Metro Weekly

Music – Classical & Choral: Spring Arts Preview 2017

Third Coast Percussion — Photo: Saverio Truglia

Organist Cameron Carpenter at Strathmore, Bernadette Peters with the Wolf Trap Orchestra. If you go for bombast and starpower in shows full of pomp and circumstance, you’re in for many treats during the second half of the classical music season. Perhaps the most tantalizing examples involve the leadership transition at the National Symphony Orchestra. Outgoing music director Christoph Eschenbach offers “Ode to Joy” as his swan song, while Gianandrea Noseda ushers his era in with “O Fortuna.”

Noseda will fill Wolf Trap with Carmina Burana months before he officially takes the NSO reins — and months after two other noteworthy productions of Carl Orff’s well-known masterpiece. Even the Gay Men’s Chorus is getting in on the full-throated, full-throttle spectacle, as special guests of the Washington Chorus in a production at the Kennedy Center.


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 (3/26)


1333 H St. NE

  • Capital City Symphony Great Masters, Young Stars features Lynne Bai, 2016 winner of the Ylda Novik Memorial Concerto Competition for Pianists, performing Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto (3/12)
  • Rob Schwimmer — Dancing easily between jazz and classical and performing expertly on the piano, theremin and other instruments (3/18)
  • Stephan Crump: Rhombai — Transparent Productions presents a Grammy-nominated bassist and composer along with veteran explorer Ellery Eskelin on tenor saxophone, brilliant young trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, and longtime collaborator TyShawn Sorey on drums (3/19)
  • UrbanArias: Lucy — Set in the ’60s, John Glover and Kelly Rourke’s short opera tells the true tale of a psychologist who adopted a chimpanzee and raised her with the family (4/1-8)
  • Capital City Symphony: Times and Places — Victoria Gau conducts the final main season concert featuring soprano Jennifer Casey Cabot and Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs (5/7)



  • Beethoven’s Emperor — Paul Goodwin leads an examination of the relationship between Beethoven’s dazzling Symphony No. 4 and the sprightly 20th century neoclassicism of Stravinsky’s Concerto in E-Flat (3/10, 3/12, Meyerhoff; 3/11, Strathmore)
  • SuperPops: Celtic Celebration — Jack Everly leads a St. Patrick’s Day celebration with music from the films Braveheart and Titanic and musicals Brigadoon and Finian’s Rainbow (3/16, Strathmore; 3/17-19, Meyerhoff)
  • Stravinsky’s Petrushka — Conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier conjures up an enchanting French-inspired program with violinist Augustin Hadelich (3/24, 3/26, Meyerhoff; 3/25, Strathmore)
  • Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade — Music Director Marin Alsop offers a sensuous program with violinist Jennifer Koh (3/30, Meyerhoff; 4/2, Strathmore)
  • Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique — Violinist Ray Chen performs Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in a Ludovic Morlot-led program (4/6, Strathmore; 4/7-8, Meyerhoff)
  • SuperPops: The Doo Wop Project — Stars of Broadway’s Jersey Boys and Motown: The Musical in a harmony-rich program (4/20, Strathmore; 4/21-23, Meyerhoff)
  • Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 — Alsop leads a program of spiritual reflection and sacred inspiration from the Eastern Orthodox Church (4/28, 4/30, Meyerhoff; 4/29, Strathmore)
  • Stravinsky’s Firebird — Frenchman David Fray joins to perform Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major in a program led by Principal Guest Conductor Markus Stenz and the work that catapulted Stravinsky to fame (5/4, Meyerhoff; 5/7, Strathmore)
  • BSO Pulse: Lower Dens — The orchestra performs a joint, genre-busting concert with Baltimore-based indie-pop act (5/11, Meyerhoff)
  • Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks — Stenz leads a program of Strauss and Mozart, as well as Haydn’s humorous Trumpet Concerto featuring Andrew Balio (5/12, Meyerhoff; 5/13, Strathmore)
  • SuperPops: Movie and Music: E.T. The Extraterrestrial In Concert — Spielberg’s classic is projected on a giant screen while Everly conducts John Williams’ Oscar-winning score (5/18, Strathmore, 5/19-21, Meyerhoff)
  • Gershwin & Prokofiev — Christoph Konig conducts a program of Ravel, Messiaen and Prokofiev featuring superstar Ukrainian-Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman (6/2, 6/4, Meyerhoff; 6/3, Strathmore)
  • Brandenburg — Bach’s six Brandenburg concertos are performed with soloists from the BSO, led by Alsop (6/8, Strathmore; 6/10-11, Meyerhoff)
  • Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony — Alsop pulls out all the stops for a closing concert that is grand in every way, including audience favorite Gil Shaham performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (6/15-18, Meyerhoff; 6/17, Strathmore)



  • Mozart Requiem — A trio of works close out Choral Arts’ Concert Hall season, and it doesn’t get any bigger than Mozart’s mass (4/23, Kennedy Center)



  • A Heartfelt Sound: Ralph Vaughan Williams — A moving cantata featuring the poetry of Walt Whitman and the liturgical prayer “Dona Nobis Pacem” (Grant us Peace) with Young American Artists program soloists and the James Madison High School Madrigals (3/12, St. Luke Catholic Church, McLean, Va.)
  • A Majestic Sound: Georg Frideric Handel Solomon — A magnificent oratorio telling the rich, dramatic story of King Solomon (5/7, National Presbyterian Church)


University of Maryland
College Park, Md.

  • The Nouveau Classical Project: Sacred-Profane — A classical musical ensemble that thrives at the intersection of fashion and art (3/10, Kogod Theatre)
  • UMD Wind Ensemble: Strike Up The Bands! (3/10, Dekelboum Concert Hall)
  • Viola Extravaganza (3/11, Smith Hall)
  • Music in Mind: Duo Down the Danube — Violinist James Stern and pianist Audrey Andrist perform Schubert, Dohnanyi, Bartok and Enescu (3/14, Gildenhorn Recital Hall)
  • University & Community Band Concert (3/15, Dekelboum)
  • Renegade Series: WindSync (3/16, Gildenhorn)
  • UMD Men’s Chorus: Men’s Chorus Invitational (3/31, Memorial Chapel)
  • Third Coast Percussion — High-energy ensemble blends the energy of a rock concert, the sophistication of classical music and the accessibility of interactive technology (4/1, Gildenhorn)
  • UMD Wind Orchestra: Exotic Birds — Faculty member Rita Sloan joins to perform Messiaen’s showpiece Oiseaux Exotiques, a dazzling mixture of songs taken from birds throughout the world (4/7, Dekelboum)
  • Maryland Opera Studio: The Orpheus Adventure — Two radically different tellings of the Orpheus myth, by Gluck and Offenbach, in productions with full orchestra and a large cast of singers and dancers (4/7-15, Kay Theatre)
  • UMD Chamber Singers: Spring Choral Showcase (4/8, Memorial Chapel)
  • UMD Symphony Orchestra: Conductors’ Concert (4/12, Dekelboum)
  • Music in Mind: Murasaki Duo Classics and newly commissioned pieces by cellist Eric Kutz and pianist Miko Kominami in a partnership named after novelist Lady Murasaki (4/15, Gildenhorn)
  • Tempo Concert — Experimental music performance organization run by grad students (4/17, Gildenhorn)
  • Chamber Music Recital (4/18-19, Gildenhorn)
  • UMD Repertoire Orchestra Concert (4/26, Dekelboum)
  • Maryland Opera Studio: Opera Scene Study — First-year opera students perform with piano accompaniment and minimal props (4/27-28, Gildenhorn)
  • UMD Wind Ensemble: Dances and Flourishes (4/28, Dekelboum)
  • UMD Percussion Ensemble (5/1, Dekelboum)
  • Music in Mind: Joel Krosnick and Gilbert Kalish — Cellist and pianist, sonata partners for more than 30 years, perform works by Brahms and Beethoven (5/3, Gildenhorn)
  • UMD Wind Orchestra: The Sound of Light (5/6, Dekelboum)
  • University Chorale, UMD Women’s Chorus & UMD Men’s Chorus: Spring Choral Showcase (5/7, Dekelboum)
  • National Orchestral Institute + Festival — Talented young musicians from around the country engage in a month of professional development and music-making, culminating in several concerts: Pops Extravaganza – A Night at the Theater — Cincinnati Pops conductor John Morris Russell leads the opening concert featuring Wolf Trap Opera Studio Artists as well as the NOI Philharmonic (6/3, Dekelboum); Take The Reins — NOI musicians go conductorless for a program of Beethoven, Bizet and Stravinsky (6/10, Dekelboum); American Masterworks — David Alan Miller leads a concert and recording project rich with brass and percussion, including Steven Stucky’s Pulitzer Prize-winning concerto (6/17, Dekelboum); Mahler’s Fourth — Wolf Trap Opera Filene Young Artist Madison Leonard joins as soprano soloist for a program led by Asher Fisch including Bartok’s tempestuous ballet score to The Miraculous Mandarin (6/24, Dekelboum); Elgar’s Cello Concerto — Robert deMaine is the featured soloist in a performance led by Manuel Lopez-Gomez from Venezuela’s renowned program El Sistema (7/1, Dekelboum)


Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H St. NE
202-399-7993 ext. 182

  • Road Trip! Tour The USA In Our Cabaret — A high-energy production with Chamber Ensemble that celebrates the geographic diversity of America’s popular music, from the protest and psychedelic rock of San Francisco to New York’s Broadway, via Chicago blues, Nashville country and Texas ranchera (3/16-19)
  • Spring Sing: Lifting Our Voices In Song — American Youth Chorus, NorthEast Senior Singers and Chamber Ensemble perform an eclectic mix of choral works (4/8, Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 East Capitol St. NE)
  • New Horizons: Music Without Borders — Closing out the group’s 30th season with a program of “world music” by American composers, including the D.C. premiere of Calling All Dawns by Grammy-winning composer Christopher Tin (6/3)


Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First St. SE

  • Musicians from Marlboro — An annual tour of exceptional young musicians from Vermont’s Marlboro Music School and Festival (3/22)
  • Arditti Quartet w/ Eliot Fisk — Fabled boundary-pushing string quartet and renowned classical guitarist premiere a co-commission by Wolfgang Rihm (3/24)
  • Orion String Quartet — The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival co-presents a concert of Schumann and Schoenberg and two works by viola player Brett Dean (4/8)
  • Steven Isserlis and Connie Shih — Legendary cellist and Canadian pianist team up for a Faure foray, plus Shostakovich, Martinu, Hahn and a work by Thomas Ades composed for Isserlis (4/21)



  • Glitter and be Gay! — A Capitol Pride Symphonic Band concert exploring the contributions of LGBT+ composers, from Leonard Bernstein to Jennifer Higdon, Aaron Copland to Steven Reineke, Cole Porter to Elton John (3/25, Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW)



  • A 21-year-old series offering public access to foreign embassies and diplomatic homes in D.C. via classical concerts and receptions, aimed at “uniting people through musical diplomacy”
  • Hanka G. — Slovakian jazz soul singer joined by Anthony Wonsey, Kris Funn and John R. Lamkin (3/17, Embassy of Slovakia)
  • Vikingur Olafsson — Rising star pianist touring in support of Deutsche Grammophon debut of Philip Glass piano works (4/9, Icelandic Ambassador’s Residence)
  • Daniel Lebhardt — Already a multi-award-winning pianist at only 23 years of age (4/21, Embassy of Hungary)
  • Songs Commemorating the Holocaust — Baritone Jerome Barry and Lithuanian pianist Edvinas Minkstimas perform Jewish music for Holocaust Memorial Day (4/24, Embassy of Lithuania)
  • ZOFO Duet — Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi are one of only a handful of duos devoted exclusively to piano duets (4/27, Residence of the Swiss Ambassador)
  • Karim Nagi & Friends — Egyptian multi-instrumentalist performs with zither harp player Kylie Hilali and bamboo flutist Abderrahim Amthgal (4/28, International student House)
  • Ustad Dilshad Ensemble Former violinist for the Pakistan National Orchestra, now an internationally touring musician/composer (5/20, Residence of the Pakistani Ambassador)
  • Martin Babjak, Daniel Buranovsky — One of Slovakia’s finest singers performs arias and songs with piano accompaniment (6/1, Embassy of Slovakia)
  • Emmanuel Ceysson — Called the “enfant terrible” of the harp, multi-award-winner and former principal harpist with the Paris National Opera (6/16, Belmont Mansion)


Center for the Arts Concert Hall
George Mason University

  • Inspiring the Next Generation: In Mo Yang — Music Director Christopher Zimmerman leads the FSO in a program of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, featuring up-and-coming young Korean violinist (4/29)
  • “Ode to Joy” — The Fairfax Choral Society, Music & Arts Chorus and several soloists join to perform Beethoven’s final masterpiece, Symphony No. 9, as a capstone to the FSO’s 60th season (5/13)


Folger Elizabethan Theatre
201 East Capitol St. SE

  • Starry Messenger — Early music ensemble led by Robert Eisenstein performs innately dramatic music from the early Baroque period in late-16th century Italy, including songs by Monteverdi and Galileo’s father Vincenzo Galilei, with guest string players Risa Browder and John Moran, harpsichordist Webb Wiggins and soprano Julianne Baird (3/31-4/2)
  • The Play of Love — A sparkling assortment of passionate love songs, court and country dances and selections from Adam de La Halle’s Play of Robin and Marion in a program of medieval music with guests Shira Kammen on vielle and fiddle and the duo of soprano Emily Noel and baritone Peter Becker (4/28-30)



  • How To Succeed in Business without Really Trying — A campy, mostly male spin on the old-fashioned musical that otherwise plays it straight (3/10-12, Lincoln Theatre)
  • God Save The Queens — The chorus’s select groups Potomac Fever and Rock Creek Singers perform a tribute to British pop queens, from Freddie Mercury to George Michael, David Bowie to Adele (4/15, The Barns at Wolf Trap)


4373 Mason Pond Drive
Fairfax, Va.

  • Mason Symphony Orchestra & Virginia Chamber Orchestra (3/22, Concert Hall)
  • Virginia Opera: Turandot — An elegant new production of Puccini’s last opera, a timeless masterpiece (3/25-26, Concert Hall)
  • Vocal Pops A Capella Concert (4/2, Harris Theatre)
  • Virginia Tech Wind Ensemble and Combined Choirs (4/10, Concert Hall)
  • Wind Symphony & Symphonic Band (4/25, Concert Hall)
  • Mason Opera: Iolanthe (4/28-30, Harris)
  • Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel: The Genius of Chopin (4/30, Concert Hall)


730 21st St. NW

  • Pan American Symphony Orchestra: Soul of Tango — The 30-piece orchestra and three pairs of international tango dancers perform as the conclusion of the organization’s monthlong 11th DC Tango Festival, with most other events at the Embassy of Argentina (5/6)
  • Opera Lafayette: Les Indes Galantes-Part IV — Ryan Brown conducts Jean-Philippe Rameau and Louis Fuzelier’s multinational love story set in North America, inspired by an 18th-century visit of American Indian chiefs to France (5/31)
  • Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra — Moscow Virtuosi and conductor Vladimir Spivakov are joined by Metropolitan Opera star soprano Hibla Gerzmava (6/3)


Halcyon House
3400 Prospect St. NW

  • The Experiential Orchestra: Stravinsky Dance Party — James Blachly conducts a 77-member ensemble in performance of the famously riot-inducing ballet Rite of Spring, followed by a curated DJ set blending electronica and classical styles in a “classical music rave” (3/18, Dock5 at Union Market)
  • Lembit Beecher and the Aizuri Quartet: To Hide in a Tree of Sound — An interdisciplinary chamber opera from award-winning composer performing “one-of-a-kind” sound-generating sculptures along with innovative all-female string quartet (6/9)
  • Wolf Trap Opera, CityDance: Philip Glass’s The Fall of the House of Usher — Edgar Allan Poe’s gothic tale transformed as an opera, performed in a one-night-only production directed by Septime Webre and featuring Wolf Trap singers and CityDance dancers (6/17, Dock5)


10960 George Mason Circle
Manassas, Va.

  • Manassas Chorale, Voices United: Honor and Majesty — 20 of the area’s finest instrumentalists join two chorale groups to perform a variety of sacred music from some of America’s best composers and arrangers (3/18, Merchant Hall)
  • Piedmont Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony — Featuring soloists from the Maryland Lyric Opera, the Reston Chorale and members from numerous area choruses in addition to the orchestra (3/26, Merchant)
  • Linda Apple Monson and Friends: The Art of the Piano — George Mason University’s Director of Keyboard Studies is joined by vocalists and pianist Anna Balakerskaia for an inspiring repertoire of thrilling classical piano music over lunch (3/28, Gregory Family Theater)
  • Hylton 7th Anniversary Gala (4/1, Merchant)
  • Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel: A Few of Your Favorite Things (4/22, Merchant)
  • New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players: H.M.S. Pinafore (5/4, Merchant Hall)
  • Youth Orchestras of Prince William: Let it Bloom! (5/7, Merchant)
  • Manassas Symphony Orchestra: Symphonic Exuberance — A chorus of students from multiple Prince William County high schools perform Dan Forrest’s joyful masterpiece Requiem for the Living (5/13, Merchant)
  • Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra: American Symphonic Masterpieces — Prince William County’s premiere chamber ensemble offers a tribute to Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber and George Gershwin (5/27, Merchant)
  • Manassas Chorale: Earth, Sea and Sky (6/2, Merchant)


Lang Theater
Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H St. NE

  • Donizetti’s Don Pasquale — Elizabeth Pringle directs a new English adaptation of the comic opera about an aging rock star (3/18-26, GALA Hispanic Theatre, 3333 14th St. NW)
  • Diana Saez & Friends: Passion & Struggle — Abel Lopez and Saez direct Pavel Urquiza, Rigel Perc and Suzzette Ortiz in a cabaret of Latin-America’s nueva cancion, or trova, with songs spanning five countries and five decades (4/29-5/7, Atlas)
  • Oberon or The Elf King’s Oath — Writer/director Nick Olcott unveils a new English adaptation of Carl Maria von Weber’s 19th century romantic opera about the king of fairies and the mischievous Puck (6/10-18, GALA)



  • John Philip Sousa Band Festival — Music Celebrations International presents a festive tribute to “The March King” with works by Leonard Bernstein and John Williams (3/12, Concert Hall)
  • Shift: A Festival of American Orchestras: Washington Performing Arts co-presents a series of four orchestras, including: Boulder Philharmonic — Music Director Michael Butterman leads a “Nature and Music” performance including a multimedia commission commemorating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (3/28, Concert Hall); North Carolina Symphony — A program featuring works by Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Mason Bates and Robert Ward (3/29, Concert Hall); Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus — Christopher Theofanidis’ Creation/Creator is a theatrical and multimedia oratorio featuring soloists, 180-piece choir and a full orchestra (3/31, Concert Hall); The Knights — Eric Jacobsen conducts a deeply collaborative and creative chamber orchestra from Brooklyn, performing with the San Francisco Girls Chorus and featuring vocalist Christina Courtin (4/1, Concert Hall)
  • Daniil Trifonov — Washington Performing Arts presents a recital of young Russian pianist (4/4, Concert Hall)
  • Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lambert Orkis — World-acclaimed violinist in recital with longtime duet partner and NSO keyboardist (4/8, Concert Hall)
  • Masterwork Festival Chorus & National Children’s Festival Choruses — Manhattan Concert Productions presents a concert performance of Vierne’s Solemn Mass as well as choral selections (4/10, Concert Hall)
  • Washington, D.C. International Music Festival 2017 — World Projects Corporation presents performances by top high school and community ensembles, this year including Mira Mesa High School String Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, Bullard High School Wind Ensemble and Santa Monica High School Wind Ensemble (4/16, Concert Hall)
  • Joyce DiDonato in Handel’s Ariodante in Concert, with the English Concert — The superstar mezzo-soprano sings in the title role in a concert version of the passionate Italian opera (5/2, Concert Hall)
  • Hubble Cantata: A Live Virtual Reality Performance — A space-inspired cantata with opera star Nathan Gunn, a 20-piece instrumental ensemble, a 100-person choir from the Washington Chorus and a cutting-edge virtual reality film (5/25, Concert Hall)
  • Vivaldi Music Academy — Faculty members and students offer a recital showcasing all levels of musicianship (6/23, Family Theater)


2801 Upton St. NW

  • Gala 2017 — Spotlighting some of Levine’s extraordinary students, faculty and alumni (3/19, Arena Stage)
  • Master Class Series: Imani Winds — Adventurous New York-based wind quintet (4/8, Dumbarton United Methodist Church)
  • 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 (4/9)
  • Master Class Series: Zuill Bailey (4/22, Strathmore)
  • Misbin Family Memorial Chamber Music Competition — Washington Performing Arts co-presents this annual competition open to instrumental chamber music students and adults of every level, from amateur to professional (4/23)
  • Los Angeles Guitar Quartet — Grammy-winning ensemble displays technical skill and imaginative programming in a performance also featuring Levine guitar students (5/7, Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center)
  • Waterford: Ariel Horowitz — “The Best of Levine” Concert Series showcases a Levine alumna, now an acclaimed violinist (5/21, Waterford Old School)


First Congregational United Church of Christ
945 G ST. NW

  • New Orchestra of Washington: Witches, Wizards & Warlocks — The “Mother Goose Suite” by Ravel, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas and Pictures at Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky (3/18)
  • Georgetown Chorale — Orchestra and soloists join for Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, an homage to his adopted homeland of England (4/29)
  • Garrick Zoeter with SUCLarinets — A clarinet choir featuring students from Shenandoah Conservatory (5/6)
  • Word of Mouth — A concert by D.C.’s young professional a cappella group (5/13)
  • Thomas Circle SingersFrom Discord to Harmony: The Struggle for Peace offers hopeful, inspiring songs by Blake Henson, Michael Fili, Randall Thompson, Stephen Paulus, Johannes Brahms and more (5/20)
  • Cantate Chamber Singers — “A Choral Fringe Festival” is an eclectic program of quirky choral works (6/3)


Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre
1611 N. Kent St.

  • The Four Seasons of Vivaldi and Piazzolla — Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette will read Vivaldi’s sonnets in a program also featuring spectacular multimedia images of both Vivaldi’s masterpiece and Piazzolla’s sensual Four Seasons of Buenos Aires (3/25)
  • Music of Our Time — The premiere of Dreamers by A. Shor featuring Bowen McCauley Dance and the return of clarinet star Julian Milkis in a season-ending program of classical works and music from film and theater (5/13)


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

  • Brahms’s Requiem — Music Director Piotr Gajewski leads the symphony, the National Philharmonic Chorale and soloists in one of the most important choral works of the Romantic era (3/18)
  • Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 — Piano prodigy Eric Lu performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 during a magnificent Mozart program, also including the satirical A Musical Joke (4/1)
  • Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition — Celebrated cellist Zuill Bailey performs Max Bruch’s Kol Nidrei, variations on two themes of Jewish origin, and Schlemo from Ernest Bloch’s Jewish Cycle (4/22-23)
  • Carmina Burana — Gajewski leads the orchestra, the National Philharmonic Chorale, the Strathmore Children’s Chorus and soloists in Carl Orff’s rousing masterpiece (5/20)


Kennedy Center Concert Hall

  • Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto featuring Alisa Weilerstein A Salute to Slava program led by Music Director Christoph Eschenbach also including Schubert’s Ninth Symphony and Tobias Picker’s Old and Lost Rivers (3/9-11)
  • Mozart’s Third Violin Concerto featuring Nurit Bar-Josef — NSO Concertmaster performs Mozart’s celebrated work in a Eschenbach-led program also featuring Bruckner’s titanic Symphony No. 1 (3/16-18)
  • NSO Pops: Common — Chicago rapper and actor join NSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke for a one-night-only concert of hip-hop at the symphony (3/22)
  • NSO Pops: 100 Years of Ella & Company Sophisticated Ladies features the NSO with singers Sy Smith, Capathia Jenkins and Montego Glover paying tribute to Ella, Sarah, Billie and Dinah (3/24-25)
  • Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto featuring Lise de la Salle — James Conlon conducts three cherished works by longtime colleagues and collaborators of late NSO Music Director Mstislav Rostropovich, part of A Salute to Slava (4/6-8)
  • Beethoven’s Violin Concerto featuring Sergey Khachatryan — Cristian Macelaru leads a program also featuring works by Smetana, Sibelius and an electronica-influenced piece from Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates (4/20-22)
  • NSO Declassified featuring Zakir Hussain — Classical tabla virtuoso and international phenomenon performing his new concerto Peshkar with the NSO and joined by santoor player Rahul Sharma for a unique world music duet (4/21)
  • NSO Pops: LeAnn Rimes — Emil de Cou leads the NSO in a concert of the award-winning singer’s biggest hits, plus an opening set by Bumper Jacksons (4/28)
  • NSO Pops: Indigo Girls — Everyone’s favorite lesbian folk duo performs fan favorites with symphonic accompaniment, led by Reineke, that can’t be beat (5/5-6)
  • Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite — Gustavo Gimeno leads the last fantasy-inspired program of the season, pairing Tchaikovsky with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade (5/11-13)
  • Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks — Conductor Ton Koopman leads a program of Baroque favorites also including Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 and Orchestral Suite No. 3 (5/18-20)
  • JFK Centennial Celebration w/Yo-Yo Ma — World-renowned cellist joins the NSO for a celebration of Kennedy’s monumental legacy, including a new commission from Mason Bates (5/24)
  • Mahler’s Second Symphony — Christoph Eschenbach conducts the transformative “Resurrection” symphony featuring the return of mezzo-soprano Nathalie Stutzmann, the NSO debut of soprano Golda Schultz and the Washington Chorus (6/1-3)
  • Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto featuring Alice Sara Ott — Edo de Waart leads a program also featuring Rachmaninoff’s Third Symphony and Bates’ Garages of the Valley (6/8-10)
  • Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony — Christoph Eschenbach concludes his tenure as NSO Music Director the same way he started it, with Beethoven’s masterwork (6/15-17)
  • NSO Pops: The Music of John Williams — A toast to the music of the most Oscar-nominated man alive in his 85th year (6/22-24)
  • NSO Declassified: Ben Folds — The Kennedy Center favorite curates and hosts a special evening of music featuring guest artists to be announced (6/30)


1600 21st St. NW

  • Leading International Composers: Anders Hillborg — The Calder Quartet, Moran Katz, Axiom Brass and Amy Yang perform in a concert co-presented with the Embassy of Sweden and the Swedish Art Council (3/9)
  • Teo Gheorghiu — A recital of Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff and Balakirev from the young Swiss-Canadian pianist and movie actor (2004’s Vitus)(3/12)
  • Andrei Ionita, Yekwon Sunwoo — Romanian cellist and 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition winner performs with South Korean pianist (3/19)
  • Jupiter Quartet — Currently the Quartet in Residence at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (3/26)
  • Anthony Marwood & Aleksandar Madzar — British violinist offers a recital with Serbian pianist of Beethoven, Ravel, Janacek and Prokofiev (4/2)
  • Gould Piano Trio & Robert Plane — British ensemble celebrates 25th anniversary with celebrated clarinetist in his D.C. debut (4/9)
  • Lukas Geniusas — Works for piano that deserve to be heard more often from rising piano star in his D.C. debut (4/16)
  • Anne Akiko-Meyers — A passionate proponent of new works for violin performs a concert including the world premiere of Morten Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium (4/23)
  • Quatuor Danel — A rare opportunity to hear Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s Quartet No. 3 (4/30)
  • Kyung Wha Chung — Legendary figure in classical music, a Korean native who has performed with America’s greatest orchestras (5/7)


Music Hall
National Museum of American History
14th Street & Constitution Avenue NW

  • Axelrod String Quartet w/Rolston Quartet — A program of Haydn, Beethoven and four innovative double quartets by Louis Spohr, also featuring the graduate quartet-in-residence at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music (3/18-19)
  • Emerson String Quartet — Grammy-winning ensemble celebrates its 40th anniversary season and 37th in residence at the Smithsonian, performing two string quartets by Beethoven and one by Berg (3/19, Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History)
  • Mozart’s Requiem: Grief Transformed — Scott Tucker and members of the Choral Arts Chorus offer a preview of an upcoming Kennedy Center performance during a discussion about the enigmatic Mozart’s mysterious Mass in D Minor (4/6, Rasmuson Theater in National Museum of the American Indian)
  • Kenneth Slowik: Bach Recital — Smithsonian Chamber Music Society director celebrates 40 years as a Smithsonian Chamber Player with Johann Sebastian Bach (4/8-9)
  • Rob Kapilow, Peabody Symphony Orchestra What Makes It Great? analysis of Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, co-presented by Washington Performing Arts (4/9, Baird)
  • John Eaton: The Master: The Glorious Songs of Jerome Kern (4/12, S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW)
  • John Eaton: The Wit and Wisdom of Cole Porter (4/19, Ripley)
  • John Eaton: Harold Arlen: The Wonderful Wizard of Song (4/12, Ripley)
  • Smithsonian Chamber Players: Brahms — Slowik and company perform Brahms’s Violin Sonata and Clarinet Quintet (4/29-30)
  • John Eaton: George Gershwin: American Hero (5/3, Ripley)
  • Smithsonian Chamber Players: The Esterhazy Machine — The season ends on a festive note, with trios by Haydn and Schumann’s genial piano quartet (5/6-7)
  • Emerson String Quartet — Masterworks by Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel, Berg, Debussy and Dvorak as well as Emerson violinist Philip Setzer’s solo recital featuring pianist Hsin-Chiao Liao (5/14, Baird)


5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, Md.

  • Montgomery County Youth Orchestra of Strathmore Chromatic Colors features the organization’s two orchestras, conducted under MaryAnn Poling and Simeone Tartaglione (3/11, The Music Center)
  • The Ten Tenors — Australia’s premier classical-crossover group performs The Power of Ten (3/13, Music Center)
  • Cameron Carpenter and the International Touring Organ — Showy gay organ star will fill the Music Center with the rich sounds from his custom-made monumental digital organ and a program of Bach, Wagner and Gershwin in a presentation by Washington Performing Arts (3/23, Music Center) Annapolis Symphony Orchestra — Music Director Jose-Luis Novo conducts the ASO and violinist James Ehnes in Beethoven, Wagner and Stravinsky (3/26, Music Center)
  • Annie Wu — Young California flute player offers a recital accompanied by Feng Niu (4/6 Mansion)
  • Publiquartet — New York string ensemble drawing influences from jazz, electronica and acoustic/folk is a fresh new voice on the classical music scene (4/9, Mansion)
  • Andsnes & Hamelin (5/1, Music Center)
  • Potomac Valley Youth Orchestra (5/12, Music Center)
  • Murray Perahia — Washington Performing Arts presents a pianist of rare musical sensitivity (5/14, Music Center)
  • Montgomery County Youth Orchestra of Strathmore Luminosity (5/25, The Music Center)


Catholic University
620 Michigan Ave. N.E.
Francesca Hurst, members of Great Noise Ensemble

  • — A recital part of CUA’s Washington International Piano Series (3/16)
  • Faculty & Students Recital: Souvenirs from Cuba (3/19)
  • Spring Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor (3/23-26, Hartke Theatre)
  • Murray McLauchlan — Another Washington International Piano Series recital (4/2)
  • University Singers: Spring Concert — Allan Laino, conductor (4/23, Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, 1725 Rhode Island Ave. NW)
  • CUA Wind Ensemble: Spring Concert (4/25, Hartke)
  • Composition Division Spring Recital (4/26)
  • CUA Women’s Chorus: Spring Concert (4/29, St. Vincent de Paul Chapel)
  • CUA Symphony Orchestra — Music Director Simeone Tartaglione leads the CSO in a program also featuring the School of Music Concerto Competition Winner (4/30, Hartke)
  • Horn Day (5/7)


National Presbyterian Church
4101 Nebraska Ave. NW

  • St. Matthew Passion — Bach’s towering masterpiece, one of the greatest pieces of sacred music ever created, led by guest conductor Kenneth Slowik of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society (3/12)
  • April Noontime Cantata: Paul Skevington — Organist plays Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C Major during a free, hour-long program featuring the cantata Wahrlich, wahrlich ich sage (4/5 Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW)
  • Chamber Series: Politically Corrette — A colorful program of music by French organist and composer Michel Corrette (4/7, Live! at 10th & G)
  • Messiah — Handel’s immortal oratorio, arguably the most famous choral piece ever, may be an American staple at Christmas, but its essence is pure Easter (4/30)
  • May Noontime Cantata: William Neil — National Symphony organist plays Bach’s Praeludium (Toccata) in E Major in a program featuring consort choir performing the cantata Meine Seele erhebt den Herren (5/2, Church of the Epiphany)



  • Carmina Burana and Oedipus Rex w/Gay Men’s Chorus — GMCW, Children’s Chorus of Washington, Washington National Cathedral Boy and Girl Choristers and contemporary orchestra Novus NY join to perform two of the 20th century’s iconic vocal masterpieces and to make the final season under Music Director Julian Wachner go out with a bang (5/14, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)


Kennedy Center Opera House

  • Dead Man Walking — Jake Heggie’s instant modern classic, with a libretto by Terrence McNally based on Sister Helen Prejean’s book, is a searing emotional journey powered by an unforgettable, very American score (Now-3/11)
  • Champion — The real-life story of the closeted gay boxer whose knockout of a homophobic rival in the early ’60s led to unexpected tragedy comes roaring to stage in Terence Blanchard’s “opera in jazz,” starring Arthur Woodley and Denyce Graves (Now-3/18)
  • Don Giovanni — WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello leads a showcase of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists program in a staged performance of Mozart’s timeless drama with the WNO Orchestra conducted by Michael Christie (3/17)
  • Madame Butterfly — An eye-popping staging of Puccini’s immortal tragedy about a dashing American naval officer who betrays the naive young geisha he chooses as his bride (5/6-21)



  • Richard Goode — A program showcasing the New York pianist’s exceptional technique through juxtaposition of the dramatically different demands of Bach and Chopin (3/12, UDC Theater of the Arts)
  • JCT Trio — Avery Fisher Career Grant winners Stefan Jackiw, Jay Campbell and Conrad Tao join forces to dazzle their way through trios by Dvorak, Ives and Mozart (3/24, UDC)
  • Yefim Bronfman — An undisputed piano legend with an equally impressive pedigree (4/25, UDC)
  • Javier Perianes — Bright and breezy Spanish pianist makes his D.C. debut with classics of the repertoire plus fellow Spaniard Manuel de Falla’s fiery L’Amour sorcier (4/29, UDC)
  • Eric Owens & Susanna Phillips — Star opera bass-baritone and soprano perform works by Schubert, accompanied by Myra Huang in a concert co-curated by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (4/30, UDC)
  • The U.S. Air Force Band: From the Canyon to the Stars — Through images of Southwestern Utah, photographer Deborah O’Grady visually brings to life Messiaen’s towering orchestral masterpiece commissioned to commemorate the U.S. bicentennial, here performed to celebrate the National Park Service’s centennial (5/12, DAR Constitution Hall)
  • Kirill Gerstein — A performance of Liszt’s complete Transcendental Etudes, among the most challenging music in the piano repertoire and rarely performed in entirety (5/21, UDC)


20 W. Patrick St.
Frederick, Md.

  • Piano Battle: Andreas Kern vs. Paul Cibis — Two pianists, six rounds, audience picks the winner in a partly tongue-in-cheek recital competition between two internationally acclaimed musicians (4/8)
  • Academy of St. Cecilia Youth Orchestra (5/7)


1645 Trap Road
Vienna, Va.

  • Steven Blier and Wolf Trap Opera Soloists — “Four of a Kind,” with four singers, four hands, four quartets led by the New York Festival of Song pianist (6/3-4, Barns)
  • Bernadette Peters with the Wolf Trap Orchestra — Three-time Tony winner brings a taste of Broadway for her first appearance in 16 years (6/3, Filene)
  • Wolf Trap Opera: The Touchstone — Sparkling Rossini comedy (6/23, 6/25, 6/28, 7/1, Barns)
  • Wolf Trap Opera: Studio Spotlight — Studio artists shine in their own program of opera scenes and highlights (7/8, Barns)
  • Wolf Trap Opera Soloists: Aria Jukebox – Kim Pensinger Witman accompanies singers performing opera hits selected by the audience (7/9, Barns)
  • Wolf Trap Opera w/NSO@Wolf Trap: Tosca — Grant Gershon conducts the Washington Chorus and the Children’s Chorus of Washington in the Puccini classic, one of the genre’s most popular and suspenseful dramas (7/14, Filene)
  • Grace Potter w/NSO@Wolf Trap — Steven Reineke leds orchestral arrangements of songs by pop/rock powerhouse (7/15, Filene)
  • Wolf Trap Opera: Listen, Wilhelmina! — A new interactive mini-opera featuring the Wombats (7/19-20, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods)
  • NSO@Wolf Trap: The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses — Amy Andersson conducts an adventure through the innovative music and mesmerizing moments from the legendary games (7/22, Filene)
  • NSO@Wolf Trap: Carmina Burana — Brand-new music director Gianandrea Noseda leads the NSO with a massive community chorus and Wolf Trap Opera alumni in Orff’s epic masterpiece (7/28, Filene)
  • NSO@Wolf Trap: La La Land in Concert — Emil de Cou leads a romp through Damien Chazelle’s jazz-steeped screen musical (8/4, Filene)
  • NSO@Wolf Trap: Jurassic Park in Concert — Emil de Cou leads the players through John Williams’ iconic score as Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur classic plays out above the stage (8/5, Filene)
  • Asian Youth Orchestra w/Sarah Chang — A concert featuring a star violinist and some of the finest young musicians from East Asia (8/9, Filene)
  • Wolf Trap Opera: The Juniper Tree, Bastianello — A double bill of operettas, from Philip Glass and Robert Moran’s take on the famous Grimm fairy tale to John Musto’s modern retelling of a funny, touching Italian folktale (8/11, 8/13, 8/16, 8/19, Barns)

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

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