Metro Weekly

Classical & Choral Music: Fall Arts Preview 2017

Every classical and choral event in DC this fall!

Classical — Illustration: Scott G. Brooks

The Kennedy Center gets a head start on centennial celebrations of Leonard Bernstein, hosting several tributes this season, months before what would have been his 100th year. The National Symphony Orchestra even opens its season — its first with new music director Gianandrea Noseda — with a tribute to the late, great composer.

Beyond Bernstein, there’s plenty of variety in the classical offerings this fall, from the Baltimore Symphony’s promise of a “Tchaikovsky Thrill Ride,” to the classical/hip-hop sounds of Black Violin at Strathmore, to the New Orchestra of Washington’s Día de los Muertos concerts. The Gay Men’s Chorus kicks off its season with a provocative fundraiser toasting the gay underground, while the Congressional Chorus offers a concert in tribute to those who have fought for equality.

Finally, in addition to all the usual Messiah and Nutcracker and Christmas Sing-Alongs, both the Washington National Opera and the InSeries offer a more operatic seasons greeting. To that, we’ll gladly sing Hallelujah.


The Mead Center for American Theater
1101 6th St. SW

  • Respect: The Music of Aretha Franklin — A tribute to the Queen of Soul featuring Moya Angela, Ariana DeBose, Nova Payton, Bria Skonberg, and Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child (9/16)
  •  Tranquility: Yoga with the American Pops Orchestra — It’s as bizarre as it sounds: Yoga instructor Michael Peterson will lead a 70-minute practice accompanied by members of the orchestra performing songs from some of the greatest crooners, in a composition designed to marry music and movement (11/12, International Monetary Fund, 1900 Pennsylvania Ave. NW)
  •  Around the World in 80 Days — A new family show, adapted by Claybourne Elder from Jules Verne’s classic tale and told through songs from the Great American Songbook, featuring Hilary Morrow, Tiara Whaley, and Nurney Mason (1/6/18)


1333 H St. NE

  • UrbanArias: Shining Brow — Daron Aric Hagen’s new mini-opera, with a libretto by Paul Muldoon, relating the early career of celebrity architect Frank Lloyd Wright, his adulterous affair with Mamah Cheney, and the consequences of his enormous self-regard (10/14-15, 10/20-21)
  •  Capital City Symphony: 50th Anniversary — The symphony’s founding music director Louis Fantasia and long-time music director John Welsh will make special appearances at this season-opening concert that also honors current music director Victoria Gau, celebrating her 20th season (10/22)
  •  Capital City Symphony: Lyrical Strings — Featuring beautiful string works including George Walker’s Lyric for Strings, Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo’s stunning Sunrise Mass and Haydn’s masterpiece Cello Concerto in C Major, performed by soloist Eric Kutz of the University of Maryland (11/19)



  • Tchaikovsky Thrill Ride — The Russian master’s Symphony No. 5 in E Minor is the titular thrill ride in a program led by BSO Music Director Marin Alsop and featuring Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, one of the most popular works of the classical guitar repertoire and featuring Łukasz Kuropaczewski (9/14, Strathmore; 9/15-16, Meyerhoff)
  •  Poetic Fire: From Hamlet to Don Juan — Tchaikovsky’s musical telling of Shakespeare and Strauss’ tone poem Don Juan in an Alsop-led program featuring Lukáš Vondráček, interpreting Rachmaninoff’s beloved Piano Concerto (9/22, 9/24, Meyerhoff; 9/23, Strathmore)
  •  Movie with Orchestra: Jurassic Park — Associate Conductor Nicholas Hersh leads the orchestra in performing John Williams’ score while the sci-fi adventure is projected overhead (9/30-10/1, Meyerhoff)
  •  Wagner’s Quest — Selections from Parsifal featuring bass-baritone Alfred Walker along with Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy featuring BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney on violin (10/5, Meyerhoff; 10/8, Strathmore)
  •  Cirque Goes Broadway — Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly leads the BSO and soloists as the aeralists in Troupe Vertigo perform (10/12, Strathmore, 10/13-15, Meyerhoff)
  •  BSO Pulse: Esperanza Spalding (10/19, Meyerhoff)
  •  Symphonic Stories — Jonathan Biss performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major (known from the film Elvira Madigan), in a Jun Märkl-led program also featuring the grisly Danse Macabre by Saint-Saëns and Strauss’ quintessential tone poem Don Quixote (10/20, 10/22, Meyerhoff; 10/21, Strathmore)
  •  Sol Gabetta Performs Tchaikovsky — Variations on a Rococo Theme is the featured attraction, but Mendelssohn, Debussy and R. Strauss also contribute to the mood of this romantic Alsop-led program (10/27, 10/29, Meyerhoff; 10/28, Strathmore)
  •  Movie with Orchestra: The Wizard of Oz (11/4, Meyerhoff)
  •  Pinchas Zukerman Performs Bach — The German violinist also conducts the BSO in a program of Schoenberg and Beethoven (11/9, Strathmore; 11/10-11, Meyerhoff)
  •  Andre Watts Returns for Rach 2 — Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor is the centerpiece of a Robert Spano-led program featuring a new work from Christopher Theofanidis in tribute to his fellow composer Stephen Paulus (11/17, 11/19, Meyerhoff; 11/18, Strathmore)
  •  Mozart’s Requiem — Alsop leads the BSO, soloists and the University of Maryland Concert Choir in a performance of Mozart’s powerful and mysterious final masterpiece (11/30, Meyerhoff, 12/3, Strathmore)
  •  Handel’s Messiah — Edward Polochick leads the BSO, soloists and the Concert Artists of Baltimore Symphonic Chorale in the beloved oratorio (12/9-10, Meyerhoff)
  •  Home for the Holidays — A program of Christmas favorites led by Thomas Wilkins and featuring soprano Alison Buchanan and the Baltimore School for the Arts Dancers (12/16-17, Meyerhoff)
  •  Cirque de la Symphonie: Holiday Spectacular (12/22-23, Meyerhoff)
  •  BSO Pulse: Tank and the Bangas (1/4/18, Meyerhoff)
  •  Mozart’s Jupiter — Bernard Labadie leads an all-Mozart program capped by the beloved and revolutionary Symphony No. 41 in C Major that spans the breadth of human emotion, showcasing still-unrivaled compositional skill (1/5/18, 1/7/18, Meyerhoff; 1/6/18, Strathmore)
  •  Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists — Philip Glass presents the rare classical showcase for kettledrum twice over, here performed by the BSO’s James Wyman and NSO’s Jauvon Gilliam, in an Alsop-led program also featuring Saint-Saëns’ enchanting Carnival of the Animals, with added narration by Baltimore hip-hop artist Wordsmith (1/11/18, Meyerhoff; 1/12/18, Strathmore)
  •  Tchaikovsky’s Vivid Virtuosity — Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor featuring Gabriela Montero (1/19/18, 1/21/18, Meyerhoff; 1/20/18, Strathmore)
  •  Diva to Diva, From Ella to Adele: Ann Hampton Callaway (1/25/18, Strathmore; 1/26/18-1/28/18, Meyerhoff)


1635 Trap Road
Vienna, Va.

  • Founder’s Day: Lara St. John w/Matt Herskowitz — Wolf Trap Artistic Advisor and her frequent collaborator illustrate a passion for traditional folk music (10/20)
  •  Attacca Quartet — Internationally acclaimed young string quartet performs a program featuring Haydn, Beethoven, and Ippolito (11/5)
  •  Washington Symphonic Brass — Some of the finest professional musicians in the greater Washington area come “Home for the Holidays” 12/3)
  •  Krakauer-Tagg Duo — Vocalist David Krakauer and pianist Kathleen Tagg delve into the canon of works inspired by folk music, beginning with Brahms and Debussy and ending with their own arrangements (1/21/18)
  •  New York Festival of Song — “Bernstein at 100,” a program led by Steven Blier with fellow pianist Michael Barrett and a quartet of singers (2/2/18)


Kennedy Center Concert Hall

  • In The Land of Northern Lights: Music of Finland, Norway, and Sweden — An a cappella concert by the Choral Arts Chamber Singers, led by artistic director Scott Tucker (11/4, Live! at 10th & G)
  •  Claudio Monteverdi: Vespers of 1610 — Tucker leads the full chorus, special guests The Thirteen, and an orchestra in a work that brilliantly superimposes new music over traditional Gregorian chants, combines sacred music with secular styles, and alternates the grandeur of the large ensemble with solos and duets (11/18)
  •  A Family Christmas — Songs of Santa, Rudolph and Frosty are featured in a festive, participatory hour-long afternoon concert (12/16)
  •  Christmas with Choral Arts — A mix of seasonal classics, favorite sing-alongs and popular Christmas standards (12/17-18, 12-24)


National Presbyterian Church

  • Barber Adagio for Strings | Bruckner Mass in F Minor — Barber’s most revered work and an unappreciated work by Bruckner, 50 years after it was last performed in D.C. — a fitting nod to the beginning of Maestro Robert Shafer’s 50th season leading the chorus (11/5)
  •  The Holly and the Ivy: Music for Christmas — A candlelight processional sets the stage for this annual concert featuring the full choir and brass ensemble plus one area high school choir, this year James Humbert Blake’s A Cappella! (12/17)


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

  • A Starry Night at the Miracle Theatre (9/28, Miracle Theatre, 535 8th St. SE)
  •  Pass It On! — Folk songs from around the world (11/4, Lutheran Church of the Reformation)
  •  We Will Rise! — The search for equality, justice and freedom in song, poetry and dance (11/19, Church of the Epiphany)
  •  Holiday Cheers w/the Capital City Symphony — “A musical champagne evening for grown-ups” (12/9)
  •  Holiday Concert & Sing-Along (12/10)



  • Season still to be announced.



  • A 22-year-old series offering public access to foreign embassies and diplomatic homes in D.C. via classical concerts followed by receptions, aimed at “uniting people through musical diplomacy”
  •  Members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam — A recital featuring a clarinetist, violinist, and pianist from one of the world’s leading orchestras (9/26, Residence of the Netherland Ambassador, 2347 S. St. NW)
  •  Jacques-Pierre Malan w/Sahun Hong — Cellist performs with piano accompaniment as part of a centennial commemoration of Oliver Reginald Tambo, former acting president of the African National Congress, in cooperation with the Science & Technology Train Project (10/19, Embassy of South Africa, 3051 Massachusetts Ave. NW)
  •  Jaroslav Sveceny w/Vaclav Macha — One of the most notable contemporary Chez violinists performs with piano accompaniment (10/24, Czech Embassy, 3900 Spring of Freedom NW)
  •  Nilko Andreas Guarin & Friends — Classical guitarist performs with cellist Molly Aronson and flutist Laura del Sol (10/27, Colombian Ambassador’s Residence, 1520 20th St. NW)
  •  Paisajes Sonoros: Paulina Derbez, Araceli Salazar — Representatives of Mexican chamber music of the 20th and 21st centuries perform a program of Mexican and European composers (11/7, Mexican Cultural Institute, 2829 16th St. NW)
  •  Angela Draghicescu — World-class pianist performs in commemoration of the centennial of Dinu Lipatti’s birth (11/20, Residence of the Romanian Ambassador, 2500 30th St. NW)
  •  Farah Siraj — Dubbed the “Norah Jones of the Middle East” by New York Time Out, the singing guitarist performs with a backing band (11/30, Embassy of Jordan, 3504 International Drive NW)


Center for the Arts Concert Hall
George Mason University
Fairfax, Va.

  • Fairfax Jubilee w/Amit Peled — The FSO opens its 60th season with Elgar’s Cello Concerto featuring star Peled, plus the world premiere of a work honoring the 275th Anniversary of Fairfax County (9/16)
  •  Night of the Musical Tsars — Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 featuring Claire Huangci and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 are the double-feature at a concert led by FSO music director Christopher Zimmerman (10/21)
  •  The Nutcracker –A Accompanying the Fairfax Ballet (12/16)


Folger Elizabethan Theatre
201 East Capitol St. SE

  • An English Garden: Music from the Age of Shakespeare — Although based at the Shakespeare-focused institution, this early music ensemble doesn’t often perform music from the Bard’s day, but it will kick off its season that way (9/22-24)
  •  Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming: Seasonal Early Music of Germany — The lute/organ/viol consort Arcadia Viols and vocal ensemble Cathedra joins the Consort and its viol/violin-playing co-founder Robert Eisenstein for a holiday program of music from the 15th to 17th centuries (12/15-23)
  •  A Branch of Freshest Green: Music of Hildegard Von Bingen (2/2-3, Washington National Cathedral)



  • Fall Fundraiser: Rope Burn — Pussy Noir, Sistr Mid9ight with Rich Morel, and 17th Street Dance join for a celebration of the queer underground, with vogue dance battles, fetish demonstrations, a Tom-of-Finland fantasy live model art gallery, and, yes, some singing (10/7, Dupont Underground)
  •  It Takes Two — Annual cabaret featuring chorus soloists telling entertaining stories of bawdy duets and sensual tangos (11/11, Atlas)
  •  The Holiday Show (12/9, 12/16-17, Lincoln Theatre)



  • Mozart’s The Magic Flute — Rick Davis directs Nick Olcott’s English adaptation of a fantastical masterpiece featuring princes, young love, evil queens and dragons, appropriately staged in a medieval-esque fortress (9/23-10/1, DC Scottish Rite Temple)
  •  Jacques Brel: Songs From His World — Steven Scott Mazzola and Reenie Codelka direct Byron Jones in a cabaret of songs, in French and in English, by the Belgian master (11/4-19, Source)
  •  An Operetta Holiday — Nick Olcott and Frank Conlin direct a holiday revue of tunes by Strauss, Lehar, Friml, and Herbert (12/6-10, GALA)
  •  Duke Ellington’s Neighborhood — Angelisa Gillyard directs Mattias Kraemer’s family-friendly musical tale of the Duke, performed by a jazz combo and singers with accompaniment by Stanley Thurston (12/9-10, GALA)
  •  All The Things You Are: Jerome Kern — Brian J. Shaw directs six singers and Reenie Codelka in a new cabaret revue (1/20-1/21/18, 1/28/18, 2/2-2/4/18, Atlas)



  • Bernstein on Broadway: A Centennial Celebration — Tony-winning director Kathleen Marshall leads a one-night-only celebration featuring Broadway veterans and a 40-piece onstage orchestra led by Rob Fisher in a romp through tunes from West Side StoryWonderful TownOn The TownCandide, plus selections from Bernstein’s Mass (9/22, Eisenhower Theater)
  •  Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra — A free concert by five orchestra members (9/25, Millennium Stage)
  •  Med Music Jinhai Wang — Music Olympics, Inc. presents countertenor who sings in style of Pavarotti & Lanza (9/29, Family Theater)
  •  The Kennedy Center Chamber Players — Acclaimed ensemble of NSO musicians opens its season with a journey through Baroque, Romantic and Contemporary musical eras (10/8, Terrace Theater)
  •  Emerson Quartet, Dover Quartet: 2-4-6-8! A Chamber Music Celebration by Numbers — Fortas Chamber Music concert of duets, quartets, sextets and octets, accompanied by Lisa Emenheiser (10/12, Terrace)
  •  Renee Fleming & Christian McBride (10/13, Terrace)
  •  Leslie Odom Jr. — Tony-winner for his performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton offers a pair of performances per Renee Fleming Voices series (10/14-15, Eisenhower Theater)
  •  Sphinx Virtuosi — A 20th anniversary celebration co-presented by Fortas and Washington Performing Arts (10/15, Terrace)
  •  Opera Lafayette: Monteverdi — 23rd season opens with Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and other works, plus the debut of three young luminaries of the early music scene — lutenist Thomas Dunford, harpsichordist Jean Rondeau, and soprano Lea Desandre (10/24, Terrace)
  •  Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia w/ Martha Argerich — Iconic pianist and recent Kennedy Center Honoree returns to D.C. for an inspired concert with the famed Italian orchestra conducted by Antonio Pappano (10/25, Concert Hall)
  •  Nikolai Lugansky — The first D.C.-area recital in more than a decade of this Russian pianist, exploring the rich textural tapestry of Schumann, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff (11/1, Terrace)
  •  Cynthia Erivo — A Tony-winner for The Color Purple offers two concerts in the Renee Fleming Voices series (11/3-4, Terrace)
  •  New York Festival of Song: The Passion of Leonard Bernstein — A pair of Bernstein protégés, pianists Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, perform a tribute with vocalists to the legendary composer’s genius in writing for the human voice (11/5, Terrace)
  •  Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio — Heralded as “the greatest piano trio on the face of the Earth” by the Washington Post (11/7, Terrace)
  •  Verona Quartet — Fresh off a two-year stint as the Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School (11/10, Terrace)
  •  Leila Josefowicz in Recital — Renowned violinist and new music advocate Leila Josefowicz makes her exciting Fortas debut (11/11, Terrace)
  •  The Mariinsky Orchestra w/Daniil Trifonov — Valery Gergiev leads a program including Trifonov performing his own recently composed Piano Concerto (11/12, Concert Hall)
  •  Barbara Hannigan & Reinbert de Leeuw — A Canadian soprano and conductor, one of the world’s leading performers of contemporary opera, is joined by Dutch conductor, pianist, and composer for a Renee Fleming Voices concert (11/14, Terrace)
  •  PyeongChang Music Festival — A Young Concert Artists celebration of the 2018 Winter Olympics featuring this South Korean ensemble (11/20, Terrace)
  •  Angélique Kidjo — “Africa’s premier diva” (Time Magazine) returns to the Kennedy Center for a Renée Fleming Voices concert (11/30)
  •  Nathan Lee — He’s only 15, but this pianist has already shared the stage with the likes of Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Lang Lang, and won the 2016 Young Concert Artists International Auditions Washington Performing Arts presents pianist (12/2, Terrace)
  •  Andrei Bondarenko — Vocal Arts DC presents young Ukrainian baritone in his Washington solo recital debut (12/5, Terrace)
  •  Cantus — A Fortas Christmas concert by this eight-member men’s vocal ensemble from Minnesota (12/6, Terrace)



  • A Night in the Garden of Spain — Music and dance unite as NCE brings the premiere of a sensual and exciting creation with Bowen McCauley Dance set to Manuel de Falla’s Suite Populaire Espagnole (10/14, Gunston Arts Center)
  •  Holiday Cheer! — Classical masterpieces and holiday favorites, including a performance by NCE’s Outstanding Young Artist Achievement Award piano competition winner performs (12/16, Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington)


Music Center at Strathmore
5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, Md.

  • Star-Studded Season Opening — Zuill Bailey performs “the king of cello concertos,” Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor, at the first of two concerts, with the second featuring Santiago Rodriguez performing Grieg’s most popular work, his Piano Concerto in A minor; both concerts, led by Piotr Gajewski, showcase Sarah Chang with Bruch’s romantic Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor and Beethoven’s Egmont Overture (10/14-15)
  •  Bach & Bachianas — Journey across centuries and cultures in a concert pairing the Baroque master Bach with Heitor Villa-Lobos, who composed his nine Bachianas Brasileiras as a tribute to Bach and as an expression of the musical soul of Brazil; Gajewski leads the orchestra, soloists and the National Philharmonic Chorale in Bach’s Magnificat and three Bachianas (11/11)
  •  Handel’s Messiah — Once again Stan Engebretson conducts the orchestra, soloists and the Chorale in the uplifting oratorio that has become synonymous with Christmas — even though it was written for Easter (12/16-17)


Kennedy Center Concert Hall

  • NSO Pops: Blue Suede Tunes — The Music of Elvis, The Beatles, and More! (9/15-16)
  •  Season Opening Gala Concert w/Yo-Yo Ma, Cynthia Erivo — Gianandrea Noseda becomes the seventh music director of the NSO, debuting his tenure with an all-Bernstein program featuring a grand tribute from Tony-winning singer (9/24)
  •  Cameron Carpenter plays Copland — Cristian Macelaru conducts an all-American program featuring star organist performing Copland’s Symphony for Organ and Orchestra, plus favorites by Bernstein & Adams (9/28-30)
  •  NSO Pops: Seu Jorge — “The Life Aquatic: A Tribute to David Bowie” (9/29)
  •  Arabella Steinbacher plays Brahms — Frequent NSO guest Nathalie Stutzmann conducts Steinbacher in Brahms’ Violin Concerto, plus Dvorák’s Symphony No. 7 and Lalo’s Overture to Le roi d’Ys (10/5-7)
  •  Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” Symphony — Conductor Juanjo Mena pairs Tchaikovsky’s stirring symphony with Barber’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Piano Concerto featuring soloist Garrick Ohlsson, plus the ghostly Auditorium Mason Bates (10/12-15)
  •  NSO Pops: Pink Martini w/China Forbes — A return engagement (10/26-28)
  •  Slatkin conducts Bernstein — Former NSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin leads two Bernstein compositions, the lively fanfare Slava! A Political Overture and Songfest, a tribute to American perspectives and writers (11/2-4)
  •  Declassified: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring — Slatkin conducts the bold and famously controversial ballet score (11/3)
  •  Borrowed from Baroque: Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony & more — A Noseda-led showcase of three pieces that reach into the past and feature Baroque styles in distinct and innovative ways: Webern’s Passacaglia, Dallapiccola’s Partita, and Beethoven (11/9-11)
  •  Tastes of Italy, France & Spain — Noseda explores Respighi’s Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome), Chausson’s Poème, Gershwin’s An American in Paris, and Falla’s The Three-Cornered Hat Suites No. 1 & 2 (11/16-19)
  •  NSO Pops: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert (11/24-26)
  •  Noseda conducts The Artist Abroad — An examination of three composers working abroad, including Prokofiev’s Paris-penned Piano Concerto No. 5 featuring Yuja Wang, plus Britten’s Matinées musicales and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances (11/30-12/2)
  •  NSO Pops: A Holiday Pops! featuring Megan Hilty (12/8-9)
  •  Handel’s Messiah — Jeannette Sorrell conducts the NSO, soloists and the University of Maryland Concert Choir (12/14-17)
  •  NSO Pops: Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration — A 25th-anniversary concert celebrating the acclaimed album that reinterpreted the oratorio, produced by Mervyn Warren (12/20)
  •  NSO Pops: Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds (1/19/18-1/20/18)


Westmoreland Unitarian Christian Church
1 Westmoreland Circle NW
Bethesda, Md.

  • Día de los Muertos — The Mexican Day of the Dead is celebrated with Mozart’s magnificent Requiem in D minor, featuring the voices of National Cathedral’s professional choir Cathedra, plus two contemporary works by Javier Alvarez and Emmanuel Arias Y Luna performed by NOW’s new string quartet-in-residence, the Aeolus Quartet (10/28, Mexican Cultural Institute, 2829 16th St. NW; 10/29)
  •  NOW Family Concert — Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez leads the ensemble in a performance of the enchanting and fun for all ages Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns (1/15/18)
  •  Carmina Burana — It’s the beloved dramatic classic, with a modern twist, arranged for two pianos and five percussionists, plus singers with the Washington Master Chorale (2/10/18, Live! at 10th & G; 2/11/18)


5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, Md.

  • Brasil Guitar Duo — The classical/world music collaboration of João Luiz and Douglas Lora is expanding the repertoire for two guitars, appearing in diverse, nontraditional spaces (10/12, Mansion)
  •  Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra — Melding the spirit, beauty, and distinctiveness of Chinese music with the precision, power, and grandeur of the Western symphony orchestra (10/22, Music Center)
  •  Rachel Franklin w/SONOS — An accomplished jazz pianist, Franklin performs with her own classical/jazz chamber ensemble featuring Christian Tremblay and Jonathan Miles Brown (10/26, Mansion)
  •  Joshua Bell w/Alessio Bax (11/5, Music Center)
  •  Black Violin — A marvelous modern mix of classical, hip-hop, rock, and R&B, this classically trained duo consists of Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester and Wilner “Wil” Baptiste (11/10, Music Center)
  •  Sonnambula — A Renaissance ensemble, bringing previously unknown music to light using the lush sound of the viol in combination with other early instruments, offers a concert of works by the Portuguese composer Leonora Duarte, the only known woman to write for the viola da gamba in the 17th century (11/16, Mansion)
  •  Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras of Strathmore — MCYO performs “Symphonic Devotions,” a concert with works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, and more (12/2, Music Center)
  •  Canadian Brass — “Christmas Time Is Here” from this formidable brass quintet with impeccable musicianship, theatrical flair, and heartwarming humor (12/8, Music Center)
  •  Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert — This 17-year Washington tradition features the Strauss Symphony of America with vocal soloists plus dancers from the Kiev-Aniko Ballet of Ukraine and International Champion Ballroom Dancers (12/30, Music Center)
  •  Catherine Russell & John Pizzarelli — “A Salute to Billie Holiday & Frank Sinatra” in a new pairing (1/5/18, Music Center)



  • Bernstein & Belshazzar — The U.S. meets the U.K. in Christopher Bell’s debut as the chorus’ new artistic director, a concert featuring Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Lauridsen’s Mid-Winter Songs, and the epic Belshazzar’s Feast by Walton (11/8, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)
  •  A Candlelight Christmas — The splendor of brass, organ, percussion, and 200 voices singing Christmas classics (12/10-22, Kennedy Center; 12/15, Strathmore)


Kennedy Center

  • Aida — The timeless conflict of duty versus desire rises like a pyramid in Verdi’s towering, impassioned epic, here with striking sets and costumes inspired by visionary artist RETNA (Now-9/23)
  •  Alcina — WNO’s first-ever staging of Handel’s masterful baroque opera, with world-class vocal talents (11/4-19, Eisenhower Theater)
  •  The Domingo Cafritz Young Artists starring in Alcina — For one performance only, WNO’s talented young performers take over all of the lead roles in the spellbinding opera (11/18, Eisenhower)
  •  The Little Prince, a Holiday Family Opera — Featuring a tuneful score by Oscar-winner Rachel Portman, this WNO revival also showcases the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists and WNO Children’s Chorus (12/14-17, Terrace)



  • Ensemble Signal w/Steve Reich — Brad Lubman conducts ensemble of 20-plus strings, winds, keyboards, and percussion, bringing a rare all-Reich program to one of the nation’s most storied concert halls, with the legendary composer in attendance (10/18, Library of Congress)
  •  A Far Cry & Luciana Souza — Brazilian superstar joins forces with the 17-string ensemble and five of the most distinctive creative voices in indie-classical music: Shara Nova, Rachel Grimes, Angelica Negron, Caroline Shaw, and Sarah Kirkland Snider (11/4, Sixth & I Historic Synagogue)
  •  What Makes It Great? w/Rob Kapilow — Beethoven’s “Archduke” Trio gets analyzed and performed by musicians from the Curtis Institute of Music (11/19, Smithsonian Baird Auditorium)

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These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!

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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