jessica Osborne (5/6, Belmont Mansion, 1618 New Hampshire Ave. NW)
  • Laufey Sigurdardottir — This violinist with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra as well as on the faculty of the Reykjavik Conservatory performs a program of Schubert, Grieg and Beethoven with accompaniment Beth Levin (5/21, Residence of the Icelandic Ambassador, 2443 Kalorama Rd. NW)
  • Juan Vasle — A program of operatic arias, lieder and Slovenian folksongs with George Peachey accompanying this bass/baritone (5/24, Embassy of Slovenia, 2410 California St. NW)
  • Kauder Trio — One of Europe’s fantastic trios, notable in part because of the rare combination of oboe, viola and piano. Their focus, as with this program, is on lesser-known gems by composers such as Kupkovic, Scharwenka and of course its namesake (5/27, Embassy of Slovakia, 3523 International Ct. NW)
  • Ronaldo Rolim — Award-winning and influential young pianist offers a diverse program of Guarnieri, Chopin, Granados and Villa-Lobos, which he’ll perform in a small, 80-seat room in this exquisite building (6/3, Residence of the Brazilian Ambassador, 3006 Massachusetts Ave. NW)
  • Veronika Bohmova — Regarded as the best and most successful solo pianist in the Czech Republic offers a concert of Shostakovich, Albeniz, Ravel and Prokofiev (6/9, Embassy of the Czech Republic, 3900 Spring of Freedom NW)
  • Julio Resende — Pianist applies his skills in jazz improvisation when playing other genres, which he’ll demonstrate with his modern twists on fado as part of a multimedia production (6/23, Residence of the Portuguese Ambassador, 2125 Kalorama Rd. NW)


S&R Foundation
1623 28th St. NW

  • Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music Concert — A wide-ranging program performed by festival musicians (3/11)
  • Erzhan Kulibaev — A 27-year-old violinist, winner of the 2014 S&R Foundation Washington Award, makes his D.C. debut performing works by Beethoven, Faure, Tchaikovsky and Saint-Saens accompanied by S&R Artist-in-Residence Ryo Yanagitani (3/25)
  • Allyn Johnson Trio — An evening of soulful jazz from with special guest violinist and S&R Artist-in-Residence Machiko Ozawa (4/1)
  • Gareth Lubbe — “The Spectral Viola” is a diverse and rich program from this Evermay Chamber violist accompanied by Ryo Yanagitani (4/8)
  • Mason Bates — An eclectic evening exploring how classical music is changing to incorporate electronic touches by the first composer-in-residence at the Kennedy Center (4/13, Halycon House, 3400 Prospect St. NW)
  • Yoobin Son — A New York Philharmonic flutist makes her debut at Evermay in an Overtures recital accompanied by Ryo Yanagitani (4/23)
  • Tanya Gabrielian — Winner of the 2013 S&R Foundation Washington Award returns to Evermay for her first solo piano recital (4/29)
  • Pittsburgh Symphony Quartet — Violinists Noah Bendix-Balgley and Shanshan Yao, violist Meng Wang and cellist David Primo met while in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and continue to collaborate, making their Evermay debut with masterworks of the string quartet form (5/12)
  • S&R Foundation Washington Awards Gala (6/4)


Center for the Arts Concert Hall
George Mason University

  • An Enchanted Evening — Principal Pops Conductor Luke Frazier leads the FSO of music made famous by the enchanting women of the American Songbook, from Judy Garland to Chita Rivera to Eartha Kitt; musical theater performers Mary Michael Patterson from Broadway and Hayley Travers from D.C. will join in the enchantment (3/12)
  • Beethoven’s Eroica — Peabody Conservatory graduate Awadagin Pratt will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in a program led by FSO artistic director Christopher Zimmerman, headlined by the German giant’s Symphony No. 3 (4/30)
  • Beethoven & Brahms — Zimmerman leads this season-ending concert that includes Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 featuring soloist Andrew Tyson (5/21)


Folger Elizabethan Theatre
201 East Capitol St. SE

  • Playing with Fire — Professional musicians in the Renaissance largely improvised, so that’s what the musicians in the Consort will do too, at least in this program of instrumental Renaissance music led by Robert Eisenstein In(3/18-20)
  • Shakespeare and Purcell — British composer Henry Purcell wrote his monumental The Fairy Queen specifically to accompany Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream; the Consort will perform the songs, choruses and instrumental music from the piece along with other memorable settings of Shakespeare by Purcell (4/8-10)



  • Boots, Class & Sass — A salute to some favorite country songs, including covers of hits by Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash to name a few, and also a salute to boys, notably the DC Cowboys, who are reuniting for the show (3/12, 3/19, 3/20, Lincoln Theatre)
  • Carmina 35 — Celebrating the chorus’ first 35 years in song, with a retrospective as well as a production of the classic choral piece featuring the full chorus plus soloists from the New York City Master Chorale, and special guest, Gallim Dance Company (5/8, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)


Lang Theater
Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H St. NE

  • Cosi Fan Tutte Goes Hollywood — Nick Olcott offers a funny English re-telling of Mozart/DaPonte’s masterpiece with direction by Colin Hovde and Stanley Thurston (4/23-5/1)
  • Fidelio — A presentation of Nick Olcott’s new English adaptation of Beethoven’s only and rarely seen opera, about a woman who dresses as a man to rescue her husband from political imprisonment (6/18-19, 6/25-26)



  • Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra — Two free concerts of varied repertoire performed by musicians from the house orchestra (3/12-13, Millennium Stage)
  • Montreal Symphony — Washington Performing Arts presents the return of this symphony to D.C. after a 30-year hiatus, with a program led by Kent Nagano featuring Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 performed by Chopin Piano Competition Awardee Daniil Trifonov (3/14, Concert Hall)
  • Azariah Tan — A free concert by this award-winning pianist (3/14, Millennium)
  • Organ Recital: Paul Jacobs — National Symphony Orchestra presents this Grammy winner’s return to the Kennedy Center to play pieces by Bach, Brahms, Reger, Mozart and Reubke on the Rubenstein Family Organ (3/16, Concert Hall)
  • Simon Ghraichy — New York Concert Artists presents a recital by this Lebanese-Mexican pianist (3/16, Terrace)
  • Washington National Opera Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists — A free performance of opera scenes inspired by myths, legends and fantasy, in light of WNO’s coming Ring Cycle (3/18, Millennium)
  • The Cantare Choir of the Greater Richmond Children’s Choir (3/19, Millennium)
  • Sharon Robinson & Anna Polonsky — “The Complete Works of Beethoven for Cello and Piano” performed over the course of two nights in this Fortas Chamber Music Concert (3/22-23, Terrace)
  • Joseph Moog — Washington Performing Arts presents D.C. debut of this pianist (3/26, Terrace)
  • John Philip Sousa Band Festival — Music Celebrations International presents this festive tribute to “the March King” (4/3)
  • Bavarian Radio Symphony — A rare U.S. tour, presented by Washington Performing Arts, and featuring Mariss Jansons conducting Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 5 (4/12, Concert Hall)
  • Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax — Washington Performing Arts presents these two star soloists in a focus on Beethoven’s cello sonatas (4/13, Concert Hall)
  • San Francisco Symphony — Washington Performing Arts presents Michael Tilson Thomas conducting his signature ensemble in a performance of Schubert and Mahler (4/16, Concert Hall)
  • Vocal Arts DC: Julia Bullock w/Renate Rohlfing — Rising star soprano, a 2014 Juilliard alumna, performs selections by Faure, Wolf, Cage and Revel accompanied by a frequent collaborator (4/18, Terrace)
  • KC Jukebox: New Voices, Old Muses — Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates offers an eccentric concert of mostly new or unusual works, including one of his own using electronic sounds, plus vocal works by two leading lights in new music: Donnacha Dennehy, whose That the Night Come is a song cycle on the poetry of W.B. Yeats, and Anna Clyne, whose As Sudden Shut is a response to Emily Dickinson (4/18, Atrium)
  • 37th Young Concert Artists Series: Ziyu Shen — A Washington concert debut by this 18-year-old Chinese violist, who’s been winning competitions since she was at least 14 (4/19, Terrace)
  • Takacs Quartet — Fortas Chamber Music Concert by Grammy-winning ensemble returning with music of Dvorak, Webern and Beethoven (4/20, Terrace)
  • Antoine Tamestit — A Washington Performing Arts debut program with this “in-demand viola soloist,” who will perform works by Bach and Ligeti (4/24, Terrace)
  • Washington, D.C. International Music Festival 2016 — Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra out of Bethesda and Cerritos High School Wind Symphony from California are two top student ensembles invited to perform at this year’s concert, presented by World Projects Corporation (4/25, Concert Hall)
  • Josef Spacek — Distinguished Czech violinist makes his Kennedy Center solo recital debut accompanied by Miroslav Sekera for a Fortas Chamber program of intriguing works, including Szymanowski’s Greek legend-inspired Mythes and Ysaye’s virtuosic tour de force based on a Saint-Saen’s Etudes, plus Bach, Prokofiev and Saint-Saens (4/26, Terrace)
  • Vocal Arts DC: Michelle DeYoung — American mezzo-soprano, with frequent collaborator, pianist Kevin Murphy offers Manuel de Falla’s Seven Popular Spanish Songs, Edward Elgar’s Sea Pictures and songs by Brahms, Strauss and Joseph Marx (5/1, Terrace)
  • Organ Recital: Christopher Houlihan — National Symphony Orchestra presents this gifted young American organist who will take to the Rubenstein Family Organ to play Bach, Franck, Alain and Vierne (5/4)
  • Enso String Quartet with Avi Avital — Fortas Chamber Music Concert offering Beethoven’s “Harp” Quartet, Sibelius Quartet Voces Intimae and David Bruce’s Cymbeline featuring Grammy-nominated mandolinist (5/4, Terrace)
  • Yury Shadrin & Tian Lu — A husband-and-wife duo present a Washington Performing Arts program conceived of as a journey, progressing from solo piano to four-hand piano to two pianos (5/7, Terrace)
  • The Kennedy Center Chamber Players — NSO musicians play Takemitsu, Hindemith and Carter as well as pieces by Ravel and Faure (5/8, Terrace)
  • Itzhak Perlman and Emanuel Ax — Washington Performing Arts presents a concert by these two celebrated statesmen of classical music touring in support of a new Deutsche Grammophon recording of Faure and Strauss violin sonatas (5/10, Concert Hall)
  • Washington Men’s Camerata — “Music from Down Under” from this men’s chorus, led by Frank Albinder, includes Christopher Marshall’s Tihei, Mauri Ora! as well as works by Hamilton and Leek (6/12, Terrace)
  • 2016 Washington International Competition for Voice Finals — A group of outstanding young vocalists perform before a panel of esteemed judges in the final round of this competition of the Friday Morning Music Club Foundation (6/19, Terrace)


2801 Upton St. NW

  • Viola Power — An afternoon dedicated to playing the viola, with student and faculty performances, an ensemble workshop and alto clef reading tips for every player (3/20, Levine at Strathmore)
  • Miniature Motives, Grand Structures — Vasily Popov and pianist Ralitza Patcheva will demonstrate what distinguished the art of Prokofiev, whose works are monumental in scale, yet also intricate and innovative down to the smallest details (4/2)
  • Marlin Engel Solo Competition — Pianists, instrumentalists and vocalists from ages six to 18 compete in this competition named after Levine founders Jackie Marlin and Diana Engel (4/17)
  • Misbin Family Memorial Chamber Music Competition (4/24)


George Washington University
730 21st St. NW

  • Pan American Symphony Orchestra — Organization celebrates its 25th anniversary with a Spanish musical extravaganza, a “Zarzuela Anthology,” focused on songs from Spain’s Golden Age as performed by the orchestra, the Choral Arts Society of Washington Chamber Chorus, soloists, even a flamenco dancer (3/20)
  • Opera Lafayette — “Opera and the French Revolution” is a fully staged program, directed by Milenka Cechova, with three dramatic scenes from classical Greek tragedies set by Martini, Cherubini and Sacchini and staged during the revolution (4/29)


First Congregational United Church of Christ
945 G ST. NW

  • Coral Cantigas Crossing Borders (3/12)
  • Georgetown Chorale — Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem, blending the poetry of Walt Whitman with a cry for peace, is the centerpiece of a spring concert that also includes classic choral works by Handel and Parry and features soprano Laura Choi (4/30)
  • Cantate Chamber Singers Patterns and Lines is a multimedia composition celebrating the work of world-traveling photographers Judy and Wayne Guenther with poetry by Roberto Ifill and music by Andrew Earle Simpson; also on the bill are works by Samuel Barber and John Corigliano (5/14)
  • Word of Mouth — A concert by D.C.’s young professional a cappella group (5/21)


Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre
1611 N. Kent St.

  • American Landscape — American Romantic composer Amy Marcy Beach gets the spotlight in an International Women’s Day-themed program, guest hosted by JaLynn Prince of the Madison House Foundation (3/12)
  • All About Dvorak — The Mayor of Alexandria, Allison Silberberg, guest hosts a Mother’s Day Concert of music by one of the most enchanting composers of all time (5/7)


Music Center at Strathmore
5301 Tuckerman Lane
North Bethesda, Md.

  • Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass — Stan Engebretson conducts Strathmore’s resident symphony along with soloists, the National Philharmonic Chorale and special guests the Montgomery College Chorale in a performance of Haydn’s trumpeting Mass in D Minor, plus Maurice Durufle’s gentle and meditative Requiem (4/2)
  • Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 — Piotr Gajewski conducts the symphony and chorale in the romantic Russian’s moving and dramatic “Pathetique” symphony, along with two stunning pieces for chorus and orchestra by Brahms (6/4)


Kennedy Center Concert Hall

  • Jean-Yves Thibaudet: Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 — Christoph Eschenbach leads a Romantic program headlined by a showcase for Thibaudet of the rhapsodic sweep of Liszt’s single-movement concerto, but also including Brahms’s heroic, personal Symphony No. 3, three of his Hungarian Dances and the world premiere of Picker’s Opera without Words (3/10-12)
  • Nikolai Lugansky: Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 — Conductor Osmo Vanska will work to whip Lugansky and the orchestra into states of exuberance in Brahms’s mighty concerto, and then usher in the storm of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 (3/17-19)
  • Nikolaj Znaider: Brahms’s Violin Concerto — Violinist begins a two-week residency with Brahms’s daunting showcase in a Cristian Macelaru-led program including Debussy’s La Mer, Faure’s Pavane and the first NSO performances of music by Pierre Jalbert (3/31-4/2)
  • Benjamin Grosvenor: Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 — Gifted young artist makes his NSO Concert Hall debut with Mozart’s final, melancholic concerto, while Nikolaj Znaider concludes his residency by conducting the NSO in a program including Mahler’s moody, ultimately triumphant Symphony NO. 1 (4/7-9)
  • Anne Akiko Meyers: Mason Bates’s Concerto for Violin — The top-selling instrumentalist on Billboard‘s 2014 classical charts joins the NSO for the first performances of this new, ancient animals-inspired work by Kennedy Center’s Composer-in-Residence, in a Hugh Wolff-led program also including Barber’s School for Scandal Overture and Ives’ Symphony No. 2 (4/14-16)
  • Declassified: Mason Bates, Anne Akiko — An immersive, multimedia symphonic experience, and a deeper dive into Bates’ avant-garde, electronic-inclusive works, not just his violin concerto but also The B-Sides and The Rise of Exotic Computing (4/15)
  • Storm Large, Hudson Shad: Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins — Pink Martini vocalist will sing Kurt Weill’s delightful work about a transgressive young woman tempted by the gentlemen of the vocal quartet, part of a program led by talented young American conductor James Gaffigan (4/28-30)
  • Declassified: Cabaret of Sins featuring Storm Large — Another immersive symphonic experience with Large performing The Seven Deadly Sins, plus cabaret songs in this multimedia mix of classical music flipped on its ear (4/29)
  • Vadim Gluzman: Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto — Russian-born Israeli soloist makes his NSO debut as part of an all-Russian program led by Andrew Litton and also including Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11 (5/5-7)
  • Alban Gerhardt: Elgar’s Cello Concerto — James MacMillan makes his NSO conducting debut leading a program that also includes orchestral interludes from his opera The Sacrifice and Vaughan Williams’ unrelentingly tense Symphony No. 4 (5/12-14)
  • NSO Pops: Boyz II Men — An evening of symphonic adaptations and accompaniment to the “Motownphilly” smooth pop and R&B harmonies that has made this 25-year-old Philadelphia trio so successful (5/20-21)
  • Leila Josefowicz: Salonen’s Violin Concerto — Christoph Eschenbach leads a program of Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 “London” and Schumann’s Symphony No. 4, but rightfully headlined by NSO favorite soloist and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s work, heralded by Classics Today as “one of the most compelling orchestral works of the still young 21st Century” (6/2-4)
  • Nathalie Stutzmann: Mahler’s Ruckert-Lieder — Eschenbach continues the NSO’s multi-season Mahler exploration with a look at the composer’s collection of lyrical songs, sung by guest contralto kicking off a two-week residency with the NSO; program also includes Bruckner’s dark Symphony No. 4 (6/9-11)
  • NSO Pops: Forever Gershwin — Steven Reineke leads the NSO in an all-star and extensive celebration of one of America’s most beloved composers, including Jason Moran’s twist on some Gershwin standards with vocalist Jose James, and selections from Porgy and Bess performed by Norm Lewis, Alicia Hall Moran and the Heritage Siganature Chorale (6/17-18)


1600 21st St. NW

  • Jennifer Koh, Ursula Oppens — Violinist and pianist will debut a new work by Frederic Rzewski co-commissioned by the Phillips Collection in honor of its 75th anniversary as well as the Library of Congress (5/1)
  • Metropolis Ensemble — Grammy-nominated group presents its groundbreaking site-specific project Brownstone, a magical “concert-installation” with three electro-acoustic works set to music by Jakub Ciupinski and Chris Cerrone (5/8)
  • United States Navy Band: Sea Chanters Chorus & Quarterdeck Consort (5/15)


11400 South Lakes Dr.
Reston, Va.

  • A nationally roving, three-day a cappella music festival featuring groups from around the world performing in all different styles, all benefiting local music programs as well as the fight against Alzheimer’s. In addition to daytime classes and an auction, the festival presents several concerts: “ACA-Idol,” a competition for professional and collegiate groups in which the audience helps determine the $1,000 winner (4/1)
  • High School Competition concert of finalists judged by a cappella educators from around the country (4/2)
  • Saturday Night Main Event headlined by Take 6 and Blue Jupiter featuring Diana Preisler of Lifetime’s Pitch Slapped (4/2)
  • Sunday Matinee concert headlined by live-looper Julia Easterlin and Maxx Factor, the Baltimore female barbershop quartet as seen on NBC’s The Sing-Off (4/3)


5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, Md.

  • Stephen Schwartz, Ken Page with Young Artists of America — Legendary Broadway composer Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin) and stage and screen actor Page (Cats, The Nightmare Before Christmas) serve as mentor and star, respectively, of this five-year organization’s symphonic version of Schwartz’s 1991 biblical musical Children of Eden (3/13, Music Center)
  • U.S. Marine Band (4/14, Music Center)
  • Academy of St Martin in the Fields w/Joshua Bell (3/18, Music Center)
  • Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras of Strathmore — “Efflorescence” is a vibrant program featuring all six MCYO ensembles (3/20, Music Center)
  • Ward-Kong Duo — Cellist Alicia Ward and pianist Kimberly Kong offer an intimate concert of pieces for cello with accompaniment by Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Schumann and Rachmaninoff (3/24, Mansion)
  • Metropolitan Opera: Rising Stars Concert Series (4/1, Music Center)
  • Jessica Krash — Chamber Seminars (4/3, 4/10, 4/17, Mansion)
  • Greg Sandow — A prominent classical and pop music critic showcases his own classical pieces, with echoes of modernism and pop (4/14, Mansion)
  • Hilary Hahn — Washington Performing Arts presents a concert by the star violinist, a Virginia native who got her start with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (4/19, Music Center)
  • Ensemble Schumann — Pianist Sally Pinkas, viola player Steve Larson and oboist Thomas Gallant form this lively trio, which doesn’t limit itself to the work of Schumann (4/21, Mansion)
  • Kristin Chenonweth & Andrew Lippa with the National Philharmonic I Am Anne Hutchinson/I Am Harvey Milk is a world premiere concept opera combining song, movement and powerful storytelling, focused on two reluctant prophets who stood up for equality and changed the world in their times; Noah Himmelstein directs this Strathmore production along with music director Joel Fram and also featuring Colin Wheeler and the Alexandria Harmonizers (4/23-24, Music Center)
  • Murray Perahia — Pianist performs a recital presented by Washington Performing Arts (5/1, Music Center)
  • Kimberly Kong — This Strathmore Artist-In-Residence, a pianist affiliated with the Peabody Institute, presents workshops for pianists of all levels (5/11, 5/18, 5/25, Mansion)
  • Todd Marcus Quintet featuring Don Byron (5/19, Mansion)
  • Simone Dinnerstein — Celebrated pianist in a concert presented by Washington Performing Arts (5/22, Music Center)
  • Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras of Strathmore — MCYO’s young artists, symphony and philharmonic perform a repertoire including Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture (5/25, Music Center)
  • Potomac Valley Youth Orchestra — 25th Anniversary Spring Gala (5/27, Music Center)
  • Glorystar Children’s Chorus (6/5, Music Center)
  • Strathmore Children’s Chorus Meets the Beatles (6/8, Music Center)


Catholic University
620 Michigan Ave. N.E.

  • Hugh Leclere — A recital part of the Washington International Piano Series at CUA (3/14)
  • Spring Opera Double Bill: La Serva Padrona and Gianni Schicchi (3/17-19, Hartke Theatre)
  • CUA Symphony Orchestra (4/17, St. Matthew’s Cathedral)
  • Ivo Kaltchev and Ralitza Patcheva — A recital part of the Washington International Piano Series at CUA (4/21)
  • Chamber Choir (4/22, St. Vincent de Paul Chapel; 4/23, Holy Trinity Georgetown)
  • CUA Wind Ensemble (4/25, Hartke)
  • Women’s Chorus (4/30, St. Vincent de Paul Chapel)
  • University Singers (5/1, TBA)


National Presbyterian Church
4101 Nebraska Ave. NW

  • The Little Organ Book, Part 2 — Concert focuses on the second half of Bach’s remarkable collection of chorale preludes, which the Consort’s founder and music director J. Reilly Lewis will play on the organ (3/13)
  • Noontime Cantata — Founder and music director J. Reilly Lewis introduces each free, monthly, hour-long cantata before performing an organ work and a cantata featuring both chorus and period instrument orchestra (4/5, 5/3 Church of the Epiphany)
  • Coffee Cantata — A program very different from mainstream Bach repertoire, with more intimate compositions drawn from the Anna Magdalena Notebook — dedicated to his second wife — featuring soprano Emily Noel, tenor Nicholas Fichter and bass Richard Giarusso (4/8, Live at 10th and G)
  • Simply Magnificat — Reilly leads the Consort and soloists in a performance of Bach’s setting of this ancient hymn, also known as the Canticle of Mary (4/24)



  • Parisian Spring — The Rubenstein Family Organ at the Kennedy Center will sound for this program featuring French organist Thierry Escaich, accompanying the chorus as led by Chorus music director Julian Wachner in compositions by Durufle, Vierne and Faure (5/1, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)


Kennedy Center Opera House

  • Wagner’s Ring Cycle — WNO director Francesca Zambello has finally set things in motion for the staging of all four full-length operas in Richard Wagner’s epic masterpiece. For her modern take on this saga of gods and humans, Zambello has recruited a world-class cast, including British soprano Catherine Foster and Swedish soprano Nina Stemme, who will alternate as warrior woman Brunnhilde. Philippe Auguin is music director. You can take in one or all four, whatever you wish, but there are only three performances per opera — one each week for three weeks, making three complete cycles: The Rhinegold — A dwarf steals the Rhine river’s magical gold from its guardian maidens and plots world domination (4/30-5/17)
  • The Valkyrie — The king Wotan is challenged, son Siegmund unknowingly falls for his separated-at-birth twin sister, and Brunnhilde is facing a sad fate (5/2-5/18)
  • Siegried — A coming-of-age story at heart, focused on Wotan’s grandson, who aspires to be a hero and a knight in shining armor for his star-crossed sleeping beauty, Brunnhilde (5/4-5/20)
  • Twilight of the Gods — Deception and betrayal, despair and destruction — Brunnhilde may be able to tempt fate and save the day (5/6-22)


20 W. Patrick St.
Frederick, Md.

  • The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra — Favorites from Hall and Oates, Justin Timberlake and Dolly Parton are among those to be plucked by this ensemble from New Zealand (3/11)
  • Salut Salon — An eclectic female chamber quartet mixing music, instrumental acrobatics and slapstick timing (4/22)


1645 Trap Road
Vienna, Va.

  • Ariel Quartet — Young Israeli quartet performs as part of the Chamber Music at the Barns series (3/11, The Barns)
  • Lawrence Brownlee — Wolf Trap Opera alumnus performs an intimate recital with pianist Kim Pensinger Witman (3/25, Barns)
  • The Aizuri Quartet — All-female quartet makes its Chamber Music at the Barns debut with a world premiere by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw (4/8, Barns)
  • Wolf Trap Opera: Overtures — An evening of song in historic Georgetown house with WTO artists mezzo-soprano Sarah Larsen and baritone Reginald Smith Jr., accompanied by Ryo Yanagitani (5/20, Evermay Estate, 1623 28th St. NW)
  • Steven Blier and Wolf Trap Opera Soloists — “The Great Outdoors” is an intimate, nature-themed concert by the New York Festival of Song pianist and a quintet of singers (5/28-29, Barns)
  • Wolf Trap Opera Company: The Rape of Lucretia — A production of Benjamin Britten’s intimate and haunting lyrical masterpiece based on an ancient Roman tale of corruption and tragedy (6/10-18, Barns)
  • Wolf Trap Opera Company: Studio Spotlight — A program of opera scenes and highlights, including Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Bizet’s Carmen and Verdi’s Rigoletto (6/19, Barns)
  • Wolf Trap Opera Soloists: Aria Jukebox – Company director Kim Pensinger Witman accompanies singers performing opera hits selected by the audience (6/26, Barns)
  • Asha Bhosle with the Wolf Trap Orchestra — The most recorded artist in music history, with over 13,000 songs, from Bollywood to ragas, offers a Farewell Tour at age 82 (6/29, Filene Center)
  • NSO @ Wolf Trap: DreamWorks Animation in Concert — Justin Freer conducts a romp through recent blockbusters, from Shrek to Kung Fu Panda (6/30, Filene)
  • NSO @ Wolf Trap: America The Beautiful — Emil du Cou leads a concert of American composers including Copland, Bernstein and Sondheim and a toast to the centennial of the National Park Service (7/1, Filene)
  • NSO @ Wolf Trap: Yuja Wang — Young virtuosic pianist performs a concert led by Lionel Bringuier (7/8, Filene)
  • NSO @ Wolf Trap: Raiders of the Lost Ark — A special 35th anniversary screening of Spielberg’s classic with John Williams’s epic score performed live by the orchestra, led by Emil du Cou (7/9, Filene)
  • Wolf Trap Opera: L’opera Seria –- The American premiere of Florian Gassman’s 1769 comic send-up of traditional 18th Century opera (7/15-23, Barns)
  • NSO @ Wolf Trap: The Firebird (7/23, Filene)
  • NSO @ Wolf Trap: Pink Martini — Steven Reineke leads another concert featuring Portland’s entertaining lounge music act (7/24, Filene)
  • NSO @ Wolf Trap: Chad Hoopes — Young violinist performs Tchaikovsky with the NSO conducted by Stephane Deneve (7/29, Filene)
  • Wolf Trap Opera and NSO @ Wolf Trap: La Boheme — Paul Curran directs a fully staged production of Puccini’s masterpiece with full orchestra led by Grant Gershon, full chorus and video projections by S. Katy Tucker (8/5, Filene)
  • NSO @ Wolf Trap: Seth MacFarlane The Family Guy creator returns to sing more pop standards with the NSO led by Steven Reineke (8/6, Filene)
  • The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma — One of the greatest cellists of all time with one of the most eclectic, multicultural ensembles (8/11, Filene)

[ninja-inline id=73197]

Please Support LGBTQ Journalism

As a free LGBTQ publication, Metro Weekly relies on advertising in order to bring you unique, high quality journalism, both online and in our weekly edition. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced many of our incredible advertisers to temporarily close their doors to protect staff and customers, and so we’re asking you, our readers, to help support Metro Weekly during this trying period. We appreciate anything you can do, and please keep reading us on the website and our new Digital Edition, released every Thursday and available for online reading or download.

Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

Leave a Comment:

Like What You're Reading?

Get Metro Weekly's Daily Email