Metro Weekly

Editor’s Pick: Marvelous Mozart and Mendelssohn

The National Chamber Ensemble's concert celebrates the work of Felix Mendelssohn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Felix Mendelssohn was a 19th-century musical prodigy in Germany whose stature in the 19th century came close to rivaling that of a towering Austrian giant from a century earlier, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Both were acclaimed pianists, conductors, and teachers in their respective eras, and compositions from the two are represented in the last concert of the National Chamber Ensemble’s Season 15, dubbed the “Reuniting with the Masters, Live!” season.

The Arlington-based group’s “Marvelous Mozart and Mendelssohn” program features a piano quartet from each composer: the Piano Quartet No. 2 in E Flat Major, which Mozart composed in 1786, or just five years before his death at age 35; and the Piano Quartet No. 2 in F Minor, which Mendelssohn, who only lived to the age of 38, composed in 1823 when he was just 14 years of age. Also on the program is Mozart’s Piano Trio No. 5 in C Major.

Violinist Leo Sushansky, the ensemble’s founding artistic director, will be joined in performance by pianist Carlos César Rodríguez, himself something of a child musical prodigy, having made his recital debut in his native Venezuela at the age of five, followed by his orchestral debut at the age of 11, and eventually his Carnegie Hall debut at the age of 21.

The program also features cellist Steven Honigberg, a graduate of Juilliard and a member of the National Symphony Orchestra, with the addition of violist Uri Wassertzug of the Washington National Opera Orchestra to perform the two quartets.

One week after the concert, all ticketholders will receive a link with unlimited streaming of a videotaped recording of the concert.

“It’s such a gift that we can all partake in these performances in person, but also a gift that we can watch these wonderful performers in our pajamas,” the organization puts it in the concert press release.

Saturday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. At Theater 1 in Gunston Arts Center, 2700 South Lang St., Arlington, Va. Tickets are $18 to $36. Visit

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