Metro Weekly

Fall Arts Preview 2022: Classical & Choral Music

Anne Akiko Meyers with the NSO at the Kennedy Center

This fall ushers in a fine assortment of classical programming with a queer bent to it, from the Gay Men’s Chorus to Davoné Tines — and any of the many places maestro Luke Frazier buoyantly appears with his always-lively, musically adventurous pop concerts.

Mixed in with all the expected performances of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Ravel, classical music aficionados are also increasingly encountering the chance to experience more Black composers and performers, particularly this season William Grant Still and George Walker.

Notably, some arts presenters have continued the pandemic-born practice of live-streaming, granting ticket buyers a virtual alternative if they’re unable to attend in person, or if the live show sold out well in advance.

Editor’s Note: This column has been modified slightly from the magazine edition.

THE ALDEN

McLean Community Center
1234 Ingleside Ave.
McLean, Va.
703-790-0123
www.aldentheatre.org

  • District5 — A daring, D.C.-based wind quintet specializing in new or newly transcribed chamber music (11/20)
  • Virginia Chamber Orchestra — A festive orchestral toast to the holidays from the Northern Virginia music ensemble (12/18)
  • Beau Soir Ensemble — Founded 15 years ago by harpist Michelle Lundy, a flute/viola/harp trio regularly engaged at concert venues throughout the Mid-Atlantic (2/12/23)
Luke Frazier of the American Pops Orchestra and National Philharmonic

AMERICAN POPS ORCHESTRA

www.theamericanpops.org

  • PBS Specials — A partnership ignited by the pandemic, APO has produced eleven star-studded concert specials that have aired on PBS, with more in the offing, including one focused on “Black Broadway” to be performed and recorded from Howard University (10/3-5)
  • Children’s Outreach Tour — The orchestra, under founding maestro Luke Frazier, will travel to Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia for free concerts as part of this outreach series (10/18-21)
  • Barracks Row Concert — A glorified busking outing from this young music organization with a penchant for performing in nontraditional settings, here one centered on classic jams from the 2000s as sung by vocalists Mya Hunter and JChris at the Eastern Market Metro stop (9/21)
  • 2023 NextGen: Finding the Voices of Tomorrow Semi-Finals — Annual vocal competition, virtual since the pandemic, commences its sixth edition with a month-long call for auditions (9/26-10/24) followed by a virtual Semi-Finals round (11/19), then culminating with a Finals concert to be announced next spring (TBA)

BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

410-783-8000
www.bsomusic.org

  • Conlon Presents Bernstein’s Kaddish — In Bernstein’s hands, the Hebrew prayer for times of bereavement sparks a heated exploration of spirit and fate. Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 factors into a program overseen by BSO Artistic Advisor James Conlon also offering the Tragic Overture by Brahms as well as the Prelude to Die Gezeichneten (The Stigmatized), a heart-wrenching score by German-Jewish composer Franz Schreker, whom Conlon is spotlighting through his series Recovered Voices, honoring composers silenced by the Nazi regime (10/6, Meyerhoff; 10/7, 10/9, Strathmore)
  • Halloween Spooktacular — Jonathan Rush leads a program of music about goblins and ghosts, magic, and dancing, by composers including Adam Glaser, Dukas, Saint-Saëns, Bartók, and Defalla, with narrative and stories by spoken word artist and BSO Artistic Partner Wordsmith (10/15, Meyerhoff)
  • Pictures at an Exhibition — Billed as a “garden of sonic delights,” this program starts with century-old works by Maurice Ravel, both his searingly evocative arrangement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition as well as the vivid renderings of classic characters in his Mother Goose, before turning to focus on the novel collaboration between two young Britons, conductor Finnegan Downie Dear and soprano Olivia Warburton, to showcase highlights from Oliver Knussen’s fanciful operatic take on Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are (10/20, Strathmore; 10/22, Meyerhoff)
  • Get Out: In Concert — Jordan Peele’s acclaimed horror classic will screen to live musical accompaniment by the BSO under the baton of Jonathan Rush (10/28, Strathmore; 10/29-30, Meyerhoff)
  • A Soldier’s Tale / Romeo and Juliet — A two-part program under the baton of Rune Bergmann, including Wordsmith’s world-premiere re-telling of Stravinsky from the perspective of a Black American Vietnam War veteran, plus a performance of suites from Prokofiev’s epic balletic adaptation of Shakespeare (11/5, Strathmore; 11/6, Meyerhoff)
  • Alsop Conducts Beethoven’s Fifth — BSO Music Director Laureate Marin Alsop returns for a program celebrating the redemptive power of creativity, not only Beethoven’s four-note classic and its iconic darkness-to-light musical trajectory, but also In Memoriam: The Colored Soldiers Who Died for Democracy, William Grant Still’s tribute to the long-overlooked sacrifices of his fellow Black Americans. Additionally, Augustin Hadelich joins as featured soloist for Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1, written after Stalin’s death and reveling in the freedom of self-expression (11/10-11, Meyeroff)
  • The Fantastic Symphony — Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, a maniacal paean to obsessive love, is paired with a more modern symphonic foray into the fantastical, Jonathan Harvey’s …towards a pure land, which conjures a mystical world without suffering. This concert, led by composer/conductor Matthias Pintscher, also serves to showcase the dazzling dexterity of pianist Stewart Goodyear in a performance of Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand (11/17, Meyerhoff; 11/18, 11/20, Strathmore)
  • The Godfather: Live in Concert — The BSO under conductor Sarah Hicks will tease out every nuance of Nino Rota’s epic score in a special multi-sensory screening of Francis Ford Coppola’s Oscar-winning classic (12/1, Strathmore; 12/3-4, Meyerhoff)
  • Tchaikovsky X Drake — Three singers and a rapper join the BSO under conductor Steve Hackman in what is billed as “a symphonic synthesis that blends the music of two composer-romanticists separated by almost a century”; the imaginative program weaves 15 songs by Drake into the gay Russian composer’s epic Fifth Symphony (12/2, Meyerhoff)
  • A Spirit for the Holidays — The Magic Circle Mime Company joins the BSO under Jonathan Rush in “an unusual holiday sing-a-long” that finds three mischievous holiday spirits squabbling over their own ideas of what a holiday concert should be (12/3, Meyerhoff)
  • Christmas with Leslie Odom, Jr. — A one-night-only special event featuring favorite holiday songs rendered by the Tony-winning Hamilton star (12/9, Meyerhoff)
  • A Cirque Holiday Soiree — The aerialists and acrobats of Troupe Vertigo join the BSO under Nicholas Hersh for an evening of twists and turns and treats for the eyes, and ears, all set to a lively score of holiday tunes and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (12/10-11, Meyerhoff)
  • Home Alone: In Concert — Moon Doh conducts the BSO in a performance of renowned composer John Williams’ charming and delightful score while the hilarious and heartwarming Christmas classic starring Macaulay Culkin is projected on screens above (12/16-17, Meyerhoff)
  • Holiday Spectacular — A program featuring the “ever-popular tap-dancing Santas, BSO Artistic Partner Wordsmith, and a few musical surprises, perfect for the entire family” (12/17-18, Meyerhoff)

BARNS AT WOLF TRAP

1635 Trap Road
Vienna, Va.
703-255-1868
www.wolftrap.org

  • Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: American Visitors — A celebration of America’s imported musical diversity inspired by the country’s natural beauty and welcoming spirit, with music by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák, Belgian composer and conductor Eugène Ysaÿe, and English composer and conductor Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, performed by Anne-Marie McDermott on piano, Stella Chen and Arnaud Sussmann on violin, Paul Neubauer on viola, and Nicholas Canellakis on cello (10/28)
  • Paul Huang with Anne-Marie McDermott — Acclaimed violinist with piano accompanist performs a program spanning the 18th and 20th centuries, from Mozart to Corigliano (11/11)
  • The Emerson String Quartet — One last Wolf Trap performance from this group on its farewell tour focused on the works of Beethoven, concluding with the iconic Grosse Fuge (12/9)
  • Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: The Escher String Quartet with Gilbert Kalish — A rare all-Schubert program, including the composer’s unfinished Quartettsatz (1/22/23)

BENDER JCC

Kreeger Auditorium
6125 Montrose Rd.
Rockville, Md.
301-881-0100
www.benderjccgw.org

  • Arnaud Sussmann, violin & Anna Polonsky, piano — Rockville’s Bender JCC has launched the 50th anniversary season of its Artists of Excellence concert series, and one of the first to get the spotlight is a distinguished violinist and an in-demand pianist, teaming up for a program of Mozart, Dvořák, and Beethoven (10/2)
  • Zlatomir Fung, cello & Janice Carissa, piano — Only 23 years old, Fung, the first American in four decades and youngest musician ever to win First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition Cello Division, will be accompanied by Carissa, a Gilmore Young Artist winner (11/6)

CAPITAL CITY SYMPHONY

Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H St. NE
202-399-7993
www.atlasarts.org

  • An Artist in the World — An arts partner in residence at the Atlas, this unassuming, volunteer-oriented community orchestra kicks off a new season with Fanfare on Amazing Grace, a short “explosion of joyous sound” by living African-American composer Adolphus Hailstork as part of a program also including Brahms’ sweeping Double Concerto for Violin and Cello featuring soloists Irina Muresanu, a renowned “spitfire” Romanian violinist, and Eric Kutz, a University of Maryland cello professor; the program’s title stems from Paul Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler, a vivid, energetic work poignantly exploring painter Mathias Grunewald’s role and voice within society (10/16)
  • What Is A Composer? — Two afternoon concerts geared for children and families kicking off with a pre-concert instrument petting zoo, the hour-long program, led by artistic director and conductor Victoria Gau, includes Mexican composer Arturo Marquez’s rhythmic and playful Conga del Fuego Nuevo, Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon’s The Block, inspired by the art of Romare Bearden and vibrant scenes of Harlem, Valerie Coleman’s Umoja, which harnesses voices of the whole community through call and response and memorable melodies, and Bruce Adolphe’s highly interactive Three Pieces for Kids and Chamber Orchestra (10/20)
  • Annual Holiday Concert and Sing Along feat. Potomac Fever — A performance of favorite holiday carols and classics engaging the whole audience as singers, but enhanced by the close-knit harmonies of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington’s top-notch, 14-member a cappella ensemble (12/18)

CONGRESSIONAL CHORUS

202-629-3140
www.congressionalchorus.org

  • Homesong — A tapestry of music and culture with works by U.S. immigrant and first generation composers who draw inspiration from their homeland. Featuring the world premiere of
    Chalo Re Mhaare Des, a newly commissioned piece by Gaayatri Kaundinya (11/12, Live! At 10th & G, 945 G St. NW)
DC’s Different Drummers Symphonic Band

DC’S DIFFERENT DRUMMERS

www.dcdd.org

  • The Oasis — The 20-member DCDD Jazz Band plays jazz pieces in a variety of styles, from swing to bossa nova to jazz fusion and more. Also featuring a performance from the improvisational jazz combo, 2nd Independence (10/16, MLK Central Library Auditorium)
  • Perseverance, A Musical Celebration — DC’s Different Drummers Symphonic Band explores the past two and a half years through music (11/5, Church of the Epiphany)
  • Miss Richfield 1981: Cancel Cultured Pearls — An all-new extravaganza from the drag doyenne that explores ways to live in our new politically correct cancel culture. Featuring original songs, videos, audience interaction, and occasional dance moves (11/12, Atlas Performing Arts Center)

THE EMBASSY SERIES

202-625-2361
www.embassyseries.org

  • Alexandra Nowakowski, soprano, and George Peachey, piano — Polish-American coloratura soprano performs a benefit concert for Ukrainian orphans in Poland (10/14, Residence of the Polish Ambassador, 3041 Whitehaven St.)
  • Richard Lin, violin — Taiwanese-American virtuoso artist (10/21, International Student House, 1825 R St. NW)
  • Ioana Cristina Goicea, violin — Romanian virtuosa artist (11/11, Residence of the Romanian Ambassador, 3003 Massachusetts Ave. NW)
  • Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day — Artists and program to be announced for a concert paying tribute to this public holiday in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, commemorating the student demonstration against Nazis in 1939 and the beginning of the Velvet Revolution and eventual fall of the communist regime in 1989 (11/17, Embassy of the Czech Republic, 3900 Spring of Freedom St. NW)

FAIRFAX SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

703-993-2787
www.fairfaxsymphony.org

  • 65th Anniversary Season Opening Concert — Jeremy Denk, one of America’s foremost pianists, will join the FSO under Christopher Zimmerman to perform Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 as part of a program also including Sibelius’s Symphony No. 1 (10/15, Capital One Hall, 7750 Capital One Tower Rd., Tysons)
  • Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker — The sixth annual collaboration with the Fairfax Ballet to present the timeless holiday favorite, staged with live musical accompaniment (12/17-18, GMU Center for the Arts)

FOLGER CONSORT

St. Mark’s Capitol Hill
301 A St. SE
202-544-7077
www.folger.edu

While the Folger Shakespeare Library undergoes a major renovation, its resident early music ensemble will spend the 2022/23 season performing nearby at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. The season includes:

  • Music for the Last Raj: Baroque and Carnatic Music at the Court of Tanjore — During the reign of Serfoji II, King of Tanjore from 1798 to 1832, classical South Indian Carnatic music flourished. A lover of both Carnatic and European early music traditions, Serfoji experimented with ensembles of European and Indian instruments playing in hybrid styles, and the Consort will emulate that in concert with six soloists from both traditions represented, performing separately and in speculative “cross-overs” (9/23-25)
  • A New World Christmas: European, African, and Native American Currents (12/9-11)
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C.

GAY MEN’S CHORUS

202-293-1548
www.gmcw.org

  • Judy — A cabaret celebrating the music of Judy Garland with 14 select soloists from the Chorus sharing stories as well singing their favorites as Friends of Dorothy, whether “The Trolley Song,” “The Man That Got Away,” or a certain rainbow-conjuring classic (10/22, Capital One Hall, Tysons)
  • The Holiday Show — An all-new edition of the popular holiday extravaganza featuring sparkly snow, tap dancers, over-the-top costumes, a dancing Christmas tree, snow, and yuletide carols sung in performances with the full Chorus, soloists, all GMCW ensembles, and the GenOUT Youth Chorus (12/3, 12/9, 12/11, Lincoln Theatre)

GMU CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Concert Hall
Fairfax, Va.
703-993-2787
www.cfa.gmu.edu

  • Virginia Opera: The Valkyrie — A thrilling new production of Richard Wagner’s iconic dramatic opera from his legendary “Ring” cycle opens the Virginia Opera’s new season overseen by the company’s Artistic Director Adam Turner assisted by scenic and costume designer Court Watson and stage director and projection designer Joachim Schamberger (10/8-9)
  • Symphony Orchestra Concert (10/12)
  • Fall Choral Festival Concert — An annual showcase for the select choral ensemble University Singers, and the nearly 100-voice University Chorale (10/15)
  • Faculty Artist Showcase (10/16)
  • Mason Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band (10/17)
  • Mason Opera Scenes (10/21)
  • Virginia Opera: The Pirates of Penzance (11/12-13)
  • Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel: Immortal Impromptus (11/20)
  • Symphonic Band Concert (11/21)
  • The 5 Browns — As seen on Oprah, 60 Minutes, and their own PBS TV special, this “Fab Five” quintet of piano-playing siblings will tickle the ivories of five grand pianos in an energetic performance of holiday favorites (11/26)
  • Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna The world-famous ensemble of sopranos and altos, comprised of boys between the ages of 9 and 14 and representing 31 countries, returns for their annual holiday concert (12/9)
  • American Festival Pops Orchestra: Holiday Pops — Beloved holiday tradition gets a jolt of new energy this year by virtue of the addition of newly appointed Artistic Director and Conductor Peter Wilson along with a special guest appearance by Conductor Emeritus Anthony Maiello (12/10)

HYLTON PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

Merchant Hall
Manassas, Va.
703-993-7759
www.hyltoncenter.org

  • Matinee Idols: Alicia Ward, cello and Hsiao-Ying Lin — Having made her orchestral debut as a featured soloist at the age of 12, Ward is now a veteran performer in famed concert halls around the country as well as co-director of the Young People’s String Program at the Peabody Institute of Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University. She’ll be joined by Lin, a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory (10/5, Gregory Family Theater)
  • Manassas Symphony Orchestra: Celebrations — The orchestra launches its 30th season on the date of birth of Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, whose Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major will be performed featuring soloist Thomas Pandolfi, as part of a program also including works by Wagner, Strauss, and Borodin (10/22)
  • United States Navy Concert Band (10/28)
  • Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra: Beauty in Tragedy and Hope (11/5)
  • Virginia Opera: A Taste of Opera (11/9, Gregory Family Theater)
  • Chanticleer: A Chanticleer Christmas — The 12-member a cappella ensemble will perform a holiday show with its signature blend of Renaissance music, gospel hymns, Christmas carols, and songs from the Great American Songbook (11/27)
  • Mason Opera: Amahl and the Night Visitors — Italian-American composer and librettist Gian Carlo Menotti’s celebrated Christmas operetta tells the story of the Magi’s journey to Bethlehem (12/2-3)
  • Manassas Symphony Orchestra: Family Concert: Explorations (12/10)
  • Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra: Messiah Sing-A-Long (12/17)

THE IN SERIES

202-204-7763
www.inseries.org

  • The Nightsong of Orpheus by Claudio Monteverdi with Theatre Nohgaku — Wildly innovative and imaginative local music organization kicks off its ruby anniversary season with an original production based on one of the first operas ever created, Monteverdi’s early 17th-century adaptation of Greek mythology Orpheus: A Fable in Music, further adapted here through a collaboration with Theatre Nohgaku incorporating elements from Japanese noh, said to be the oldest style of theater still practiced, having originated in 14th-century Japan. The result, helmed by Artistic Director Timothy Nelson, is a “one-of-a-kind performance [that] weaves together haunting baroque melody, poetry, and dance with the ancient masked musical and dramatic tradition from Japan,” and performed in English and Japanese (Remaining performances are 9/16-18, Dupont Underground, 19 Dupont Circle NW; and 9/23-25, Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St.)
  • Requiem by Mozart, Vivier & Boulanger — A staged production of Mozart’s moving yet unfinished masterpiece, which he was working on when he died, blended together with two other funeral music compositions, both of which were also left unfinished by composers who died before their 36th birthdays, Lili Boulanger from France and Claude Vivier from Canada. Additionally, the new work will be performed in a different sacred space around town each time, such that each performance will be slightly different and distinct (11/4-13, locations in D.C.; 11/18-20, location in Baltimore)

KENNEDY CENTER

Terrace Theater
202-467-4600
www.kennedy-center.org

  • Members of the NSO — Musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra perform an assortment of chamber music for free (9/30, Millennium Stage)
  • Ying Li, piano — A Young Concert Artist is presented making her Kennedy Center debut performing Peking opera-inspired piano works by her Chinese compatriot QiGang Chen evoking memories of childhood, The Firebird Suite by Stravinsky, a piano sonata by Haydn, and The Fantasie in C by Robert Schumann (10/11)
  • Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio & Nokuthula Ngwenyama — Pianist Anna Polonsky joins violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Laredo Robinson to perform as the Kennedy Center Trio-in-Residence, filling in for the recently departed Joseph Kalichstein, and kicking off a new Fortas Chamber Music season with a concert featuring award-winning composer/violist Ngwenyama and her new quartet Elegy, a Kennedy Center co-commission written in response to the upheaval of 2020 (10/18)
  • Dover Quartet — Premiering a new work artfully crafted for the quartet by Grammy-winning artist Mason Bates in a Kennedy Center commission (11/2)
  • Israeli Chamber Project — Dynamic ensemble of strings, winds, harp, and piano makes its Kennedy Center debut with Saint-Saëns, Stravinsky, Ravel, and Schoenberg (11/6)
  • Post-Classical Ensemble: Paris at Midnight: Jazz and Surrealism in the 1920s Entr’acte, René Clair’s classic Surrealist film from 1924, will screen to live musical accompaniment of Erik Satie’s original score in a collaboration with a National Gallery of Art curator; program also includes film footage of Josephine Baker, a tribute to jazz legend Sidney Bechet, and Maurice Ravel’s jazz-inspired Piano Concerto in G featuring soloist Drew Petersen (11/9)
  • The Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Fall Concert (11/20)
  • Daniel McGrew — A Young Concert Artists Presents recital with works by Brahms, Beamish, Debussy, and Britten that are “plagued by love and loss, gripped with desire, driven by faith, and haunted by doubt” (12/6)

MARYLAND LYRIC OPERA

240-427-5568
www.mdlo.org

  • Verdi’s Macbeth — A stunning musical portrait of opera’s most power-hungry couple bristles with doom and crackles with an unforgettable score, in a production starring the legendary baritone Lester Lynch and Jill Gardner and putting the MDLO Orchestra & Chorus center stage, with dramatic lighting, captivating projections, and enhanced visual supervision by David Gately taking the audience directly to Macbeth’s castle (9/23, 9/25, Strathmore)
  • Un Ballo in Maschera — Part of the MDLO’s season of Verdi (11/11, 11/13, Strathmore)

NATIONAL CHAMBER ENSEMBLE

703-276-6701
www.nationalchamberensemble.org

  • Jewish Musical Treasures — The Virginia-based organization begins its 16th season with a celebration of the extraordinary music and resilience of Jewish culture with special guests including acclaimed jazz clarinetist Julian Milkis and Cantor Arianne Brown,; the program includes Alexander Goldstein’s Trio on the Roof, a chamber adaptation of music from Fiddler on the Roof for violin, clarinet and piano, as well as works by Ernest Bloch, George Gershwin, John Williams, and Roman Ryterband (11/5, Gunston Arts Center, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington)
  • Holiday Cheer! — A holiday concert, highlighted by performances from the Outstanding Young Artist string competition winners, and featuring soprano Nancy Peery Marriott, who will lead the Carols Sing-Along (12/10, Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, 4444 Arlington Blvd.)
  • Broadway, Spirituals and More — Metropolitan Opera soprano Aundie Marie Moore will lead an extraordinary evening of selections by African-American composers plus songs from Broadway musicals, making for a truly spirited Valentine’s Day treat (2/11/23, Gunston Arts Center)

NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC

Music Center at Strathmore
5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, Md.
301-581-5100
www.nationalphilharmonic.org

  • Vive La France — Music Director and Conductor Piotr Gajewski launches the philharmonic’s new season with an all-French program, with soloist Gil Shaham joining for Camille Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 3; the program also offers Symphony No. 1 in G Major by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, and Symphony No. 3, a neglected masterpiece by Louise Farrenc, a rare, prominent female composer in the 19th century (10/20, Capital One Hall, Tysons; 10/22)
  • Broadway’s Brightest Lights feat. Megan Hilty, Michael Maliakel, and Luke Hawkins — Principal Pops Conductor Luke Frazier leads the orchestra in a revue of Broadway hits and American Songbook standards written by everyone from Gerswhin to Lerner and Loewe, Kander and Ebb to Sondheim, with guest performers from Broadway including vocalists Hilty (Wicked, NBC’s Smash) and Maliakel (Disney’s Aladdin), and dancer Hawkins (Xanadu) (11/4; 11/6, Capital One Hall)
  • Berlioz Requiem — Stan Engebretson celebrates his tenure as head of the National Philharmonic Chorale with two works by Berlioz, the visionary and masterfully orchestrated Requiem but also the composer’s bombastic Opus No. 5, better known as The Grand Messe des Morts, featuring tenor soloist Norman Shankle (11/12)
  • Star-Crossed Symphony: Romeo + Juliet Across Time — Gajewski leads a program offering highlights from three distinct musical interpretations of Shakespeare’s most beloved tragedy, including Tchaikovsky’s Fantasy Overture, Prokofiev’s ballet, and Bernstein’s West Side Story Suite with featured violin soloist Sarah Chang (12/9)
  • Handel’s Messiah — Engebretson returns as conductor and chorus master for this annual NatPhil tradition (12/17-18; 12/23, Capital One Hall)

NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Kennedy Center Concert Hall
202-467-4600
www.kennedy-center.org

  • Leonard Bernstein’s MASS — The monumental work, which debuted 51 years ago at the Kennedy Center’s opening gala, gets revived in the Concert Hall as the concluding event of the Center’s year-long 50th anniversary celebration. Will Liverman serves as the Celebrant in a dynamic staging directed by Alison Moritz and choreographed by Hope Boykin, with James Gaffigan serving as conductor of the NSO joined by the Heritage Signature Chorale and Children’s Chorus of Washington (9/15-18)
  • Opening Night Gala: Gianandrea Noseda & Daniil Trifonov — The in-demand, Grammy-winning pianist Trifonov returns to play Rachmaninoff’s thrilling Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini as part of a program led by NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda (9/24)
  • Rachmaninoff & Prokofiev and Adams — The virtuoso violinist Leila Josefowicz performs the spellbinding Violin Concerto by her frequent collaborator, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams, in a program led by renowned conductor John Storgårds bookended by Prokofiev’s playful “Classical” Symphony and Rachmaninoff’s vivacious, melancholic Symphony No. 3 (9/29-10/1)
  • NSO Pops: Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros feat. The Wolfpack (10/5-9)
  • Prokofiev’s Sixth Symphony — Noseda leads a program with a rarely performed work that many consider to be Prokofiev’s greatest symphony, depicting the composer’s spiritual journey to understand the tragedies of war and the mystery of death. Meanwhile, David Hardy will perform Britten’s intense, gorgeous Cello Symphony (10/22-23)
  • Tchaikovsky, Respighi and Casella — The violin star Julian Rachlin will draw out the fire and passion of Tchaikovsky’s spectacular Violin Concerto, though even more passion will be on full display as Noseda leads the NSO in music by two of his Italian compatriots (10/27-29)
  • Symphonic Surprise! — Something of a sophisticated, symphonic riff on Name That Tune, Noseda leads a special program whose selections are a secret and the audience is encouraged to guess what the orchestra is playing (11/3-5)
  • Wind & Wave — Grammy-winning composer Michael Daugherty’s new work inspired by American icon Amelia Earhart takes flight in a world premiere performance featuring superstar violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, while Noseda closes the program with La Mer, Debussy’s depiction of dawn’s early light upon the sea and dynamic dialogue between wind and water (11/10-12)
  • Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra — An anticipated debut from acclaimed maestro Karina Canellakis who will lead the NSO in performance of Bartók’s immensely popular Concerto for Orchestra, which artfully allows each section of instruments to shine, and Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand featuring French virtuoso Cédric Tiberghien (11/17-19)
  • NSO Pops: Disney’s Frozen in Concert (11/25-26)
  • From Memory: David Robertson conducts Mackey, Barber & Bernstein — An NSO co-commision from Grammy-winning composer Steven Mackey, the luminous symphony Mnemosyne’s Pool, named after the Greek goddess of memory, tells the story of souls who dared drink from the river Lethe in Hades in their quest for eternal life. Visionary maestro David Robertson leads a program also featuring extraordinary soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, who will make her NSO debut performing Samuel Barber’s dreamy, nostalgic Knoxville – The Summer of 1915, and the indelible “Symphonic Dances” from Bernstein’s West Side Story (12/1-3)
  • A Holiday Pops! with Laura Benanti — The Tony-winning performer is the featured artist at this year’s holiday extravaganza led by NSO Pops Conductor Steven Reineke (12/9-10)
  • Handel’s Messiah — Celebrated Baroque authority Fabio Biondi offers an intimate take on the holiday classic, presenting it in the style of the masterwork’s Dublin premiere in 1742, and enlisting four exceptional singers to make their NSO debuts for this year’s performance of the annual tradition (12/15-18)

NEW ORCHESTRA OF WASHINGTON

240-745-6587
www.neworchestraofwashington.org

  • Mexico Bello — The genre-bending chamber orchestra, led by the husband-and-wife team of Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez and Grace Cho, launches its 11th season with a tribute to the songs and piano works of Manuel Ponce, a Mexican composer, teacher, and advocate from the first half of the 20th century who helped give credibility to Mexican folklore and popular songs, earning him the honorific title “Creator of the Modern Mexican Song” (10/14, Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, Va.; 10/16, Cabin John Regional Park, 7400 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda)
  • Día de los Muertos Celebration — Additional composers from Hernandez-Valdez’s native country south of the border are celebrated at this year’s concert honoring the traditional Mexican holiday, featuring works by Arturo Márquez, Jose Pablo Moncayo, and Silvestre Revueltas, although the focus is on Jorge Vidales and the world premiere of his Cantos de Requiem, commissioned by NOW and Choral Arts and featuring the Choral Arts Chamber Singers (11/4, Kennedy Center Terrace Theater)
  • December at Evermay — A string orchestra arrangement of Bach’s famed Goldberg Variations is the focus of this concert preceded by a champagne reception at the historic Evermay estate in Georgetown, home to the charitable foundation and NOW sponsor S&R Evermay (12/9, Evermay, 1623 28th St. NW)

SHRIVER HALL

3400 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, Md.
www.shriverconcerts.org

  • Emi Ferguson, flute and Ruckus — Baltimore’s premier presenter of chamber music ensembles and solo recitalists for more than 50 years opens its 2022-2023 season with flutist Ferguson and early music band Ruckus for a kaleidoscopic romp through some of Bach’s most joyous and transcendent works just as they did on the 2019 album Fly the Coop (10/2)
  • Steven Isserlis, cello and Connie Shih, piano — Isserlis, one of classical music’s most respected and distinguished artists, teams up with award-winning pianist to perform an unforgettable, Romantic era-heavy program with works by Schumann, Fauré, Adès, Mendelssohn, and Brahms (10/23)
  • Davóne Tines, bass-baritone and Adam Nielsen, piano: Recital #1: Mass — Tines is an intersectional gay, Black, classically trained performance artist whose work blends opera, art song, contemporary classical, spirituals, gospel, and songs of protest, and with Recital #1: Mass, he says, “I’m basically queering the mass” — devising and performing a program with music by Caroline Shaw, Tyshawn Sorey, Margaret Bonds, Julius Eastman, and his own VIGIL, a collaboration with Igee Dieudonné (11/6)
  • Daniil Trifonov, piano — A recital featuring some of the most virtuosic pieces in the repertoire, including Schumann’s Fantasie in C Major, Mozart’s Fantasia in C Minor, and Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit (12/4)
  • Jasmine Pigott, tuba — A rare tuba recital from the winner of the 2022 Yale Gordon Concerto Competition and one of the Peabody Conservatory’s top talents, presented as a Discovery Series free event (1/28/23, Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive)
  • Sterling Elliott, cello and Elliot Wuu, piano — The youngest ever winner of the National Sphinx Competition for budding Black and Latinx string musicians makes his Baltimore debut in another free Discovery Series recital accompanied by acclaimed pianist Wuu (2/18/23, UMBC’s Linehan Concert Hall, 1000 Hilltop Circle)

STRATHMORE

5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, Md.
301-581-5100
www.strathmore.org

  • Maryland Lyric Opera: Verdi’s Macbeth (9/23, 9/25, Music Center)
  • São Paulo Symphony Orchestra: Marin Alsop conducts — A poignant program bringing to life key works by Brazilian composers focused on the Amazonian landscape as a centerpiece of Brazilian identity, and led by the former BSO Music Director who also simultaneously served as this orchestra’s director from 2013 to 2020 (10/12, Music Center)
  • 2022 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players: Winners Presentation — A special concert, presented in partnership with the National Philharmonic and conducted by Rebecca Bryant Novac, featuring three of the 2022 winners of this prestigious international competition for budding musicians ages 13 to 17, held every three years in Washington: violinist Jinan Laurentia Woo, viola player Emad Zolfaghari, and cellist Luka Coetzee (10/30, Music Center)
  • Washington Bach Consort: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (12/10, Music Center)
  • Strathmore Children’s Chorus: With Bells On — The 11th year of celebrating the music of the holidays, this year joined by the handbell ensemble Virginia Bronze (12/15, Music Center)
  • The Washington Chorus: A Candlelight Christmas (12/16, 12/23)

THE CHORAL ARTS SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON

202-244-3669
www.choralarts.org

  • O! What a Beautiful City — Choral Arts kicks off its first season under Artistic Director Jace Kaholokula Saplan with the symphonic chorus performing “wondrous music rooted in D.C.,” including works by George Walker, Duke Ellington, B.E. Boykin, and Ysaÿe Barnwell (11/19, Washington National Cathedral)
  • Handel’s Messiah — Choral Arts performs as part of this National Symphony Orchestra production led by Maestro Fabio Biondi (12/15-18, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)
  • O Night Divine! — Annual Christmas concert with the symphonic chorus, youth choir, and full orchestra (12/19, 12/24, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)
  • A Family Christmas — Expect appearances by Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph at this concert filled with holiday classics performed by the symphonic chorus and Choral Arts Brass (12/24, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)
  • Living the Dream…Singing the Dream — The 35th annual choral tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., co-presented with Washington Performing Arts and their gospel choirs (2/5/23, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)

THE CITY CHOIR OF WASHINGTON

202-495-1613
www.thecitychoirofwashington.org

  • Rossini’s Sublime Transgressions — The first season under new Artistic Director Erin Freeman opens with the 120-voices strong choir accompanied by pianists Peter Uhlir and Karen Keating in a performance of Gioacchino Rossini’s monumental piece Petite Messe Solennelle, which pays homage to Palestrina, Bach, and Mozart all while referencing the humor of the composer’s comic operas (11/13, National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW)
  • Peace and Party in the New Year — a late-January New Year’s concert honoring three different renewal traditions, including the Winter Solstice, the Chinese Year of the Rabbit, and a Viennese soirée, with the chorus and orchestra joined by special guest soprano Arianna Zukerman to perform music of Ola Gjeilo, Florence Price, Elaine Hagenberg, Huang Ruo, Chen Yi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Strauss, Jr., and Giuseppe Verdi (1/22/23, George Washington Masonic National Memorial, 101 Callahan Dr., Alexandria)

THE CLARICE SMITH PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

Dekelboum Concert Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, Md.
301-405-ARTS
www.theclarice.umd.edu

  • Imani Winds: Black and Brown — An entire program celebrating composers of color, including Wayne Shorter, Paquito Rivera, and Valerie Coleman, featuring the twice Grammy-nominated wind quintet (10/2, Gildenhorn)
  • UMD Symphony Orchestra — Valerie Coleman’s Umoja, Pavel Haas’s String Orchestra, and Sergei Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony (10/7)
  • UMD Wind Orchestra — Paul Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis (10/9)
  • University Orchestra: October Concert — An orchestra of graduate student musicians from across campus performing four full concerts each season, with varied repertoire for both chamber and full orchestras (10/12)
  • UMD Wind Ensemble: October Concert (10/21)
  • High School Choir Invitational — Talented area high school choirs gather for vibrant performances alongside the UMD Chamber Singers, this year featuring Takoma Academy Camerata, Suitland HS Chamber Choir, Walter Johnson HS Madrigals, and Centennial HS Chamber Singers (10/26)
  • Dawn Upshaw & Brentano Quartet: Melinda Wagner’s Dido Reimagined — Five-time Grammy-winning soprano Upshaw joins the Brentanos for a “monodrama” for quartet and voice by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Wagner and librettist Stephanie Fleischmann sparked by the famous “Dido’s Lament” from Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas (10/30, Gildenhorn)
  • UMD Wind Orchestra: George Walker’s Lyric for Strings — Walker, the first African-American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music, composed this poignant piece as an elegy to his late grandmother and as testimony to her experience as an enslaved woman (11/11)
  • Maryland Opera Studio: Puccini’s La bohème (11/12-13, 11/15-16, Kay Theatre)
  • UMD Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony — David Neely leads a program also including Overture No. 1 in E minor by 19th-century French composer Louise Farrenc, one of the most prominent female musicians of her era, and Legacy written for oboe and orchestra by Oscar Navarro, a performance that will feature Michael Helgerman, the orchestra’s 2021 Concerto Competition winner and current doctoral student, as soloist (11/12)
  • Fall Choral Showcase: University Chorale and UMD Chamber Singers (11/13)
  • Orlando Consort: Voices Appeared — One of Britain’s most celebrated early music vocal ensembles will perform a cappella music composed or performed in Joan of Arc’s lifetime during a screening of La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s silent 1928 film chronicling the hours leading up to her execution (11/18, Gildenhorn)
  • UMD Wind Orchestra: James Stephenson’s “The Arch,” William Grant Still’s “Summerland,” and Carlos Simon’s AMEN! — UMD Senior Lecturer Matthew Guilford will be the featured soloist on bass trombone in a performance of Stephenson’s Sonata Rhapsody about the St. Louis Gateway Arch, as part of a program led by Music Director Michael Votta, Jr., also featuring the second movement of Still’s Three Visions about the beauty of the afterlife, Simon’s jazzy tribute to the style of music and worship of his upbringing in an African-American Pentecostal church in the South, plus the world premiere of Lance Hulme’s Leaps and Bounds (12/9)
  • Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols — The 21st year of this holiday program combining choirs, brass quintet, and organ and carols, hymns, and spoken word poems (12/9, Memorial Chapel)
  • UMD Symphony Orchestra — Dvořák’s Cello Concerto (12/10)
  • Alarm Will Sound: Allison Loggins-Hull and Toshi Reagon’s Love Always & Alyssa Pyper’s Cradle — The 20-member chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound premieres Love Always, an African-American song cycle with Loggins-Hull’s letters to her son and lesbian Reagon’s three “Toshi” compositions about her godmother, goddaughter, and herself. The concert also introduces an ensemble adaptation of Pyper’s Cradle, which symbolically documents her traumatic journey growing up queer, classically trained, and Mormon (12/11, Kay Theatre)

THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION

1600 21th St. NW
202-974-6832
www.phillipscollection.org

  • Manchester Collective & Abel Selacoe: Siroco — A dynamic collaboration between the U.K.-based Collective and South-African cellist serves as the first Sunday Concert in the 82nd season of The Phillips Music series, all performed in the intimate, art-filled setting of the Phillips Collection’s Music Room, but now, since the pandemic, available to be enjoyed by ticketholders whether in-person or via simultaneous livestream (10/9)
  • Joyce Yang, solo piano (10/16)
  • Linda May Han Oh, bass & Fabian Almazan, piano — Two leading jazz artists perform an original program showcasing their decades-long musical partnership (10/23)
  • Miloš Karadaglić, solo guitar — One of today’s foremost classical guitarists, this Montenegro-born, London-based artist has become known for playing specialized arrangements of classical, even pop, standards as well as eliciting new works from composers/songwriters, all part of his commitment to expanding the guitar concerto repertoire (10/30)
  • Leading International Composers Series: A Portrait of George Walker — To mark the centennial of Walker’s birth, cellist Seth Parker Woods has curated a concert-profile of the Washington-born and -raised composer and pianist, an American music trailblazer who lived to the age of 96 and achieved many firsts, arguably none greater than becoming the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1996 for his composition Lilacs for voice and orchestra. Woods will pay tribute with selections from Walker’s repertoire performed alongside other stellar musicians including the composer’s son Gregory Walker, Natalia Kazaryan, Andrew Rosenblum, and Zachary Wood (11/6)
  • Alexi Kenney, violin & Bridget Kibbey, harp — Two young musicians who are each, individually, veterans of the concert stage are now developing a reputation as a vibrant duo reimagining masterworks and drawing from a diverse range of influences (11/27)
  • Andrius Zlabys, solo piano — Grammy-nominated Lithuanian pianist performs a concert presented in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania (12/4)
  • Junction Trio — Working together, pianist Conrad Tao, violinist Stefan Jackiw, and cellist Jay Campbell are a dynamic unit upending the standards and conventions of the classical trio repertoire (12/11)

WASHINGTON BACH CONSORT

202-429-2121
www.bachconsort.org

  • A New Song: Mythologies Past and Present — The 45th season of a music organization focused on the music and lasting legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach and his Baroque contemporaries begins with A New Song, a world premiere from composer Trevor Weston that brings together and transforms perspectives of musical past, present, and future, performed on period instruments and with six vocal soloists; the program also includes Bach’s dramatic secular cantata, Geschwinde, geschwinde, ihr wirbelnden Winde (9/18, National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW)
  • The Eloquent Viol: Bach on the Viola da Gamba — Joanna Blendulf performs Bach sonatas written expressly for viola da gamba, a now-rarely heard precursor to the violin, as well as other compositions written by his Baroque contemporaries, with accompaniment by Adam Pearl on harpsichord at this Chamber Series offering (10/14, Live! at 10th & G, 945 G St. NW; 10/15, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 228 S. Pitt St., Alexandria)
  • Orpheus Britannicus: Music of Henry PurcellHail! Bright Cecilia delivers English Baroque style at its most powerfully expressive and eloquent, and is the centerpiece of an all-Purcell program also featuring sacred works for the English Chapel Royal and grand anthems for occasions of state, performed with five vocal soloists (10/30, National Presbyterian Church)
  • A Musical Odyssey: The Goldberg Variations — Virtuosic harpsichordist Leon Schelhase performs the renowned variations, which comprise Bach’s most popular work for the keyboard, at this Chamber Series program (11/18, Live! at 10th & G; 11/19, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Alexandria)
    The Christmas Story: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio Parts 1, 2, 5, and 6
    — An all-star vocal cast performs Bach’s timeless telling of the Nativity from the stage in Montgomery County’s magnificent Music Center (12/10, Strathmore)
  • Noontime Cantata Series — Take a break from a busy workday for a free lunchtime performance on the organ at two area churches, including Jesu, der du meine Seele performed by organist Gregory Hooker (10/3, St. Mark’s Capitol Hill, 301 A St. SE; 10/4, Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW); Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott with organist Samantha Scheff (10/31, St. Mark’s Capitol Hill; 11/1, Church of the Epiphany); and Christum, wir sollen loben Schon with organist Douglas Buchanan (12/5, St. Mark’s Capitol Hill; 12/6, Church of the Epiphany)

THE WASHINGTON CHORUS

202-342-6221
www.thewashingtonchorus.org

  • “Tomorrow!” A Reflection on Hope and Resilience — Commissioned and first presented virtually by the Chorus in the fall of 2020, Damien Geter’s Cantata for a More Hopeful Tomorrow is brought to life by the chorus and soloists as a fully immersive visual and choral experience further enhanced by Bob Berg’s innovative film of the same name and acclaimed projection artist Camilla Tassi’s powerful installation Staying Alive to Life; the audience will be “encouraged to spend the hour-long experience wandering through and interacting with the music, film, and art exhibit” as well as “to engage in continued reflection on our shared experiences of the past two years” (10/28-29, First Congregational United Church of Christ, 945 G St. NW)
  • A Candlelight Christmas — The 130+ voices of the chorus sing popular carols and holiday favorites backed by organist Paul Byssainthe Jr., and pianist Rod Vester National Capital Brass, with guest student choirs from Stafford High School at the Kennedy Center and Reservoir High School at Strathmore (12/16, 12/23, Strathmore; 12/17-18, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA

Kennedy Center
202-295-2400
www.dc-opera.org

  • Il Trovatore — The 2022-2023 season opens with an opulent new period production of this Verdi operatic standard starring Grammy-winning soprano Latonia Moore and overseen by Canadian director Brenna Corner, with costumes by the late Tony-winning designer Martin Pakledinaz (Thoroughly Modern Millie) (10/22-11/7, Opera House)
  • Elektra — Billed as “100 minutes of power-packed, ‘fasten your seatbelt’ opera, from its dramatic, harrowing music to its hair-raising finale,” Richard Strauss’s Greek-inspired masterpiece is seen in a new production from Francesca Zambello with superstar soprano Christine Goerke in the title role of a daughter hellbent on avenging her father’s death by offing his murderer, her own mother (10/29-11/12, Opera House)
  • The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson — Superstar mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves portrays the real-life titular figure who founded the longest-running, all-Black opera company and helped pave the way for Graves’s own career, in a new work by playwright and lyricist Sandra Seaton and Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon, with director Kimille Howard (1/20-22/23, Terrace Theater)
  • American Opera Initiative: Three 20-Minute Operas — The world premiere of short operas staged in a concert performance, featuring casts from the esteemed WNO Cafritz Young Artists program accompanied by a small chamber orchestra comprised of WNO Orchestra musicians (1/21/23)

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