Metro Weekly

Fall Arts Preview 2023: Classical & Choral Music

Your essential guide to the upcoming season in classical and choral offerings in the Washington, D.C area.

National Philharmonic -- Photo: Elman Studio
National Philharmonic — Photo: Elman Studio

Since the pandemic, there’s been a slow but steady rise in the number of Black composers with work presented by local classical music organizations, big and small. This fall, for instance, offers multiple opportunities to hear compositions by James Lee III, Carlos Simon, or the late Florence Price, to name just three.

There’s also a notable uptick in the number of women, and especially women composers, represented in this year’s programming, everywhere from the National Symphony and the Capital City Symphony to the Washington National Opera and the National Chamber Ensemble.

But of course, it’s fall we’re talking about. A time when the days get shorter, the nights get longer, and the holidays loom ever larger, at least in terms of programming across the performing arts. Amid the coming deluge of Nutcrackers, holiday-themed shows, and carol sing-alongs, a handful stand out as worth your while.

Invariably every year, such a list includes the Folger Consort, as it does with December’s A Baroque Christmas Story. Also worth considering is A Canadian Brass Christmas, coming to the Hylton in Manassas, A Chanticleer Christmas, coming to the Weinberg Center in Frederick and the GMU Center for the Arts in Fairfax, and the Handel’s Messiah presented by National Philharmonic, which has opted to reimagine — even restage — its longstanding annual tradition, in an effort to make it more powerful and moving.

And then there’s a certain show simply known these days as The Holiday Show. Why, even grumpy ol’ Scrooge has a soft spot for the Gay Men’s Chorus’s annual holiday extravaganza.

BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

410-783-8000
www.bsomusic.org

  • 2023 Gala Celebration — This year’s season kickoff event serves as the official welcome of the organization’s new music director, Jonathon Heyward, who will lead the orchestra along with members of the Dance Theatre of Harlem in a “program that uplifts the performing arts through a powerful vision of ballet alongside captivating music” (9/22, Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda; 9/23, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore)
  • New World Symphony — The first full concert under Heyward is a program of three vibrant surveys of U.S. music and culture, from Dvořák’s epic “From The New World” Symphony No. 9, with its strong influences from spirituals and indigenous melodies, to Baltimore composer James Lee III’s contemporary response to Dvořák’s vision with explicit references to Black and Native musical traditions, to Gershwin’s Jazz Age-inspired Piano Concerto in F, as performed by the openly gay pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet (9/28-29, Meyerhoff; 9/30, Strathmore)
  • Grieg Piano Concerto — Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg infused his suave Piano Concerto with the icy chill and hallowed history of his homeland, and the work, performed with featured soloist Alessio Bax, factors into a musical travelogue led by guest conductor Sir Andrew Davis with two additional stops in England via works by Frederick Delius and Vaughan Williams (10/5, Music Center; 10/7, Meyerhoff)
  • BSO Pops: Music of Billy Joel and Elton John — Broadway’s Michael Cavanaugh expands on his work as the star of the Billy Joel musical Movin’ Out by pairing hits from the repertoire of the “Piano Man” with that of the gay “Rocket Man,” all with accompaniment from the BSO under Christopher Dragon (10/12, Music Center; 10/14-15, Meyerhoff)
  • Sibelius Symphony No. 1 — Conductor David Danzmayr leads a program capped by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’s First Symphony, suffused with the hypnotic melodies and rhythms of Finnish folk poetry. The program also features soprano Cristine Goerke performing Andromache’s Farewell, a work that Samuel Barber adapted from an ancient Greek play and that channels a mother’s love and grief (10/21, Meyerhoff; 10/22, Music Center)
  • BSO Fusion: Skull and Bones — Steve Hackman conducts a program dubbed “a symphonic showcase meets Halloween dance party,” featuring works The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, “Mars” from The Planets, Danse macabre, and the finale of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, all played in their original form and then remixed with electronic beats and layered with vocal stems of Post Malone, Drake, and Adele (10/27, Music Center; 10/28, Meyerhoff)
  • Bergmann conducts Mozart and Bruckner — Rune Bergmann scales the vast, shimmering expanse of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7, an ode to Wagner infused with that legend’s breadth and intensity, factoring into a program with the effervescent Concerto for Two Pianos that Mozart first played with his sister, rendered here by identical twin pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton (11/4, Music Center; 11/5, Meyerhoff)
  • Ax Plays Brahms — The big sonority, poetic feeling, and deep musicality of the Piano Concerto No. 1 by Brahms is showcased by the eminent pianist Emanuel Ax, featured as part of a Heyward-conducted program with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and Unsuk Chin’s subito con forza, the latter of which riffs on a phrase from Beethoven over the course of five frenetic minutes (11/16, 11/19, Meyerhoff; 11/18, Music Center)
  • Stravinsky’s The Firebird — Stravinsky’s supernatural ballet adapted from Russian fairy tales factors into a Heyward-led program with works by two other Russian-born composers, and all three, to one extent or another, had to chart routes of resistance and freedom outside of their homeland in ways that still resonate today, from the more recent experience of Lera Auerbach, who defected from the Soviet Union as a teenage prodigy and is represented here with her work Icarus, to the infamous case of Tchaikovsky, who was secretly gay and openly enraptured by the music of the West, and channeled his love and anguish into his intensely felt Violin Concerto (11/30, Music Center; 12/2-3, Meyerhoff)

BARNS AT WOLF TRAP

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

  • Pinchas Zukerman — A Musical Birthday Celebration for the violinist, joined by cellist Amanda Forsyth and pianist Michael Stephen Brown (11/3-4)
  • Pan American Symphony Orchestra — “The Soul of Tango” (11/5)
  • Orion String Quartet — Ensemble performs “The Farewell Concert” as part of the Chamber Music at the Barns programming (11/19)

BENDER JCC

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

  • Mount Vernon Virtuosi — Innovative Baltimore-based chamber orchestra, which helps give exceptional young local graduate music students a much-needed boost in launching their professional careers, opens its season with excerpts from Bach’s Arias for Strings, Dvorak’s Serenade, and Bruch’s Kol Nidrei (9/24)
  • Chee-Yun, violin, and Audrey Andrist, piano — The Bender’s 2023-2024 Artists of Excellence concert series presents notable professional chamber musicians, kicking off with this duo and sonatas by Brahms and Faure as well as three preludes by Gerswhin, plus Bernstein’s West Side Story Suite (10/22); Janice Caissa, piano — Next is a solo recital featuring works by Brahms, Bach-Busoni, and Scriabin alongside Rzewski’s Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues and Granados’s Allegro de Concierto (11/12)
  • Gabriel Martins, cello, and Victor Santiago Asuncion, piano — A performance of cello sonatas by Debussy, Beethoven, and Brahms (12/3)

CAPITAL CITY SYMPHONY

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

  • Our Journey Begins — From its base in the H Street Corridor, this community orchestra of 80-plus volunteer members launches a new season with a travel-inspired program hopscotching from the lush, enchanting environs of rural France a la Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne, enhanced by featured vocalist Laura Choi Stuart, to Scandinavia via Norwegian composer Grieg’s iconic Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, to the American Southwest, which inspired the Mysterious Mountain by composer Hovhannes. The program also includes 19th-century woman composer Louise Farrenc’s powerful and emotional Concert Overture No. 1 in E minor (10/15)
  • One Week — Three offerings of a program traveling to Hollywood’s golden era of silent films with a look at the famed comedian Buster Keaton’s short One Week, chronicling the comedic misadventures of a newlywed couple’s attempt to build a DIY house given as a wedding gift. The silent hijinks will be displayed on screen as the orchestra, led by Artistic Director and Conductor Victoria Gau, performs an original score by Andrew Earle Simpson: the Cocktail Concert also features a conversation with Simpson and programmed with “our grown-up audience members in mind” (11/11), while two Family Concert engagements, designed “with our youngest audience members in mind,” will start with local composer Charlie Barnett’s energetic and participatory Give Me the Orchestra (11/12)
  • Sleigh Ride! — Soprano Amber Monroe will join for the organization’s annual holiday concert and sing-along of heartwarming holiday classics (12/17)

CAPITAL ONE HALL

7750 Capital One Tower Rd.
Tysons, Va.
703-343-7651
www.capitalonehall.com

  • Amadeus Winds — “Gems of Chamber Wind Ensemble from Master Composers” is the focus of this intimate concert in Capital One Hall’s 225-seat black box theater, performed by an ensemble of Northern Virginia-based classical music organization Amadeus Concerts (10/15, The Vault)
  • Capital Wind Symphony: Inspirations — A survey of works by composers, including Carlos Simon, Oscar Navarro, Percy Grainger, Julie Giroux, Darius Milhaud, and Henry Dorn, with an eye toward what inspired the particular compositions, all performed by one of the nation’s premier wind symphonies, led by guest conductor William L. Lake, Jr. (11/12, Main Theater)
  • Voce Chamber Singers: Christmas Coronation — Accompanied by a chamber orchestra, this vocal ensemble will merge beloved seasonal favorites with regal choral gems from history, including a coronation anthem by G.F. Handel, a cantata by J.S. Bach, scenes from an oratorio by Camille Saint-SaĂ«ns, and a traditional spiritual by Ken Burton (12/9, The Vault)

THE CHORAL ARTS SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON

202-244-3669
www.choralarts.org

  • Festival of Voices — In partnership with the British Embassy in Washington, this celebration of British composers from the 18th century to today will feature the Choral Arts Symphonic Chorus, led by Anthony Blake Clark, with accompaniment from the Choral Arts Orchestra, under the direction of star guest conductor Marin Alsop. The revelrous program presents the U.S. premiere of Roxanna Panufnik’s Coronation Sanctus as well as William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast (11/8, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)
  • A Family Christmas — Expect appearances by Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph at this annual concert filled with holiday classics performed by the symphonic chorus led by Michele Fowlin and Choral Arts Brass Ensemble (12/16, 12/24, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)
  • O Night Divine! — Annual Christmas concert with the symphonic chorus, youth choir, and full orchestra, this year led by guest conductor Marie Bucoy-Calavan and featuring the world premiere of a new carol by Dominick DiOrio commissioned by Choral Arts, as well as the return of the audience sing-along (12/19, 12/24, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)

THE CITY CHOIR OF WASHINGTON

202-495-1613
www.thecitychoirofwashington.org

  • Carmina Burana — After a lauded performance at Wolf Trap last month, this music organization teams up once again with the Richmond Ballet, Richmond Symphony, and Richmond Symphony Chorus to draw out all the drama, mystery, and humor of Carl Orff’s spectacular masterpiece, this time presented in Virginia’s capital city (9/22-24, Dominion Energy Center, 600 E. Grace St., Richmond)
  • Magnificent Bach — The City Choir is set to perform J.S. Bach’s Magnificat in E-flat in its original version, complete with the rarely performed four Christmas interpolations, in honor of the milestone anniversary of the masterpiece, first performed in Germany in 1723. Artistic Director Erin Freeman will lead the chorus, soloists, and orchestra in the work, paired with a handful of a cappella tunes inspired by Bach’s Christmas interpolations (11/19, Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW)
  • For Mozart’s Birthday — The beauty and solemnity of W.A. Mozart’s Mass in C Minor will be on full display in a concert to be held the day after the German giant’s 268th birthday (1/28/24, National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW)

CLARICE SMITH PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

Dekelboum Concert Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, Md.
301-405-2787
www.theclarice.umd.edu

  • Two Worlds: Andrist-Stern-Honigberg Trio — A Faculty Artist Series recital focused on two vastly different works that are both considered pinnacles of the trio genre, Schumann’s D minor Trio and Ravel’s A minor Trio (10/1, Gildenhorn Recital Hall)
  • UMD Wind Orchestra — The organization’s season debut explores the wide emotional range of French music for winds(10/6)
  • UMD Symphony Orchestra Barber, Beach & Bernstein” is a showcase of thrilling American music, from Samuel Barber’s expressive and melodically rich Violin Concerto, to the gritty and dramatic feel of Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances” from West Side Story, to Beach’s delightfully lighthearted, even flirtatious Bal MasquĂ© (10/7)
  • UMD Wind Ensemble (10/13)
  • Dedications: Trios for Clarinet, Cello and Piano — Two UMD professors and instrumentalists, clarinetist Robert DiLutis and pianist Rita Sloan, are joined by guest cellist for a Faculty Artist Series recital of Beethoven’s Trio in B-flat and Brahms’s Trio in A minor (10/15, Gildenhorn)
  • University Orchestra (10/17)
  • UMD Chamber Singers & University Chorale — Two UMD vocal music groups team up for a joint Fall Choral Showcase of songs, both old and new, classical and contemporary (11/5)
  • UMD Symphony Orchestra — David Neely, the ensemble’s music director, leads a concert centered on Berlioz’s bold and innovative masterpiece Symphonie fantastique, a landmark in the Romantic symphonic repertoire (11/10)
  • Maryland Opera Studio: Albert Herring — Set in a small British village shortly after the devastation of World War II, Benjamin Britten’s opera, with a libretto by Eric Crozier, focuses on a young man’s desire to break free and find some adventure (11/11-12, 11/14-15, Kay Theatre)
  • UMD Wind Orchestra — Led by two guest conductors, this concert showcases Igor Stravinsky’s neo-classical Octet in this, the centennial year since its premiere, as well as Aaron Copland’s only original work for wind band, Emblems, which premiered 79 years ago. Both are juxtaposed by Jess Turner’s If I Am to Leave, a work composed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to memorialize a beloved band director. (11/11)
  • UMD Tactus & Treble Choir — Fall Choral Collage (11/12)
  • New Music at Maryland Concert (11/15, Gildenhorn)
  • Orchestra Concerto Competition Finals — UMD School of Music students vie for the opportunity to perform as a soloist with the UMD Symphony Orchestra in this annual competition, the finals of which see the students performing 15-to 20-minute solos, excerpts of a concerto or concert piece, to be critiqued and ultimately crowned by an independent jury panel (11/20)
  • UMD Wind Orchestra: Rita Sloan plays Messiaen — This ensemble’s final performance of 2023 focuses on Olivier Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques, a piano-heavy piece that emulates the actual birdsong of 18 different winged species to create what has been described as a “menagerie of sound.” Sloan, a leading teacher of piano and chamber music and a veteran guest soloist with numerous chamber music ensembles, will do the honors here (12/8)
  • UMD Choral Activities: Festival of Lessons & Carols — The 22nd year of a holiday program combining choirs, brass quintet, and organ performing carols, hymns, and spoken word poems with messages of hope and goodwill (12/8, UMD Memorial Chapel)
  • UMD Symphony Orchestra Scheherazade, Rimsky-Korsakov’s enchanting adaptation of ancient Middle Eastern folklore, is the centerpiece of the last concert of 2023 from this ensemble (12/9, Dekelboum)

CONGRESSIONAL CHORUS

202-629-3140
www.congressionalchorus.org

  • What a Wonderful World — A diverse and eclectic program presenting choral works honoring the awe-inspiring beauty of nature and the challenges and concerns that come with it, including world premieres of two commissioned works by local composers Emily Mason and George Stewart (11/18, Live! at 10th and G, 945 G St. NW)

DC’S DIFFERENT DRUMMERS

www.dcdd.org

  • Symphonic Band: One Life Beautiful — The organization’s largest ensemble, led by its director Anthony Conto Oakley, performs its Fall 2023 concert, subtitled To My Friends Pictured Within (10/28, Church of the Epiphany)
  • Marching Band: 17th Street High Heel Race — The organization’s oldest and most visible ensemble has become a staple of the pre-race festivities at what has become one of the city’s premiere fall events, now gearing up for its 36th edition, this year taking place the Tuesday one week before Halloween (10/24)
  • DCDD Holiday Concert — The Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, and small ensembles all perform (12/10, Lutheran Church of the Reformation)

FAIRFAX SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

GMU Center for the Arts
703-993-2787
www.fairfaxsymphony.org

  • RenĂ©e Fleming Sings Straus — Heralded as one of the greatest Strauss interpreters of our time, the renowned soprano joins for a concert focused on Strauss’s “Four Last Songs,” part of a program, led by the orchestra’s music director Christopher Zimmerman, also featuring the Romantic Era German composer’s “Dance of the Seven Veils” from Salome and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances (11/18)
  • Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker — The seventh annual collaboration with the Fairfax Ballet for the timeless holiday favorite, staged with live musical accompaniment (12/16-17)

FOLGER CONSORT

Folger Shakespeare Library
201 E. Capitol St. SE
202-544-7077
www.folger.edu

There’s no official word on what changes the various arts entities within the Folger Shakespeare Library will make to their fall and winter programming, due to the news in August that the grand reopening, originally slated for this November, will take place instead at “a date in 2024.” Although the Folger Consort continues to lists the Folger Theatre as host venue for its upcoming concerts — and the website even allows one to select their preferred seats in the theater — an announcement about a switch to an offsite venue, at the very least, seems imminent.

  • A Baroque Christmas Story — The 46th season of the Folger’s resident early music ensemble kicks off in December with a selection of German holiday favorites from the Baroque era, as well as a grand 17th-century oratorio that tells the story of the Nativity. An early Baroque masterpiece, German composer Heinrich SchĂĽtz’s Weihnachtshistorie (Christmas Story)! is rarely performed today, despite it being considered an early Baroque masterpiece (12/15-22)
  • Music from the Life of Rabelais: Satire & Storytelling — In a first for the Consort, a contemporary comedian will join to help tease out the funny in the exuberant writings of French Renaissance satirist François Rabelais, paired with the brilliantly layered music of the composers Rabelais mentions in his writing (1/19/24-1/21/24)

GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF WASHINGTON

202-293-1548
www.gmcw.org

  • Sing Out: GMCW Open Mic Night — Once a month the chorus presents an open mike night that functions as a kind of choral karaoke, one enhanced with live accompaniment and requiring sheet music for the selections to be performed (10/18, 11/8, 12/13, Atlas Performing Arts Center)
  • Fall Cabaret: selfies — Hilarious and heartwarming stories from members of the chorus also performing solos of songs drawn from the worlds of Broadway and pop all while their respective photos are projected onstage (11/4, Keegan Theatre)
  • 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 (12/2, 12/9, 12/10, Lincoln Theatre)

GMU CENTER FOR THE ARTS

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

  • Mason Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band #1 — “Fusion” celebrates the unique way composers draw inspiration from different sources to create masterpieces in their own right, including Scott McAllister’s Black Dog, a rhapsody for solo clarinet inspired by the music of Led Zeppelin that will be performed by GMU Faculty Artist Kathleen Mulcahy, and Yasuhide Ito’s Gloriosa, a symphonic poem fusing Gregorian chant with Japanese folk music; the Fairfax Wind Symphony will join the student music ensembles for this program (10/26)
  • Virginia Opera: Siegfried — The most lighthearted of the four epic operas part of Richard Wagner’s legendary Ring Cycle is revived in a new production adapted by Jonathan Dove and Graham Vick and orchestrated by Dove, with accompaniment by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra as guest conducted by Virginia Opera’s Artistic Director Adam Turner (10/7-8)
  • Fall Choral Invitational: Songs of Unity — An annual concert featuring high school choirs that have taken part in choral clinics with the university’s choral department (10/21)
  • Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel — Popular pianist and music scholar offers another in his recurring series of “concerts with commentary,” this one titled “The Power and Passion of Beethoven,” examining two of the German composer’s most beloved sonatas, known as for Therese and Appassionata (10/29)
  • Virginia Opera: The Barber of Seville (11/11-12)
  • A Chanticleer Christmas — The Grammy-winning all-male a cappella vocal ensemble returns (11/25)
  • Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel — “Festive French Fare” focuses on Debussy’s beloved Clair de Lune, Ravel’s enchanting Sonatine, Saint-SaĂ«ns’ devilish Danse macabre, and two tuneful Novelettes by Poulenc (11/26)
  • Mason Wind Symphony Concert — Persichetti’s Symphony No. 6 is one of the cherished historical works for wind band and gets top billing for this performance also featuring the premiere of Nkeiru Okoye’s Voices Shouting Out and Steve Danyew’s Into the Silent Land, a poignant artistic response to the Sandy Elementary School tragedy in Utah (11/30)
  • Mason Symphony and Choirs: Holiday Concert 2023 (12/3)
  • American Festival Pops Orchestra: Holiday Pops — “Songs of the Season” is the focus of this festive concert, led by the organization’s Artistic Director Peter Wilson, and including audience singalongs of beloved carols (12/9)

HYLTON PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

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

  • Voctave — An 11-member a cappella group and social media sensation performs a mix of Broadway and Disney showtunes as well as jazz standards (9/23)
  • Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel — Titled “Glorious Impromptus of Chopin and Schubert,” this “concert with commentary” showcases some of the piano repertoire’s most popular and beloved impromptus, or short, generally single-act works written for solo instruments that has the feel of being a spontaneous or improvised composition (10/1)
  • Virginia Opera: A Taste of Opera (11/14, Gregory Family Theater)
  • A Canadian Brass Christmas — The exuberant and engaging brass quintet from north of the border will perform a seasonal mix of classical standards, pop favorites, and traditional holiday tunes (11/26)
  • American Festival Pops Orchestra: Holiday Pops (12/8)
  • Vienna Boys Choir — Boy sopranos and altos from ages eight to 14 and from 31 different countries perform, in tight harmony of their heavenly high voices, an eclectic mix of Baroque classics, contemporary popular hits, sacred songs, Austrian folk tunes, polkas, waltzes, and traditional holiday favorites (12/10)

THE IN SERIES

202-204-7763
www.inseries.org

  • Alceste — The wildly innovative and imaginative local music organization kicks off its new “Resurrection”-themed season in what has become its signature style, combining multiple artistic works to create an altogether original and extraordinary theater-music experience. Here, the In Series merges an early work of theater from ancient Greek playwright Euriphides with the musical score that G.F. Handel wrote for a now-lost 18th-century translation of the same mythic tale — further enhanced via a new translation by contemporary poet Ted Hughes as well as new texts by D.C. playwright Sybi Roberts. Real-life husband and wife KenYatta and Michelle Rogers will portray the couple at the heart of this tragicomedy in a world-premiere staging bolstered by the organization’s INnovatio Baroque Orchestra conducted by Artistic Director Timothy Nelson, who also directs (9/23-24, Dupont Underground; 9/29-30, and 10/1, Baltimore Theatre Project; 10/7-8, GALA Hispanic Theatre)
  • The Promised End — The entirety of Giuseppe Vedi’s shattering Requiem, performed in an intimate and condensed style with only eight vocal artists, is weaved together with a one-woman monodrama about the composer, the play King Lear, and the aged king himself, written by Timothy Nelson and based on an essay by renowned Shakespeare scholar Marjorie Garber. Nanna Ingvarsson reprises the lead role five years after the In Series’ premiere of the work, which is being restaged as part of this season’s city-wide Shakespeare Everywhere Festival (11/18-19, 11/29, 12/1-3, 12/6, 12/8-10, Source Theatre; 12/15-16, Baltimore Theatre Project)
Emerson String Quartet: Eugene Drucker, Philip Setzer, Larry Dutton, Paul Watkins
Emerson String Quartet: Eugene Drucker, Philip Setzer, Larry Dutton, Paul Watkins

KENNEDY CENTER

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

  • Pan American Symphony Orchestra: Tango Sinfonico — A concert of symphonic tango and two U.S. premieres from the Latin Grammy-nominated PASO, led by Maestro Sergio Alessandro Buslje (10/14)
  • Augustin Hadelich — Pianist Orion Weiss accompanies the Grammy-winning wunderkind violinist, born and raised in Italy by German parents and now based in New York, in a recital ranging from a Beethoven sonata to a minimalist piece written by Amy Beach in the 1980s, part of the Fortas Chamber Music Concerts series (10/15)
  • Emerson String Quartet — The esteemed quartet offers its last performance in the Terrace Theater and penultimate performance overall before it disbands for retirement (10/20)
  • NSO Youth Fellows — A free concert featuring students from the National Symphony’s Youth Fellowship Program (10/20, Millennium Stage)
  • Opera Lafayette: Couperin le Grand — The acclaimed D.C.-based, French opera-focused organization presents an evening of chamber music by François Couperin and others performed by renowned harpsichordist Christophe Rousset, bass-baritone Jonathan Woody, and members of the ensemble’s orchestra (10/25)
  • Harmony Zhu, piano — Soloist promises to take audiences “on a journey of self-discovery and introspection through works by Chopin, Scriabin, Pepin, and Kapustin,” presented by Young Concert Artists (11/1)
  • The Kennedy Center Chamber Players — Acclaimed ensemble, composed of titled musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra, performs chamber music classics at this Fall Concert (11/5)
  • Pianist Christopher O’Riley — The composer/performer and NPR/PBS media personality performs a program of preludes and fugues by Bach juxtaposed with his own arrangements of songs by Radiohead (11/6)
  • The Annie Moses Band w/Jim Caviezel — A 20th anniversary celebration of Under the Tree of Life with special guest narration by the Passion of the Christ actor, a special appearance by Clay Walker, and accompaniment by the 100-voice True North Chorus and Orchestra (11/6, Concert Hall)
  • Maxim Vengerov — An evening of Schumann, Brahms, and Prokofiev performed by one of today’s most accomplished and acclaimed violinists, accompanied by pianist Polina Osetinskaya (11/14, Concert Hall)
  • PostClassical Ensemble: Bouncing off the Walls: Music and Architecture — A program exploring the complex relationship between the two distinct art forms, with works inspired by or dedicated to the built environment, including an overture by Beethoven written to celebrate a newly remodeled theater and opera house, a symphony by Haydn featuring one of the most complicated “architectural” forms ever composed, and a classic overture by Rossini that will be reassembled to maximize the acoustic possibilities of the Terrace Theater (11/16)
  • Sir Bryn Terfel — The bass-baritone opera superstar performs a song cycle, traditional Welsh folk music, and songs by notable composers in a Fortas Chamber Music Concert also featuring harpist Hannah Stone and pianist Annabel Thwaite (11/19, Concert Hall)
  • Jennifer Koh & Jaime Laredo: Two x Four — The star violinists link up to perform double concertos with members of the Juilliard Orchestra (12/1)

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Coolidge Auditorium
Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First St. SE
202-707-8000
www.loc.gov/concerts

  • Alejandro Brittes Quartet, Masters of ChamamĂ© — This Hispanic Heritage Month-honoring concert celebrates music from Brazil and Argentina courtesy of ensemble’s innovative explorations of chamamĂ©, the traditional, cross-border accordion-based musical genre (9/21)
  • Eliane Elias — The Library’s concert season opens with a free performance by the established Brazilian chanteuse (10/13)
  • Meta4 Quartet — The Finnish string quartet offers a rare performance in the U.S. (10/18)
  • Founder’s Day: Piece Offerings — Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge’s intrepid support of new music is honored through a concert featuring performances of works by composers Roger Reynolds and Kate Soper followed by onstage discussion with the composers, accompanied by pianist Eric Huebner, computer musician Jacob Sundstrom, and the Wet Ink Ensemble (10/30)
  • Richard O’Neill, viola, and Jeremy Denk, piano — Classics of the viola repertoire performed on the Library’s Tuscan-Medici Stradivari viola (11/20)
  • Escher Quartet with Jason Vieaux, guitar — An exploration of music for string quartet and guitar (11/29)
  • Dali Quartet with Ricardo Morales, clarinet — Stradivari Anniversary Concert (12/18)

NATIONAL CHAMBER ENSEMBLE

703-685-7590
www.nationalchamberensemble.org

  • Diva’s Night Out with Schubert, Strauss, and More — Structured around the theme “New Perspectives: Exploring Diversity in Music,” each concert in the 17th season of this Virginia-based entity features at least one work by either a woman composer or a composer of color, or both. The season kicks off with a concert featuring renowned soprano Sharon Christman singing songs by Amy Beach and Fanny Mendelssohn as well as Strauss and Schubert (11/4, Ballston Auditorium, Marymount University Ballston Center)
  • Holiday Cheer — Dylana Jenson, the youngest and first American woman to win at the esteemed Tchaikovsky Competition, will play classical masterpieces and holiday favorites as well as lead a carols sing-along as the featured soloist with the ensemble, also joined by the Outstanding Young Artist Piano Competition winners (12/16, Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington)
National Philharmonic: Michelle Cann -- Photo: Courtesy of the Curtis Institute of Music
National Philharmonic: Michelle Cann — Photo: Courtesy of the Curtis Institute of Music

NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC

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

  • Gershwin, Price, & Beethoven — A trio of enchanting works launches the organization’s new season, in a concert led by the organization’s Music Director Piotr Gajewski and featuring sensational pianist Michelle Cann performing both George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, the iconic fusion of classical and jazz for both symphony and piano, and Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement, which artfully blends classical and African-American musical traditions. Last but certainly not least is Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony No. 6. (10/14)
  • Universal Longings/Anhelos Universales — NatPhil joins forces with the Washington Chorus for a concert featuring the East Coast premiere of James Lee III’s Breaths of Universal Longings, a composition in four movements that draws inspiration from concepts of joy and belonging, and also of our shared humanity and the universality of singing. And it’s the true power of the human voice, and of singing in particular, that is the focus of Venezuelan composer Antonio EstĂ©vez’s lively Cantata Criolla, in which the cowboy Florentino musically duels with El Diablo in a battle for his soul, featuring soloists Scott Piper, tenor, and Juantomás MartĂ­nez YĂ©pez, baritone (11/5)
  • Handel’s Messiah — The longtime annual tradition has been reimagined anew this year, with the most obvious change a new semi-staged approach to enhance the drama and storytelling of the music and also to enhance the roles of the featured vocal soloists. Leading the charge is NatPhil’s Gajewski as the production’s music director, assembling a starry lineup, including soprano Aundi Marie Moore, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford, tenor Norman Shankle, and baritone Jorell Williams, and enlisting the Baltimore Choral Arts Society for accompaniment (12/16-17)
Audra McDonald -- Photo: Allison Michael Orenstein
Audra McDonald — Photo: Allison Michael Orenstein

NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

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

  • Season Opening Gala Concert: Noseda conducts Carlos Simon — Under the direction of NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda, this concert pairs Simon’s invigorating Fate Now Conquers with Mussorgsky’s dramatic and beautiful Pictures at an Exhibition (9/23)
  • Noseda conducts Rachmaninoff at 150 — Extravagant Russian drama and romance courtesy of an all-Rachmaninoff program with Denis Kozhukhin playing the Piano Concerto No. 4, The Bells choral symphony, and the Anton Chekhov-inspired piece The Rock (9/28-30)
  • NSO on the Millennium Stage — Members of the orchestra play an assortment of chamber music for free and livestream (9/29, 10/27, Millennium Stage)
  • Noseda conducts Respighi’s Roman Trilogy — This “Celebrating the Eternal City” program offers a vivid tour of Noseda’s hometown through his countryman’s acclaimed triptych, a lavishly orchestrated work moving from cinematic grandeur to seductive poetry (10/5-7)
  • NSO Youth Fellows — Students from the NSO Youth Fellowship Program perform chamber music for free and livestream (10/20, Millennium)
  • NSO Pops: Werewolf by Night — Emil de Cou conducts this immersive concert experience featuring a screening of the Marvel horror comedy enhanced by the NSO performing the fantastical score by director and composer Michael Giacchino, plus a selection of other eerie works that inspired Giacchino and his modern masterwork (10/21)
  • Halloween Spooktacular — This NSO Family Concert has become an October tradition, featuring NSO musicians performing new and old classics celebrating the spookiest holiday of them all (10/22)
  • JFK: The Last Speech with Phylicia Rashad — The actress narrates a new NSO co-commission from composer Adolphus Hailstork commemorating the 60th anniversary of the iconic last speech by President Kennedy. Under conductor Kevin John Edusei, the program also features soprano Katerina Burton and performances of Duke Ellington’s Harlem and John Adams’ Harmonielehre (10/26-28)
  • Brahms’ Fourth Symphony & Tania LeĂłn’s Pasajes — A heart-wrenching and moving program, led by guest conductor Gustavo Gimeno, featuring the German giant’s visionary masterpiece as well as a new co-commission by 2022 Kennedy Center Honoree LeĂłn, capped off with Elgar’s Cello Concerto featuring Camille Thomas (11/2-4)
  • Peter and Friends — An NSO Music for Young Audiences program developed specifically for toddlers in collaboration with Teller Productions and inspired by Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf (11/4-5)
  • Yuja Wang plays BartĂłk’s Piano Concerto No. 2 — Daredevil pianist Wang will set the Concert Hall on fire performing the acclaimed 20th-century Hungarian composer’s bombastic concerto, one of the most difficult, even “finger-breaking,” in the repertoire, on a program led by young Finnish prodigy Tarmo Peltokoski and also including the lush Symphony No. 1 by Peltokoski’s compatriot Jean Sibelius (11/9-12)
  • Michael Tilson Thomas — The superstar maestro and Kennedy Center Honoree conducts a program of Olly Wilson’s Shango Memory, inspired by the Nigerian god of thunder, Brahms’ beautiful Piano Quartet, and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 featuring Orion Weiss in his NSO debut (11/16-18)
  • Yefim Bronfman plays Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 — The Grammy-winning virtuoso performs one of the most expansive and ambitious compositions for piano as part of a program, led by Dima Slobodeniouk, also featuring Tchaikovsky’s explosive Symphony No. 4, by turns wistful and hopeful about love and life (11/30-12/2)
  • NSO Pops: A Holiday Pops! with Norm Lewis — The popular Broadway star joins the NSO for the annual holiday extravaganza, this year including selections from Lewis’s celebrated Christmas album and other favorites from his repertoire (12/8-9)
  • Handel’s Messiah — Laurence Equilbey makes her much-anticipated debut conducting the NSO in this annual holiday tradition saluting the British composer’s greatest oratorio (12/14-17)
  • NSO Pops: Audra McDonald — The most-awarded Tony recipient in history joins the NSO for what is sure to be an unforgettable evening of vocal beauty, featuring her stunning renditions of Broadway classics and contemporary favorites (1/30/24)
  • NSO Pops: Showcasing the Cultural Beat of Capital City — The vibrant sounds of D.C. come alive in this electrifying concert event featuring the NSO and remarkable local artists performing music by homegrown heroes Marvin Gaye, Chuck Brown, Duke Ellington, and John Philip Sousa (2/2/24, 2/3/24)

NEW ORCHESTRA OF WASHINGTON

240-745-6587
www.neworchestraofwashington.org

  • The Bringer of Hope — German cellist Benedict Kloeckner performs Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 as featured soloist at this concert from the genre-bending chamber orchestra; the Towson University Women’s Choir as directed by Diana Saez joins to perform Holst’s The Planets (11/18, Kennedy Center Terrace Theater)
  • The Great Winds — Performing Beethoven’s Wind and Piano Quintet and Poulenc’s Wind and Piano Sextet (12/15, Evermay Georgetown, 1623 28th St. NW)

THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION

Music Room
1600 21st St. NW
202-974-6832
www.phillipscollection.org

  • Every concert through next year is already sold out of in-person tickets, but livestream tickets are available for purchase. Isata Kanneh-Mason — Internationally renowned pianist, performer, and Decca recording artist, and the eldest member of the prodigiously talented Kanneh-Mason family of musicians makes her Phillips debut by kicking off the 2023/24 season of Sunday concerts with a program of sonatas by Schumann, Haydn, and Chopin, plus the Easter Sonata by Fanny Mendelssohn, a work that was lost for 150 years and then mistakenly attributed to her brother Felix (10/15)
  • Vijay Iyer with the Parker Quartet — The renowned, boundary-crossing classical/jazz pianist, composer, and scholar collaborates with a Grammy-winning quartet to perform two of his complex and multi-layered works for piano quintet (10/22)
  • Christine J. Lee and Henry Kramer — This cellist-and-pianist duo returns to the Phillips to perform works by Romantic-era composers Chopin, Dvořák, and Janáček (10/29)
  • Lea Desandre and Thomas Dunford — Two former members of Ensemble Jupiter return as a duo to perform music for voice and lute with an emphasis on works by Italian composes from the 16th and 17th centuries (11/5)
  • Andile Khumalo and Ensemble Dal Niente — A Leading International Composers concert in which the Chicago-based new music collective perform works by this South African composer that together paint a revealing portrait into the man and his music (11/12)
  • Karim Sulayman and Sean Shibe — The Lebanese-American tenor and British-Japanese guitarist probe their respective identities through an intricately woven suite of music full of dynamic conversations between Eastern and Western traditions (11/19)
  • Rebecca Omordia — Dubbed an “African classical music pioneer,” this London-based pianist and scholar presents African Pianism, a deep exploration into the musical practices of composers from across the continent and the ways in which their work reflects the dialogue between African traditional forms and Western notation practices (11/26)
  • JACK Quartet — Through their program “Modern Medieval,” this award-winning experimental chamber music ensemble explores the connections between European composers of the past and the voices of American music today, with arrangements of early works by Rodericus, Solage, and Vicentino interspersed with contemporary pieces by Caleb Burhans, Gabriella Smith, and John Zorn (12/3)
  • Inon Barnatan — Acclaimed pianist presents a program comparing Franz Schubert’s original six-piece set he wrote 300 years ago, which he coined Moments Musicaux, with two same-named sets that he inspired generations later, one produced at the turn of the 20th century by Sergei Racmaninoff, and then Avner Dorman’s set released 100 years later in 2003 (12/10)
  • Richard Bona and the Asante Trio (12/14)

SHRIVER HALL

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

  • Angela Hewitt, piano — Heralded by The Guardian as “the preeminent Bach pianist of our time,” this British-Canadian instrumentalist returns to Shriver to perform Bach’s famed Goldberg Variations (10/15)
  • Yilun Xu, piano — The winner of the 2022 Yale Gordon Concerto Competition performs a free recital as part of Shriver Hall’s Discovery Series spotlighting emerging classical artists (11/4)
  • Takács Quartet — The Grammy-winning organization returns with a program inspired by the natural world, including Haydn’s “Sunrise” Quartet and Beethoven’s stargazing-inspired Op. 59, No. 2 Quartet, but the main focus is on a new work, co-commissioned by Shriver Hall, from Nokuthula Ngwenyama, an American composer of Zimbabwean/Japanese heritage (11/19)
  • Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective — A U.S. debut from this London-based group described by Arts Desk as a “sparky, shape-shifting ensemble of starry young musicians,” crossing the pond to perform major quintets by American composers Amy Beach and Florence Price, as well as works by Schubert and Walker (12/3)

STRATHMORE

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

  • Itzhak Perlman: In The Fiddler’s House — Nearly 30 years after winning an Emmy for a same-named special of PBS’s Great Performances, the beloved classical superstar and violin virtuoso tours his klezmer music showcase accompanied by members of the Brave Old World Klezmer Conservatory Band and also featuring Music Director Hankus Netsky on saxophone and piano and Andy Statman on clarinet and mandolin, as well as “other special guests” (9/28, Music Center)
  • Brooklyn Rider — The string quartet with rock-star energy returns for another performance of their gripping explorations and reimaginings of the classical repertoire (11/12, Mansion)
  • Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis — A holiday tradition across America going on four decades now, this show features the distinctive Mannheim take on Christmas classics as well as original compositions in the same style, enhanced by multimedia effects (12/1, Music Center)

VOCAL ARTS DC

202-669-1463
www.vocalartsdc.org

  • Anthony Roth Costanzo — With his hauntingly plangent, immediately recognizable sound and riveting expression, Anthony
  • Roth Costanzo has redefined what it means to be a countertenor star in the 21st century, and sang the title character in the Metropolitan Opera’s Grammy Award-winning production of Philip
  • Glass’ Akhnaten. His program for Vocal Arts includes selections by Antonio Vivaldi, Gabriela Lena Frank, Joel Thompson, Giuseppe Verdi, and a set of songs by Barbra Streisand. Accompanied by Bryan Wagorn (9/21, Kennedy Center Terrace Theater)
  • Jonah Hoskins — A young tenor with a sunny, boyishly extroverted personality and a voice to match. He appeared with the Metropolitan Opera in the leading role of Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. His program includes selections by Jake Heggie, Lee Hoiby, and Erik Satie. Accompanied by William Woodard (12/13, Terrace Theater)
  • Raehann Bryce-Davis — A powerhouse mezzo who has been making waves in the last few seasons through her high-octane portrayals of such heroines as Azucena in Verdi’s Il trovatore at the Washington National Opera and Baba the Turk in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at the Met. Her program includes selections by Richard Wagner, Amy Beach, Melissa Dunphy, Maria Thompson Corley, and a set of Jamaican songs by Peter Ashbourne. Accompanied by Jeanne-Minette Cilliers (1/24/24, Terrace Theater)

WASHINGTON ARTS ENSEMBLE

Arts Club of Washington
2017 I St. NW
www.washingtonartsensemble.org

  • Kamall Williams, piano, and Stephanie Yu, violin — A London-based keyboardist, DJ, and record producer will be joined by an L.A.-based, Juilliard-trained violinist, DJ, and composer for an acoustic and improvisatory set on piano and violin. The concert serves as the third season debut of the Washington Arts Ensemble, founded in 2021 by two recent graduates of Juilliard transplanted to Washington with a goal of expanding the appeal and reach of classical music (9/22, Dupont Underground, 19 Dupont Cir. NW)
  • Zachary Good, clarinet, and Natalia Kazaryan, piano — A former member of the contemporary music sextet Eighth Blackbird comes to town with an eclectic program of hidden gems and unexpected arrangements, including his own twists on Baroque works, and anchored by Brahms’s Clarinet Sonata in E-flat Major. Accompanying Good will be Kazaryan, one of the two co-founders and directors of this ensemble (10/19)
  • Siwoo Kim, violin, Loewi Lin, cello, and Christopher Schmitt, piano — A thrilling program highlighting dramatic works by Bohemian composers including Dvořák, Smetana, and Janáček, performed by an internationally acclaimed violinist, a cellist from the National Symphony Orchestra, and a pianist who is the other co-founder and director of this ensemble (11/17)
  • Gabriel Cabezas, cello, and Jordan Dodson, guitar — The dynamic collaboration between these two international soloists will be showcased in a performance including the D.C. premiere of a new collection of works by Elliot Cole written specifically for the duo, plus specially arranged Spanish and Brazilian classics (12/17, Atlas Performing Arts Center)

WASHINGTON BACH CONSORT

202-429-2121
www.bachconsort.org

  • Fantastic Bach! Stylus Fantasticus — Musicians Johann Andrew Fouts and Justin Wallace perform path-breaking works by Bach’s virtuosic German predecessors as part of the September Chamber Series offering further tracing of the development of the early Baroque “fantastic” music style that greatly influenced Bach, as will be demonstrated as the duo perform the composer’s Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord in E Major (9/22, Live! at 10th & G; 9/23, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Alexandria)
  • Bach and Antisemitism: A Panel Discussion — The Consort partners with Bethesda Jewish Congregation and Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church for an earnest and authentic interfaith conversation about St. John Passion and other works by Bach imbued with antisemitism (9/27, BHPC/BJC, 6601 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda)
  • Bach’s St. John Passion: Sacrifice and Redemption — Few works evoke the dramatic intensity and impact of Bach’s Johannes-Passion with its powerful musical depictions of Jesus’s passion drama. Tenor Gene Stenger narrates the story as the Evangelist, and he’ll be joined by five other soloists to tell the tale (10/1, National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW)
  • Noontime Cantata Series — Now in its 35th season, this free monthly showcase of Bach’s masterful works for organ, performed on a rotating basis by a rotating cast of instrumentalists, occurs at two D.C. churches, St. Mark’s Capitol Hill on the first Monday of the month and downtown’s Church of the Epiphany on the first Tuesday (10/2, St. Mark’s, 301 A St. SE; 10/3, Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW)
  • Vocal Polyphony: William Byrd 400th — Singers explore the sacred vocal polyphony of one of the high Renaissance’s finest composers, in a Chamber Series program presented in observance of the 400th anniversary of Byrd’s death (10/27, Live! at 10th & G; 10/28, St. Paul’s Episcopal, Alexandria)
  • Bach’s Motets: The Singers’ Favorite! — The chance to hear all of the iconic motets in one evening is rare, but it’s also revelatory, helping one get a fuller sense of the scope of the work and of the full range of connection between text, music, and faith they capture (11/12, National Presbyterian Church)
  • The Christmas Story: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio Parts 1, 2, 5, and 6 — An all-star vocal cast performs Bach’s timeless retelling of the Nativity drama, including soprano Amy Broadbent, alto Sylvia Leith, tenor and Evangelist Thomas Cooley, and bass Dashon Burton (12/9, Strathmore)

THE WASHINGTON CHORUS

202-342-6221
www.thewashingtonchorus.org

  • Universal Longings/Anhelos Universales — Eugene Rogers, the chorus’s artistic director, conducts this concert, presented in partnership with the National Philharmonic, and focused on two works highlighting the human voice and spirit, James Lee III’s Breaths of Universal Longings and Venezuelan composer Antonio EstĂ©vez’s lively Cantata Criolla (11/5, Music Center at Strathmore)
  • A Candlelight Christmas — The 130+ voices of the chorus sing popular carols and holiday favorites backed by organist and pianist Paul Byssainthe Jr., with soloist Aaron Myers and the National Capital Brass and Percussion featured at every performance, while the GMCW ensemble the GenOUT Youth Chorus are special guests for the first two performances and the Takoma Park Academy take over for the last three shows (12/15, Strathmore; 12/16, 12/20-22, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)

WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN PHILHARMONIC

George Washington Masonic National Memorial
101 Callahan Drive
Alexandria, Va.
703-799-8229
www.wmpamusic.org

  • Celebrating a New Season! — Cello sensation Nicholas Canellakis joins in the opening celebration of this ensemble’s 52nd season to play Saint-SaĂ«ns’s Cello Concerto No. 1, part of an all-French program including the Overture No. 1 by Louise Farrenc, the sole female in a position of prominence at the esteemed Paris Conservatory in her 19th-century time. Concluding the program is Berlioz’s captivating masterpiece Symphonie Fantastique (10/15)
  • The Rhythm of Christylez — This concert both features and celebrates Christylez Bacon, the Grammy-nominated, D.C.-based progressive hip-hop artist, and is anchored by Evan Meier’s Migrations in Rhythm: A Concerto for Beatbox and Rhyme, providing a musical setting for Christylez’s storytelling and virtuosic multi-genre rhythmic explorations. Works by two female composers round out the program, Valerie Coleman’s tribute to the celebration of Kwanzaa Umoja, Anthem of Unity, and Florence Price’s Symphony No. 1, a work inspired by both the Western classical tradition and Black music idioms, and the first symphony by a Black woman to be performed by a major American orchestra 90 years ago (12/10)
Opera in the Outfield
Opera in the Outfield

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA

Kennedy Center
202-295-2400
www.kennedy-center.org

  • Opera in the Outfield: La bohème — Puccini’s classic tough and tender story about a group of young bohemian artists in Paris is performed in a simulcast presentation as part of the 13th season of free opera broadcasts at the Washington Nationals home stadium (9/30, Nationals Park, Free)
  • Grounded — A world-premiere opera, co-produced by Metropolitan Opera, from Tony-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Kimberly Akimbo) based on the award-winning one-woman play by George Brant, about a female fighter pilot and new mother grappling with the moral implications and psychological effects of virtual warfare; the Michael Mayer-directed production stars mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo and is presented using massive and immersive LED-screen technology in a first for opera stages (10/28-11/13, Opera House)
  • Romeo and Juliet — A production of the acclaimed operatic retelling of the star-crossed lovers tragedy from composer Charles Gounod with a libretto by Jules Barber and Michael CarrĂ©, and starring Adam Smith and Rosa Feola. Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Simon Godwin makes his opera directorial debut with the production, WNO’s contribution to this fall’s Shakespeare Everywhere Festival (11/4-18, Opera House)
  • The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me — A return of the 2013 hit family opera based on the award-winning children’s book with music by Jeanine Tesori and featuring a talented cast of members of the WNO Cafritz Young ArtistProgram and the WNO Children’s Chorus (12/8-10, Terrace Theater)
  • Justin Austin — A recital from this Marian Anderson Vocal Award winner, praised for his “mellifluous baritone by a critic for the Wall Street Journal, a month after his run as Mercutio in WNO’s Romeo and Juliet (12/12, Terrace)

WASHINGTON PERFORMING ARTS

202-785-9727
www.washingtonperformingarts.org

  • Yunchan Lim, piano — The 19-year-old wunderkind also known as the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold Medalist makes his D.C. debut with an intimate (and sold-out) Hayes Piano Series recital focused on Chopin’s hypnotically charming Etudes and Tchaikovsky’s poetic The Seasons (9/23, Kennedy Center Terrace Theater)
  • An Evening with Paul Huang — One of the most distinctive artists of his generation, this Taiwanese-American violinist performs a concert a year after debuting his arrangement of the National Anthem for the NFL season opening game in Charlotte (10/19)
  • Mahani Teave, piano — One of the world’s preeminent Rapa Nui musicians from Chile’s Easter Island (10/28)
  • Simone Dinnerstein & Awadagin Pratt, piano — Two pianists heralded for their originality and technical prowess offer a unique musical experience and a remarkable four-hand piano program, sharing one instrument and playing simultaneously on the same keyboard a program including arrangements of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Schubert’s Fantasie in F Minor, Bach’s piano transcriptions, plus solo works by Philip Glass and more (10/30, Terrace Theater)
  • Sir András Schiff, piano — A special performance, created specifically for Strathmore and to be announced from the stage, that will intersperse reflections and insights from the eminent and eloquent musician with inspired playing and shimmering performance (11/8, Strathmore Music Center)

WEINBERG CENTER FOR THE ARTS

20 W. Patrick St.
Frederick
301-600-2828
www.weinbergcenter.org

  • Lafayette Gilchrist — The Frederick Experimental Music Association presents this pianist/composer whose original compositions served as the soundtrack to HBO’s iconic, Baltimore-set The Wire. In his solo piano program, Gilchrist works to distill a century of African-American music through his unique 21st-century sensibility, creating an original kaleidoscopic soundscape that is unmistakably his (9/22, New Spire Arts)
  • Ensemble Sangineto — Founded 23 years ago by twins Adriano and Caterina Sangineto, this eclectic trio with guitarist and bouzouki player Jacopo Venture skillfully blends ancient harmonies with modern rhythms to create fresh, often dreamlike and joyful arrangements of traditional tunes and original compositions (10/27, New Spire Arts)
  • U.S. Air Force Concert Band — Featuring 52 active-duty musicians, the official symphonic wind ensemble of the Air Force entertains with musical prowess and patriotic pride (11/8)
  • A Chanticleer Christmas — Grammy-winning all-male ensemble performs a concert featuring holiday favorites and all-around a cappella perfection (11/28)
  • Frederick Children’s Chorus: Messiah Sing Along — An ongoing holiday tradition in Frederick for almost 30 years, Judith DuBose conducts a 40-voice chorus, 20-piece orchestra, and four soloists in a sampling of choruses and arias from Handel’s Messiah, with additional assist from audience members on select numbers (12/19)
  • The Trills — This six-member a cappella group has a passion for creating unforgettable experiences both on stage and online, creating viral videos that have gained global attention, not to mention over three million followers, for their intricate arrangements and stellar performances (1/4/24, New Spire Arts)

For more classical and choral highlights throughout the year, please subscribe to our free digital magazine at www.metroweekly.com/subscribe.

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