Metro Weekly

Classical and Choral Music: Spring Arts Preview 2018

Symphony, recital and opera performances coming to D.C., Maryland and Virginia

The Washington Chorus

Chris Botti. Esperanza Spalding. Itzhak Perlman. Audra McDonald.

Just four popular stars performing in Washington in a classical season otherwise focused on celebrating composers old and new. Among the living: Philip Glass makes his overdue debut at the Kennedy Center, John Williams leads the Baltimore Symphony in a run through the soundtrack to Hollywood as he wrote it, and Wolf Trap toasts the 80th birthday of John Corigliano.

Yet it’s Leonard Bernstein who gets far and away the most love this season, with all three of those institutions and practically every other music organization in the area toasting the late, great, towering figure in American music in what would have been his 100th year.

There’s one strong and star-studded Bernstein offering after another in the weeks and months ahead — though Patti LuPone is only scheduled to perform at one of them.


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

  • NextGen: Finding The Voices of Tomorrow — Music Director Luke Frazier launches a new annual vocal competition with the D.C. chapter of The National Society of Arts and Letters and featuring students and recent graduates from a core group of area universities, who will sing with a jazz trio from APO in front of a live audience. A panel of guest judges will select two first place winners, each getting $500, and two runners-up ($250), with all four guaranteed a mainstage appearance in the APO’s next season (3/23, Kreeger Theater)
  • Let’s Misbehave: Cole Porter After Dark — Showing the kind of mischief that only a young ensemble — led by a millennial — could, this Frazier-conducted concert focuses on the timeless music of Cole Porter, and the easy interplay between the gay legend’s often ribald lyrics and the kind of verbiage one finds in online personal ads today. Star musical actors Liz Callaway, Kevin McAllister, Mary Michael Patterson, and hip gay broadcaster Mo Rocca join for a production directed by Kelly Crandall d’Amboise (5/19, Fichandler Stage)


1333 H St. NE

  • Capital City Symphony: Family Concert: I Like To Move It — Founded 50 years ago as the Georgetown Symphony Orchestra, this community orchestra, which changed its name when it moved east to become a founding partner of the Atlas, offers a moving program of John Adams, Bizet, Johann Strauss II, Beethoven, and Charlie Barnett, including the world premiere of My Own Personal Rocketship, exploring motion and tempo in music (3/18)
  • Capital City Symphony: From Sea to Shining Sea — The orchestra concludes its 50th season with a global exploration of national identity expressed through music, a program led by Artistic Director Victoria Gau and including Shostakovich’s powerful Symphony No. 5, Russell Peck’s tone poem Peace Overture, Arturo Marquez’s Danzón No. 2, and Joan Tower’s Made in America, a work centered around the melodic theme of “America the Beautiful” (5/13)



  • BSO SuperPops: From Vienna to Broadway — Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly leads a program featuring Broadway vocalists Ted Keegan, Kristen Plumley, and Ben Crawford, plus the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, in a program of melodies from Lehar to Lloyd Webber and from Showboat to Phantom of the Opera (3/9-11, Meyerhoff)
  • St. Patrick’s Celebration — Music and dance from the Emerald Isle led by Associate Conductor Nicholas Hersh and featuring Irish fiddler Ellen Pendleton Troyer, dancers from the Broesler School of Irish Dance, and bagpiper Sara Artes, among others (3/10, Meyerhoff)
  • Schubert The Great — Lahav Shani, newly appointed Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic, leads a program that also features soloist Nikolai Lugansky performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No 2, a piece of herculean virtuosity and emotional intimacy (3/15, Strathmore; 3/16-17, Meyerhoff)
  • Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras Concert — Nicholas Hersh leads concerts with the three orchestral ensembles that comprise the BSYO, launched in 2012, and featuring 250 of the region’s most talented musicians (3/18, George Washington Carver Center, Towson, Md.)
  • Rachmaninoff’s Transcendent Fantasy — Guest conductor Peter Oundjian leads an evocative program including Rachmaninoff’s “Isle of the Dead,” Tchaikovsky’s “Little Russian” Symphony, and Weber’s Concerto No. 2 featuring BSO Principal Clarinet YaoGuang Zhai (3/23, 3/25, Meyerhoff, 3/25, Strathmore)
  • Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances — Arabella Steinbacher joins the BSO for Korngold’s lush Violin Concerto No. 1, as part of a program led by Markus Stenz and Rachmaninoff’s commanding final work (4/6, 4/8, Meyerhoff, 4/7, Strathmore)
  • SuperPops: Vegas Nights with Frankie Moreno — Jack Everly leads the BSO supporting swinging/rock vocalist Frankie Moreno, twice named “Las Vegas Headliner of the Year” (4/12, Strathmore, 4/13-15, Meyerhoff)
  • Beethoven and Mahler — Markus Stenz leads a program focused on two titans of the classical repertoire, with Beethoven’s Concerto for Violin, Violoncello and Piano featuring Jonathan Carney, Dariusz Skoraczewski, and Ryo Yanagitani and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D Major (4/19, Strathmore, 4/20-21, Meyerhoff)
  • Tchaikovsky with Balanchine — Music Director Marin Alsop, Music Director leads an all-Tchaikovsky, dance-focused program including the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture, the Suite from Swan Lake, and the Serenade for Strings, performed by dancers from the Baltimore School for the Arts, staged by Deborah Wingert with coaching by Heather Watts, both former New York City Ballet dancers (4/26, 4/28, Meyerhoff, 4/27, 4/29, Strathmore)
  • To Bernstein with Love — Marin Alsop leads a centennial celebration of her mentor, with violinist Nicola Benedetti, including favorites from his musicals West Side Story and On The Town, and his Serenade, plus a medley of works by modern composers written in homage to him (5/4, 5/6, Meyerhoff)
  • NPR’s Scott Simon Joins the BSO in a Salute to Bernstein — A special Off The Cuff program features lively commentary from Alsop and the host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, interacting as they often do on air, this time focused on Bernstein as part of a centennial celebration program including his Overture to Candide and selections from West Side Story and On The Town (5/5, Meyerhoff)
  • SuperPops: Raiders of the Lost Ark — Everly leads the BSO in a performance of John Williams’ epic score while the Steven Spielberg classic screens overhead (5/10, Strathmore, 5/11-13, Meyerhoff)
  • Liszt and Brahms — Liszt’s most popular symphonic poem Les Preludes and Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 are the tentpoles of a program led by guest conductor Mario Venzago, with Kit Armstrong joining to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22 (5/18, 5/20, Meyerhoff, 5/19, Strathmore)
  • Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras Concert (5/25, Carver Center)
  • Gershwin’s Piano Concerto — Kirill Gerstein performs Gershwins blend of traditional classical forms and the freedom of American jazz, as part of an Alsop-led program also featuring Stravinsky’s dazzling Suite from The Firebird and Schumann’s incredibly personal Symphony No. 2, expressing the conductor’s triumph over darkness. (5/31, Strathmore, 6/1-2, Meyerhoff)
  • Bernstein and Shostakovich — The BSO’s subscription season ends with Alsop leading the BSO and pianist Jon Kimura Parker in a program of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 and Bernstein’s Slava! A Political Overture and Symphony No. 2 (6/7-8, 6/10, Strathmore, 6/9, Meyerhoff)
  • An Evening with John Williams — A one-night-only performance featuring Hollywood’s most ubiquitous, Oscar-winning composer leading a program of his acclaimed film scores, from Star Wars to E.T. to Harry Potter 6/13)



  • After Spring Sunset: Music Inspired by Nature — Artistic Director Scott Tucker and the Choral Arts Chamber Singers present a concert featuring pieces by Benjamin Britten, Peter Schickele, R. Murray Schafer, and Ralph Vaughan Williams evoking serenity through melodies and lyrics invoking the beauty of the natural world, followed by a complimentary dessert reception (4/21, Church of the Epiphany)
  • Gioachino Rossini: Stabat Mater — Tucker and acclaimed Washington Concert Opera conductor Antony Walker lead a performance of Rossini’s opera and a selection of iconic opera moments, with the Choral Arts Chorus plus operatic sensations Sarah Coburn, Olivia Vote, Jack Swanson, and David Leigh (5/19, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)



  • Handel Laudate pueri dominum, Finzi Magnificat, Bartoldus Magnificat, Charpentier Te Deum — Metropolitan Opera soprano Danielle Talamantes, soprano Crossley Danielle Hawn, countertenor Geoffrey Silver, tenor Allan Palacios Chan, baritone Erik Grendahl, and baroque dancer Brynt Beitman join for a season-closing concert and a spectacular tribute to Artistic Director Robert Shafer’s 50th anniversary as a conductor (4/22, National Presbyterian Church)


University of Maryland
College Park, Md.

  • Faux Paz: 25th Anniversary Show — The University of Maryland’s oldest co-ed a cappella group offers a fun night of music featuring performances from the University of Florida’s Gestalt and a group of Faux Paz alumni (3/10, Dekelboum Concert Hall)
  • Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra — Two years after losing its namesake perch, the Brad Linde-led 17-piece big band ensemble still regularly performs around the area (3/12, MilkBoy ArtHouse)
  • Murasaki Duo: The Commissions (3/29, Gildenhorn Recital Hall)
  • Wavelength Winds Concert — A performance of what is billed as some of the most beautiful repertoire written for wind ensembles (4/5, Gildenhorn)
  • Maryland Opera Studio: Dialogues Des Carmélites — Premiered in 1957, Poulenc’s opera explores religious devotion and self-sacrifice through the story of a young aristocratic woman who joins the Carmelite Order to escape the violence of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror (4/14-22, Kay Theatre)
  • Left Bank Quartet: The Bohemian Spirit — Celebrate spring with the blossoming of 19th-century Moravian musical nationalism in three wonderful quartets of Dvorák, Janáček, and Haas (4/15, Gildenhorn Recital Hall)
  • Sirius Quartet — Internationally acclaimed veterans of contemporary music with a multi-genre approach that has led to post-rock, avant-jazz, and electronic collaborations (4/19, MilkBoy)
  • Hai-Ye Ni— Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Cellist performs with School of Music faculty members James Stern, Katherine Murdock, Eric Kutz, and Rita Sloan (4/25, Gildenhorn)
  • Tamara Wilson: Weightless Dreams — Soprano and School of Music Artist in Residence appears in her song recital program with pianist Justina Lee (4/27, Gildenhorn)
  • Prince George’s Philharmonic: Hope, Disillusion, and Transcendence — Music Director Jesus Manuel Berard leads a season finale concert including works by Leonard Bernstein and Joan Tower, and concluding with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 (5/12, 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 (6/2, Dekelboum); Orchestra Unbound — James Stern and Nicholas Platoff lead a program showcasing the color and virtuosity of the various sections of the orchestra, from Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings, to Henri Tomasi’s Fanfares Liturgiques for Brass Ensemble, to Emile Bernard’s Divertissement for Wind Instruments (6/8, Dekelboum); Take The Reins — NOI musicians go conductorless for a program of Britten, Mozart, and Beethoven, with pianist Sara Daneshpour (6/9, Dekelboum)
  • American Landscapes — Wolf Trap Studio Artists join for a program led by conductor James Judd of works by Copland and Gershwin, but centered on Bernstein’s Songfest, performed as a toast to Bernstein’s centennial (6/16, Dekelboum)



  • Curtain Up! Broadway Musical Magic — An evening of high-energy song and dance celebrating nine decades of Broadway brilliance, from Showboat to Dear Evan Hansen, and featuring the large choir and a swinging live band (3/17-18, Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW)
  • Let Us Entertain You! — “Children on Stage & Screen” featuring the American Youth Chorus, plus the Chamber Ensemble and NorthEast Senior Singers (4/14, Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 E. Capitol St. NE)
  • Sun, Moon & Stars — “Songs of the Galaxies” (6/2, National City Christian Church)


Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First St. SE

  • Colin Currie and Nicolas Hodges — Known for their advocacy of new music, this extraordinary duo performs a newly commissioned piece by Sir Harrison Birtwistle as part of a special program of music for percussion and piano (3/24)
  • Spektral Quartet with Winston Choi — Ensemble and pianist perform back-to-back concerts, one a Library Late evening program including a Library commission by Zorn, the other an afternoon affair with Library-commissioned pieces by Babbitt and Schoenberg (3/30-31)
  • Artemis Quartet (4/6)
  • Louis Lortie and Hélène Mercier — Canadian pianists and longtime collaborators have developed a remarkable sensitivity to the four-hand and two-piano literature (4/11)
  • Gerald Finley and Julius Drake — Canadian baritone and collaborative pianist offer a program of Germanic and Russian art song (4/25)
  • Esperanza Spalding — Luminous, Grammy-winning artist with a magnetic stage presence and brilliant skills as an improviser, composer, bassist, and vocalist unveils a new violin and piano commission from the Library (5/4)
  • Leonard Bernstein’s America — Bernstein the social observer, as revealed in excerpts from three major stage works: the musical 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and the operas Trouble in Tahiti and A Quiet Place, for a program led by Bernstein protégé Michael Barrett and featuring sopranos Julia Bullock and Amy Owens, mezzo-soprano Amanda Lynn Bottoms, tenor Joshua Blue, and bass-baritone Adrian Rosas (5/18)
  • Boston Modern Orchestra Project — Gil Rose leads this strong champion of new music and works not yet well-represented in its Coolidge Auditorium debut with a program of music by Charles Wuorinen and Roger Reynolds (6/2)



  • Capitol Pride Symphonic Band Spring Concert (4/7, Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW)
  • DC Swing! Groovin’, Soulin’, and Swingin’ — Cool sweet sounds from the jazz ensemble of the Different Drummers (4/22, Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna, Va.)


A 22-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”

  • Narek Arutyunian, clarinet, Steven Beck, piano — “Back by Popular Demand!” (3/29, Embassy of Armenia, 2225 R St. NW)
  • Pascal Salomon, piano — Israeli-French pianist performs Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninov, and Debussy in a tribute to Theodor Herzl, considered the father of the State of Israel, and his fellow 19th-century-born Zionist Max Nordau, in cooperation with the Embassy of Israel (4/12, Embassy of Hungary, 2950 Spring of Freedom NW)
  • Ziyad al Harbi, Oudist & Friends — Representing Omani culture and music (4/25, Embassy of Oman Sultanate, Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center, 1100 16th St. NW)
  • Malena Dayen, mezzo-soprano, David Rosenmeyer, piano — “An Evening of Tango from Argentina” (4/27, Embassy of Argentina, 1600 New Hampshire Ave. NW)
  • Gwhyneth Chen, piano — A Taiwanese-American regarded as one of the foremost pianists of her generation, Generation X, (5/10, Twin Oaks Estate, 3223 Woodley Rd. NW)



Center for the Arts Concert Hall
George Mason University

  • Mozart Requiem — Music Director Christopher Zimmerman leads the orchestra, guest soloists, and the Fairfax Choral Society and the Music & Arts Chorus in Mozart’s sublime yet unfinished score, in a program also including Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 featuring soloist Ilya Kaler (3/10)
  • Connections Through Time w/Simone Dinnerstein — Dinnerstein returns to perform a new concerto written for her by renowned composer Philip Glass, as part of a Zimmerman-led program also featuring Bach, Vaughan Williams, and Elgar (4/21)
  • A Night at the Opera: 60th Anniversary Celebration Concert — Beloved arias and duets from Verdi, Puccini, and Bernstein performed by the symphony, the Fairfax Choral Society and Music & Arts Chorus, and soprano Danielle Talamantes and tenor Carl Tanner (5/12)


Folger Elizabethan Theatre
201 East Capitol St. SE

  • Ovid’s Vineyard: Music of the French Baroque — In 18th-century France, the florid stories in Ovid’s Metamorphoses were an inspiration to composers, including Monteclair and Rameau. They’ll be brought to life with the Consort’s Robert Eisenstein on violin and viol, and Christopher Kendall on lute, plus other instrumentalists and soprano Rosa Lamoreaux (4/27-29)



  • Make America Gay Again — Celebrating queerness and the great diversity that makes up the fabric of the nation (3/17, Lincoln Theatre)
  • Small Ensembles Extravaganza — All four of the select adult groups of the chorus — Potomac Fever, Rock Creek Singers, Seasons of Love, and 17th Street Dance — will take the stage together for the first time for everything from gospel to pop, Broadway to dancing (4/14, The Barns at Wolf Trap)
  • TransAmerica w/Breanna Sinclairé — Celebrating the transgender community in a special concert about equality and empowerment featuring stories and songs about the trans experience and special guests including transgender soprano Sinclairé (6/2-3, Lincoln)


Concert Hall
4373 Mason Pond Drive
Fairfax, Va.

  • Russian String Orchestra — Touted as Russia’s finest young ensemble. Performs both popular chamber classics as well as newer contemporary works under its founder Misha Rachlevsky (3/11)
  • Mason Symphony Orchestra & Virginia Chamber Orchestra (3/28, Concert Hall)
  • Virginia Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor — The season ends with the most famous of all bel canto operas, Donizetti’s tragic tale of Scottish star-crossed lovers, with Metropolitan Opera soprano Rachele Gilmore making her company debut in the title role, opposite tenor Joseph Dennis (4/7-8)
  • The King’s Singers — Acclaimed a cappella sextet performs everything from Renaissance madrigals to contemporary, popular music as part of a 50th Anniversary Tour (4/20)
  • Project Trio — A high-energy chamber ensemble comprised of three virtuosic composer/performers from Brooklyn (4/23, Harris Theatre)
  • Mason Wind Symphony & Ohio State Band Concert (5/4)


10960 George Mason Circle
Manassas, Va.

  • Manassas Chorale, Voices United: Adoration and Celebration — 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 (3/17, Merchant Hall)
  • Virginia Opera: Matinee Idylls — The “Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia” offers a program of favorites performed by the company’s young professionals (4/10, Gregory Family Theater)
  • Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra: ¡Acompáñanos!: A Journey of Latin Favorites from Boléro to Carmen — Prince William County’s premiere chamber ensemble concludes its 20th season with works from Spain and Latin America (5/5, Merchant)
  • Music Studios: Spring Recital (5/5, Gregory)
  • Youth Orchestras of Prince William: Flow (5/6, Merchant)
  • Manassas Symphony Orchestra: Russian Silver — Local high school students join to perform Rimsky-Korsakov’s magical Scheherazade, while Steinway Artist Agnes Wan joins for Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in this season-closing show (5/12, Merchant)
  • Manassas Chorale: The Amazing Eighties! — The Greater Manassas Children’s Choir joins to make 170 voices performing songs from Broadway and the radio written 30 and more years ago (6/1, Merchant)
  • Brass 5 (6/19, Merchant)


Lang Theater
Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H St. NE

  • Zarzuela a la Cubana: María & Cecilia — A sizzling double bill of Cuba’s most famous zarzuelas by Lecuona and Roig, both revolving around stories of forbidden interracial romance and inevitable betrayal and tragedy, in a production directed and choreographed by Abel Lopez and Jaime Coronado, with Spanish-language songs and English dialogue by noted local playwright Karen Zacarías (4/22-29, GALA Hispanic Theatre)
  • The Emperor of Atlantis — A visionary opera epic examining humanity’s ambivalent relationship with death, the survival of art and love against all odds, and final redemption, written by Czech composer Viktor Ullmann, a victim of the Nazis at Auschwitz (6/16-24)


American University
Abramson Family Recital Hall
4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW

  • The Gorenman Bach Project: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I — Internationally acclaimed pianist and AU musician-in-residence Yuliya Gorenman performs a monumental masterwork of the classical canon, rarely performed in a single concert (3/24)
  • AU Workshop: The Music of Belgium — The contemporary music ensemble explores the rich musical history of the birthplace of saxophone inventor Adolphe Sax and composers Django Reinhardt and Cesar Franck (4/6)
  • AU Chamber Singers — A broad program of music featuring favorite and “bucket list” works selected by members of the ensemble plus alumni in town for the ensemble’s reunion (4/14)
  • AU Chorus and AU Symphony Orchestra: Bernstein Centenary Celebration — Bernstein’s masterpiece Chichester Psalms is the focus of a program including works by Mahler, Elgar, and Dvorák, directed by Casey Cook and Matthew Brown (4/21)
  • AU Symphonic Band: Impact — Ben Sonderman directs a program with an emphasis on percussive instruments (4/29)



  • Direct Current: Philip Glass: 20 Etudes: A 5-Pianist Performance — The renowned composer’s Kennedy Center debut, performing with Jason Moran, Aaron Diehl, Devonté Hynes, and Jenny Lin (3/9, Concert Hall)
  • David Fung, piano — Washington Performing Arts presents this past winner of the Queen Elizabeth International Music Competition and the Arthur Rubinstein Piano International Masters Competition in Tel Aviv (3/10, Terrace Theater)
  • Direct Current: Mason Bates’s KC Jukebox: California Mystics — Exploring music by composers from California’s past and present, using Bedouin-inspired tenting and pillows to create an immersive and inviting environment (3/11, Atrium)
  • Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields — In this multimedia D.C. premiere, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and conductor Julian Wachner perform Wolfe’s Pulitzer Prize–winning oratorio recalling Pennsylvania’s coal-mining past (3/13, Terrace)
  • Anthony Trionfo, flute — Young Concert Artists presents a concert featuring a premiere by YCA Composer-in-Residence Katherine Balch (3/15, Terrace)
  • Direct Current: Mason Bates’s Mercury Soul — New music will meet electronica, projected visuals, and immersive stagecraft in this visceral “classical rave” featuring new music by some of today’s most talked-about composers (3/15, 9:30 Club)
  • Direct Current: Koyaanisqatsi with the Philip Glass Ensemble, Washington Chorus — Legendary American composer’s iconic multimedia collaboration with experimental filmmaker Godfrey Reggio receives its Kennedy Center premiere (3/16, Concert Hall)
  • Renée Fleming VOICES: Ute Lemper’s Paris Days, Berlin Nights — The Vogler String Quartet joins internationally renowned German cabaret artist for a collection of songs from throughout Europe and Argentina, with music inspired by the cultural melting pots of Berlin and Paris in the 1920s (3/16, Terrace)
  • Theo Hoffman, baritone, with Bradley Moore, piano — Vocal Arts DC presents the annual Gerald Perman Fund for Emerging Artists Recitalists for 2018 (3/20, Terrace)
  • Takács Quartet — Fortas Chamber Music Concert featuring one of today’s best string quartets (3/21, Terrace)
  • Boris Berezovsky, piano — A product of the famed Moscow Conservatory offers a rare U.S. recital presented by Washington Performing Arts (3/22, Terrace)
  • Roman Rabinovich, piano (3/24, Terrace)
  • The Kennedy Center Chamber Players — The ensemble of National Symphony Orchestra musicians offers a mix of playfulness and melancholy in its spring concert (3/25, Terrace)
  • Dawn Upshaw with So Percussion — Five-time Grammy-winning soprano is joined by leading percussion ensemble for a Fortas Chamber Music Concert including a brand-new work by Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Caroline Shaw (4/5, Terrace)
  • Dasol Kim, piano — Korean pianist plays Chopin, Ravel, and Schubert in a recital presented by Young Concert Artists (4/9, Terrace)
  • Shift: A Festival of American Orchestras: Washington Performing Arts co-presents this annual series featuring five orchestras, including: Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra — Miguel Harth-Bedoya leads a program celebrating vibrant Latin-American communities and his own South American heritage in a program featuring guest soloists Augustin Hadelich on violin and dancers from Texas Ballet Theater (4/10, Concert Hall); Albany Symphony — David Alan Miller conducts “The River Flows Through Us” program exploring the history of upstate New York and the waterways that connect it, featuring soloists Joyce Yang on piano, Carol Jantsch on tuba, and D.C. public school choruses (4/11, Concert Hall); Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra — Introducing Polish works inspired by music director Krzysztof Urbanski’s heritage, with superstar cellist Alisa Weilerstein joining for Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, and five singers and two Indianapolis choirs performing Penderecki’s Credo (4/13, Concert Hall); National Symphony Orchestra — New Music Director Gianandrea Noseda conducts an all-Russian program dedicated to the memory of Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who was scheduled to perform as a soloist at this concert but passed away in November 2017 (4/14, Concert Hall); and Los Angeles Philharmonic — Music director Gustavo Dudamel leads the Philharmonic, distinguished soloists, and several choruses in a performance of Beethoven’s majestic Choral Symphony (4/26, Concert Hall)
  • Isabel Leonard in Recital: A Tribute to Leonard Bernstein — Before her turn as Rosina in Washington National Opera’s The Barber of Seville, Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano pays homage to Bernstein and specifically his work translating and transforming the European song cycle and oratorio tradition into an American idiom (4/15, Terrace)
  • World Projects Corporation: Washington, D.C. International Music Festival 2018 (4/17, Concert Hall)
  • Conrad Tao, piano — Washington Performing Arts presents a program juxtaposing recent additions to the piano repertoire with beloved standards (4/21, Terrace)
  • Chris Botti — Star trumpeter performs a sophisticated and varied program presented by Washington Performing Arts (4/22, Concert Hall)
  • Steven Isserlis and Richard Egarr — British cellist is joined by a harpsichordist for a special Baroque program, part of the Fortas series, that also finds Egarr performing a gut-string cello (4/23, Terrace)
  • JFK Jukebox: In Homage to JFK’s Legacy in Civil Rights — Colin Burnham conducts a program featuring the Mivos Quartet and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble with music informed by the Civil Rights movement, from Carlos Simon’s An Elegy: Cry From the Grave, to a special performance by David T. Little’s band, Newspeak, to Ted Hearne’s moving The Answer (4/25, Terrace)
  • Paul Huang, violin & Orion Weiss, piano — Avery Fisher Career Grantees jointly explore the lyrical poetry of the violin sonata, including a new work commissioned by Washington Performing Arts and composed by fellow grantee Conrad Tao (4/27, Terrace)
  • Brian Mulligan, baritone, with Timothy Long, piano — American baritone makes his area solo debut via Vocal Arts DC and for the Gerald and Ann K. Perman Memorial Recital (4/28, Terrace)
  • The University of Kansas Wind and Jazz Ensembles: Freedom From Fear: Images from the Shoreline — These KU groups combine for a new work commissioned by Reach Out Kansas, Inc., a world-premiere composition by Kevin Walczyk (4/29, Eisenhower Theater)
  • Opera Lafayette: Visitors to Versailles — A musical journey through the reigns of Louis XIV, XV, and XVI, featuring music from Lully’s Acis et Galatée to Grétry’s Richard, Cœur de Lion, inspired by a Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition (5/2, Terrace)
  • Les Violons du Roy with Isabelle Faust — Acclaimed Canadian ensemble welcomes guest soloist for a stirring all-Bach program in the Fortas series (5/3)
  • Havana Lyceum Orchestra — Part of Artes de Cuba, award-winning symphony performs music by Cuban-born composers, including contemporary works by Leo Brouwer featuring pianist Ulises Hernández and guitarist Alí Arango in his U.S. debut (5/10, Terrace)
  • Evgeny Kissin, piano — Washington Performing Arts presents a return by the piano master (5/16, Concert Hall)
  • Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman w/Rohan de Silva — The renowned violinist Perlman will be joined by fellow string player and longtime friend Zukerman for a Washington Performing Arts-presented recital of several duos for two violins and violin and viola by Mozart, Bartók, and Wieniawski, with pianist Rohan de Silva joining for works by J.S. Bach and Moszkowski (5/23, Concert Hall)
  • Music Celebrations International: National Memorial Day Choral Festival 2018 — 10th Annual event in partnership with the United States Air Force and the American Veterans Center (5/27, Concert Hall)
  • Emily Daggett Smith, violin — A member of Brooklyn-based chamber orchestra The Knights offers a program of mixed repertoire, presented by Washington Performing Arts (5/30, Terrace)
  • The Kennedy Center Chamber Players — NSO ensemble offers a vibrant final concert of the season with works by Handel, Carter, Stravinsky, and Enescu (6/10, Terrace)
  • Friday Morning Music Club Foundation: Washington International Competition for Strings 2018 — Outstanding young instrumentalists perform before a panel of esteemed judges (6/24, Terrace)


2801 Upton St. NW

  • 2018 Gala — Spotlighting some of Levine’s extraordinary students, faculty, and alumni (3/11, Arena Stage)
  • 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 (4/22)
  • Loeffler Family Series: David Wolff, tenor (5/7, Lang Recital Hall)
  • The Best of Levine Concert Series: Ariel Horowitz — A Levine alumna, now an acclaimed violinist (5/20, Waterford Old School, Virginia)



  • Strings Fever: Brahms and Mendelssohn — Two of the greatest Romantic works featuring the lush sounds of the strings, Brahms’ String Sextet No. 2 and Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-Flat Major (3/24, Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington)
  • Today’s Classical and Jazz Masters — A season finale concert with the extraordinary jazz suites of popular French composer Claude Bolling and the music of outstanding local classical and jazz composers and featuring clarinet star Julian Milkis, the only student and protege of jazz great Benny Goodman (5/19, Gunston Theatre I, 2700 South Lang St., Arlington)


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

  • Spirited Brahms — Music Director Piotr Gajewski leads Strathmore’s resident orchestra in an all-Brahms program, his Symphony No. 4 in E minor and the Violin Concerto in D Major featuring soloist and Sphinx Competition winner Melissa White (3/18-18)
  • School for Lovers — A performance of Mozart’s delightful and elegant opera buffa Cosi Fan Tutte with vocalists Danielle Talamantes, Shirin Eskandani, Trevor Scheunemann, Norman Shankle, Arianna Zukerman, and Kenneth Kellogg (4/14)
  • Northern Lights — Stan Engebretson conducts a program of a cappella singing and New Age music, from Rachmaninoff to Norwegian composer, plus a world premiere by the Philharmonic’s young composer-in-residence Alistair Coleman for the National Philharmonic Chorale (4/28)
  • Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony — Gajewski leads a program showcasing Beethoven’s love of nature and the natural elements, and also the French and Spanish influences in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2, featuring soloist Colin Sorgi (5/5)
  • 100th Anniversary of Poland’s Independence — Miroslaw Jacek Blaszczyk conducts a program of works by Debski, Szymanowski, and Chopin, with guest artists including Chopin expert pianist Brian Ganz, soprano Esther Heideman, mezzo-soprano Magdalena Wór, and baritone Tyler Duncan (6/2)


Kennedy Center Concert Hall

  • John Adams’s The Gospel According to the Other Mary — In celebration of John Adams’ 70th birthday year, Gianandrea Noseda conducts Adams’ expansive composition for chorus, soloists, and orchestra depicting Jesus’ final weeks as told from the unique perspective of Mary Magdalene (3/8-10)
  • Bronfman plays Brahms — Noseda leads Yefim Bronfman in Brahms’ monumental Piano Concerto No. 2 in a program that also explores the spirit of dance in Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic (3/15-18)
  • Verdi’s Requiem — No one brings out all the sweeping drama and passionate intensity of Verdi’s great masterpiece quite like Noseda, as a critic in The Guardian confirmed, saying Noseda “has Verdi in his system…electric from start to finish” (3/22-24)
  • NSO Pops: Black Violin (4/4)
  • A Portrait & A Frame — Noseda presents a portrait of Stravinsky’s complex artistry through his Symphonies of Wind Instruments and his Violin Concerto featuring Leila Josefowicz (4/19-21)
  • NSO Family Concert: Young People’s Concert — NSO Principal Second violinist Marissa Regni hosts this enlightening music-filled performance for children and families, with guest appearances by Christylez Bacon and Ben Folds (4/29)
  • Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben — Sir Mark Elder offers a musical biography of Richard Strauss, pairing his triumphant and famously autobiographical Ein Heldenleben with his earlier, more intimate Serenade for 13 Wind Instruments (5/3-4)
  • Vaughan Williams’s “Pastoral Symphony” — For his second week with the NSO, Elder unites the works of three First World War-era composers and contemporaries, also including Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad Rhapsody, and Ravel’s Mother Goose and Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2 (5/10-12)
  • Brahms’s Fourth Symphony — In his final concerts of the season, Noseda leads a program unified by J.S. Bach (5/17-19)
  • #DECLASSIFIED: Selections from Bach with the National Symphony Orchestra — An abbreviated NSO program with selected Bach works and featuring violinist James Ehnes (5/18)
  • NSO Pops: Space, The Next Frontier (6/1-2)
  • Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony — The first of recent NSO Music Director Christoph Eschenbach’s trio of programs concluding the NSO’s classical season includes Verdi’s Ballet Music from Macbeth and Walton’s Viola Concerto featuring NSO Principal Viola Daniel Foster (6/7-9)
  • Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony — Mozart’s fascinating Oboe Concerto featuring NSO Principal Oboe Nick Stovall and overtures to Rossini’s William Tell and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream are also on the bill (6/12-13)
  • Haydn’s “Oxford” Symphony — Concluding the NSO’s classical season with an exuberant program also featuring Mozart’s A Little Night Music, Wagner’s Prelude to The Mastersingers of Nuremberg, and R. Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1 featuring NSO Principal Horn Abel Pereira (6/15-16)
  • NSO Pops: Audra McDonald — A selection of favorite music by the beloved, six-time Tony-winning star of stage and screen (6/19)
  • NSO Pops: Melissa Etheridge — Heartfelt rock hits from the heartland-nurtured lesbian get transformed into symphonic delights (6/22-23)
  • NSO Pops: A Night of Jazz with Gregory Porter Nat King Cole & Me (6/27)
  • #Declassified: Ben Folds with the NSO (6/29)


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

  • Mabry Legacy Concert — The New York-based Aeolus Quartet, NOW’s string-quartet-in-residence, is joined by NOW co-founder Grace Cho on piano, Jeremy Eig on clarinet, and Jessica Powell Eig on double bass, for a program of Mozart and in honor of an early supporter of NOW, the late Carol Mabry (3/17)
  • Dvořák’s From The New World — The Aeolus Quartet performs Dvořák’s string quartet American to kick off a program headlined by his Symphony No. 9 but also featuring a modern twist on Gershwin’s iconic Porgy and Bess Fantasy (4/15, National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW)


1600 21st St. NW
The original Phillips family house, including the celebrated Music Room, is in the midst of a preservation project over the next few months, resulting in regular season concerts moving to the International Student House of Washington, D.C., 1825 R St. NW. Sunday Concert: David Finckel, cello & Wu Han, piano — Duo makes its Phillips Music debut with works by J.S. Bach, Bruch Adolphe, Felix Mendelssohn, and Edvard Grieg (3/11)

  • Leading International Composers: Fazil Say — University of Maryland School of Music Faculty and Students offer a concert celebrating the music of the Turkish pianist and composer (3/15)
  • Sunday Concert: Fazil Say — Three days after a toast to his music, Say makes his Phillips debut with works by Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, and of course one of his own compositions, the piano sonata Gezi Park 2 (3/18)
  • Sunday Concert: Busch Trio — Piano trio makes its D.C. debut with works by Schubert and Dvořák (4/1)
  • Sunday Concert: István Várdai — Cellist makes his Phillips solo debut with works by Ligeti, Bach, and Kodály (4/8)
  • Sunday Concert: Schumann Quartett — Works by Haydn, Shostakovich, and Tchaikovsky are on offer in this string quartet’s return to the Phillips (4/15)
  • Sunday Concert: Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano — An all-Debussy program (4/22)
  • Sunday Concert Yeol Eum Son, piano — D.C. debut with works by Mozart, Brahms, Pärt, Ravel, and Liszt (4/29)
  • Sunday Concert: David Shifrin, clarinet & Miro Quartet (5/6)
  • Sunday Concert: Hermitage Piano Trio (5/13)
  • Sunday Concert: Late Night with Leonard Bernstein — A Multi-Media Cabaret with soprano, two pianos, and guest narrator Jamie Bernstein as part of the citywide toast to her father (5/20)
  • Sunday Concert: Stephen Kovacevich, piano — A season closing concert (5/27)
  • Wolf Trap Opera: Vocal Colors — Visual art and music are paired in two intimate evenings of song in the Phillips Music Room, which is expected to have completed renovations in time for these concerts featuring: soprano Mané Galoyan, baritone Thomas Glass, and bass Patrick Guetti, accompanied by Nathan Raskin on Night 1 (6/28); and soprano Madison Leonard, mezzo-soprano Megan Mikailovna Samarin, and tenor Ian Koziara, accompanied by Joseph Li, on Night 2 (7/19)



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

  • Axelrod String Quartet — Joseph Haydn’s Quartet in C Major and Béla Bartók’s Quartet No. 1 are performed on exceptionally rare instruments part of the Smithsonian’s collection — one made by Antonio Stradivari, the other by his teacher Nicolo Amati — in a program that also includes Felix Mendelssohn’s Quintet in A Major with guest Jaspar Snow of the Juilliard School (3/17-18)
  • Smithsonian Chamber Music Players: Masterworks of Five Centuries: Schubert — One of the composer’s powerful early quartets is paired with his magisterial Octet, as part of a commemoration of the 190th anniversary of the composer’s death (4/14-15)
  • Axelrod String Quartet (4/28-29)
  • Smithsonian Chamber Music Players: Masterworks of Five Centuries: Haydn — A performance of the composer’s little-known, but fascinatingly inventive, early keyboard trios (5/5)


5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, Md.

  • Montgomery County Youth Orchestra of Strathmore: A Spring Awakening — A showcase of MCYO’s Young Artists, Symphony, and Chamber Ensemble performing inspiring Romantic-era works by Tchaikovsky, Scandinavian romanticist Carl Nielsen, Franck, Dvořák, and more (3/21, Music Center)
  • Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra — Keith Lockhart leads the nation’s longstanding top Pops orchestra in a program of classics old and new (4/8, Music Center)
  • Michael Brown, piano — Touted young piano visionary performs a program centered on the music of — whom else? — Leonard Bernstein (4/12, Mansion)
  • The Washington Symphony Players: Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates Spring Concert Benefit — Ulysses James leads this 40-piece ensemble in a program of Mozart, Vivaldi, and Albinoni, with all proceeds going toward fighting the opioid crisis (4/17, Music Center)
  • Robin Spielberg, piano (4/27, Mansion)
  • Potomac Valley Youth Orchestra: Annual Spring Gala (5/18, Music Center)
  • Montgomery County Youth Orchestra of Strathmore: A Nod to Bernstein — (5/20, 5/23, Music Center)


  • Florida — A darkly comic contemporary opera by Randall Eng, with libretto by Donna Di Novelli, focused on a teenage girl falsely accused of matricide that brings to light problems with our legal system and our culture’s reflexive suspicion of teenage girls and sexuality (4/7-14, Atlas)
  • Why Is Eartha Kitt Trying To Kill Me? A Love Story — Composer Jeffrey Dennis Smith and librettist David Johnston offer a zany, rhythm-driven romp through the darker side of love (7/7-14, Signature Theatre)


Catholic University
620 Michigan Ave. N.E.

  • Washington International Piano Series: Sophia Pileggi — The winner of Catholic University’s International Piano Competition offers a recital performing works by Chopin, Brahms, Scriabin, and Ginastera (3/15)
  • Just Tango: Latin American Music Series: Tango Camerata — Music of Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla is the focus of a concert with guest vocalists baritone Gustavo Ahualli and mezzo-soprano Anamer Castrello (3/18)
  • Spring Opera: Le Nozze di Figaro (3/22-24, Hartke Theatre)
  • University Singers Spring Concert: Fauré Requiem (4/20, Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW)
  • CUA Wind Ensemble Spring Concert: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue (4/22, Caldwell Hall Auditorium)
  • CUA Symphony Orchestra: Annual Spring Scholarship Concert (4/28, Hartke)


National Presbyterian Church
4101 Nebraska Ave. NW

  • Commemoration: St. John Passion — The closest thing to an opera in Bach’s repertoire is arguably his dramatic, action-packed treatment of the Passion story, as will be demonstrated in a performance with soloists led by Matthew Dirst of the Grammy-nominated period-instrument ensemble Ars Lyrica Houston
  • The Musical Offering — One of the most ambitious projects of the elder Bach’s final years, performed by David Ross on flute, Tatiana Chulochnikova on violin, John Moran on cello and viola da gamba, and Todd Fickley on keyboards (4/6, Live! At 10th and G, 945 G St. NW)
  • Culmination: Mass in B Minor — The Consort concludes its 40th anniversary with a performance, led by Gwendolyn Toth of early music ensemble ARTEK, of what is considered by many Bach’s trademark masterwork, completed during the last year of his life (4/29)



  • Carmen in Concert — Experience the famous story through the eyes of the killer’s mother in John Constable’s wickedly smart narration of the famous opéra comique. Chorus’ new Artistic Director Christopher Bell leads a concert version of Bizet’s masterpiece starring mezzo-soprano Aleks Romano and featuring the Washington National Opera Orchestra and members of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program (4/21, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)
  • Lenny & Friends — The influence that Leonard Bernstein had on his contemporaries and on modern-day composers is explored in a vocal tour-de-force program with works by Eric Whitacre, Stacy Garrop, Michael Tippett, and Aaron Copland — and, of course, Bernstein (6/2-9, Live! at 10th and G)


Kennedy Center Opera House

  • Verdi’s Don Carlo — A spectacle of forbidden passion, political intrigue, and shattering betrayal set at the height of the Spanish Empire is brought to life by a star-studded cast (Now-3/17)
  • The Barber of Seville — One of the most beloved opera masterpieces of all time (4/28-5/19)
  • Candide — Straddling the divide between musical theater and opera, and as complicated and tricky as you’d expect from Bernstein, this funny, fast-paced take on Voltaire’s biting satire is not produced as often as you might hope or expect, but WNO does just in time for the centennial celebrations (5/5-26)
  • 2018 WNO Opera Gala Concert: Celebrating Leonard Bernstein at 100 — It doesn’t get much starrier than this one-night-only fete with Patti LuPone. Oh, right, there’s still more: Tituss Burgess, Nathan and Julie Gunn, Isabel Leonard, Kathryn Lewek — and still more guests to be announced closer to the date (5/20)


1645 Trap Road
Vienna, Va.

  • Emerson String Quartet: Shostakovich and The Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy — A bold intersection of chamber music and theater, performed by the famed quartet and famous actors from Hollywood and beyond (3/11, Barns)
  • SPHINXtravaganza — Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sphinx Organization with a program of current Sphinx Virtuosi and past winners of the Medal of Excellence and built around Dvořák’s Bass Quintet Op. 77 No. 2 (3/18, Barns)
  • Cameron Crozman, Cello — Hailed as one of Canada’s leading young cellists, Crozman makes his debut with a Camber at the Barns program of 20th Century French music and works by Debussy, Poulenc, Messiaen, Françaix, and Koechlin (4/8, Barns)
  • John Corigliano 8.0 — An all-star birthday spectacular honoring one of our finest living American composers with violinist Lara St. John, pianist Martin Kennedy, cellist Sterling Elliott, soprano Melinda Whittington, and the PUBLIQuartet (4/22, Barns)
  • Steven Blier & Wolf Trap Opera Soloists: The Art of Pleasure — The New York Festival of Song leader accompanies, with fellow pianist Joseph Li, soprano Laura Sanders, mezzo-soprano Zoie Reams, tenor Piotr Buszewski, and baritone Johnathan McCullough, performing songs by Piazzolla, Fauré, Schubert, Arlen, Szymanowski, Bernstein, Guastavino, and Villa-Lobos (5/31, 6/1, Barns)
  • Wolf Trap Opera Studio Artists in National Orchestra Institute programs (6/2, 6/16, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center); Wolf Trap Opera Studio: Mozart’s Idomeneo — Considered Mozart’s first great opera, written when he was 24, Idomeneo gets a new production with a cast of Studio Artists and guests, led by Omer Ben Seadia and conductor Geoffrey McDonald (6/22, 6/24, 6/27, 6/30, Barns)
  • Wolf Trap Opera: Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins — As part of Halcyon’s inaugural By The People festival, a performance with dancers from the Hong Kong Ballet of a nearly century-old operetta by Weill in collaboration with Bertolt Brecht (6/23-24, Dock 5 at Union Market)
  • National Symphony Orchestra: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban In Concert — Steven Reineke leads a magical evening under the stars for Potter fans, as the third installment of J.K. Rowling’s series screens overhead as the orchestra plays John Williams’ score (7/6-7, Filene Center)
  • NSO, The Washington Chorus: Beethoven’s Ninth — Bramwell Tovey conducts the composer’s ultimate expression of brotherhood and humanity, along with Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (7/14, Filene)
  • Wolf Trap Opera: Gounod: Romeo et Juliette — The music soars in this French Romantic twist on Shakespeare (7/15-21, Barns)
  • NSO: Jaws In Concert — If you thought Steven Spielberg’s original summer blockbuster was scary on screen, wait until you hear those menacing two notes from John Williams’ score brought to life by the orchestra under Emil de Cou, as the shark attacks on projected screens (7/21, Filene)
  • Wolf Trap Opera Artists: Aria Jukebox — The audience gets to choose the arias to be performed by 2018 Filene Artists accompanied by Kim Pensinger Witman (7/22, Barns)
  • NSO: Bernstein at 100: A Celebration — Michael Barrett of the New York Festival of Song conducts luminaries from the worlds of musical theater, dance, and classical music in a triumphant tribute to the American musical icon in the year of what would be his centennial (7/27, Filene)
  • NSO: The Best of Wagner’s Ring — Patrick Summers leads a program of the most memorable and exhilarating moments from the Ring Cycle and featuring bona fide opera stars Christine Goerke, Simon O’Neill, Alan Held, and Eric Owens (7/28, Filene)
  • Wolf Trap Opera, NSO: Verdi’s Rigoletto — Grant Gershon conducts this year’s grand opera in the amphitheater, featuring some of Verdi’s most memorable music graces, performed by a cast of 13 soloists, plus a chorus (8/3, Filene)

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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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