Metro Weekly

Classical & Choral Music: Spring Arts Preview 2024

The spring season is awash in classical music, from Mozart to Florence Price, there's something for everyone.

The Capital Wind Symphony at Capital One Hall

There’s more Mozart on tap around town this spring than even the most devoted Mozartian could catch. The same, more or less, goes for fans of Mendelssohn and Verdi. Puccini, too.

Yet none of those classical music titans can hold a candle to a certain German giant who’s still the most popular “Emperor” of them all, with many area music organizations — from the most prominent orchestras to the scrappiest chamber ensembles — performing Beethoven.

One other interesting development is the marked rise in popularity of a composer whose name and work was totally absent and virtually unknown just a few years ago. This season, Florence Price is the “Most Revived Composer.” She’s practically the belle of the ball, with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Capital City Symphony, and National Chamber Ensemble each featuring a different work of the pioneering Black composer, who died at age 66, more than 70 years ago.

Among the highlights with clear queer appeal, there’s the Gay Men’s Chorus at the Kennedy Center, Jamie Barton at Wolf Trap, and Luke Spence’s “uniquely queer” musical makeover program at The Clarice. Yet the biggest — and queerest — surprise of all has got to be the Indigo Girls joining the Fairfax Symphony to stir up some orchestral folk alchemy. “Closer to Fine,” indeed.


McLean Community Center
1234 Ingleside Ave.
McLean, Va.

  • The Borisevich Duo — A duo of Russian expatriates and alumni of the prestigious Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Nikita Borisevich, violin, and Margarita Loukachkina, piano, are partners in marriage and in music. The internationally renowned violin and piano duo will perform a recital as part of the Chamber Music Series at the Alden (4/7)
The Borisevich Duo at The Alden


  • It Takes Two: Duets Reimagined — Maestro Luke Frazier is famous for putting together the most interesting, unique concerts in the area, with a focus on the best vocalists attainable. It’s been so successful, APO now has a regular broadcast partnership with PBS. Their next concert, at a location still to be announced, features artists across various genres singing duets that are atypical for their known musical styles. Performers include American Idol favorite David Archuleta, J’Nai Bridges, Nova Payton, Reid Ewing, Carolina Gatán, Cassadee Pope, Morgan James, and legendary jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval (4/26)



  • Mahler Symphony No. 6 — Continuing in his first season at the BSO helm, Music Director Jonathon Heyward embarks on his maiden Mahler voyage with the BSO by plumbing the tragic, heart-rending depths of the German Romantic composer’s Sixth Symphony (3/23, Meyerhoff; 3/24, Strathmore)
  • Beethoven Symphony No. 2 — A romp through the German giant’s jovial Second Symphony is mere icing on the cake of this “Recovered Voices” program led by conductor James Conlon and featuring opera standouts Melody Moore and Lucas Meachem in a rare performance of the ambitious and emotionally rich Lyric Symphony by Alexander von Zemlinsky, a one-time star of Vienna’s music scene who died in obscurity in New York after fleeing Nazi Germany (4/18, Meyerhoff; 4/20, Strathmore)
  • Simon, Ives, and Rachmaninoff feat. Yunchan Lim, piano — BSO Music Director Laureate Marin Alsop returns for a program including Charles Ives’ hymn-filled Symphony No. 2 and Carlos Simon’s bluesy AMEN! with the centerpiece Rachmaninoff’s stunningly gorgeous Piano Concerto No. 2 featuring Lim, the youngest-ever winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (4/26, Meyerhoff; 4/28, Strathmore)
  • Sorrell Conducts Baroque and Classical Masters — Grammy-winning conductor Jeannette Sorrell offers keen insight into the music of the 18th century for a program that restores Bach’s original oboe version of his searing harpsichord Concerto in F featuring BSO Principal Oboe Katherine Needleman as well as works by Handel and Mozart plus a suite of opera music by long-overlooked Belgian/French composer André Grétry (5/2, Strathmore; 5/4-5, Meyerhoff)
  • Tan Dun Conducts — Boundary-breaking artist conducts two of his own compositions merging Chinese and Western traditions using instrumentation both ancient and high-tech, including the American debut of Dun’s Five Muses of Dunhuang, on a program paired with two works by Stravinsky, including a rarely heard Chinese-themed opera transcription of his Song of the Nightingale (5/18, Strathmore; 5/19, Meyerhoff)
  • Wilkins Conducts Florence Price — Thomas Wilkins leads a performance of Price’s Symphony No. 1, the first symphony composed by a Black woman played by a major orchestra almost a century ago and still remarkable today for the way it touches on musical traditions of the formerly enslaved as well as native populations in America. The program will also evoke the rustic fiddling of central Europe courtesy of BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney joining to perform German composer Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, plus a foray into Hungarian folksongs via Zoltán Kodály’s Dances of Galánta (5/31, Meyerhoff; 6/1, Strathmore)
  • Shostakovich Symphony No. 8 — Shostakovich offered quiet resistance to the brutal oppression of Stalin’s leadership, burying his objections under fastidious layers of symphonic elegance, while the Russian composer’s Polish Jewish protégé Mieczysław Weinberg leaned into his family roots in Yiddish musical theater with his Trumpet Concerto. Heyward conducts the orchestra and BSO Principal Trumpet Andrew Balio (6/5, Strathmore; 6/8-9, Meyerhoff)
  • The Pines of Rome — Respighi’s evergreen tribute to the Eternal City has inspired the title to the BSO’s season-closing program, which will feature soprano Christine Goerke, the organization’s Artist in Residence, capturing the unabashed emotions of Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss. With Heyward at the helm, the orchestra will also perform a new work commissioned from hometown hero James Lee III and Records from a Vanishing City, Jessie Montgomery’s ode to the gritty, multicultural Manhattan of her youth (6/13-14, 6/16, Meyerhoff; 6/15, Strathmore)


1635 Trap Road
Vienna, Va.

  • Wolf Trap Opera: Emily: A Musical Portrait — Created by pianist Christopher Allen and directed by Johnathan McCullough, this U.S. premiere theatrical performance features the poetry of Emily Dickinson fashioned as lyrics to songs and music from Aaron Copland and Ricky Ian Gordon, and will make its U.S. premiere cast with a trio of WTO Alumni (4/5)
  • Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: String Magic — A string quintet perform in celebration both of “the deeply human voices of violins, violas, and cellos” and of classical works inspired by and written for them, including Beethoven’s earliest all-string work and Jean Françaix’s effervescent trio (4/19)
  • Steven Blier & Friends — The gay New York Festival of Song artistic director offers a Spanish-tinged program featuring as “friends” WTO artists Amanda Batista, Andrew Gilstrap, Midori Marsh, and Laureano Quant(6/2)
  • Wolf Trap Opera: Cosi fan tutte — Mozart’s most polarizing opera offers ravishing melodies, glorious arias, duets, and sextets, and emotionally complex and quick-fire comedy about love and sex, reason and human fallibility (6/21, 6/23, 6/27, 6/29)
  • Wolf Trap Opera Studio: Aria Jukebox — Studio members will perform whatever classics the audience selects from a list of possibilities at the start of the program (7/7)
  • In Recital: Jamie Barton — A WTO alum, this bisexual mezzo-soprano returns to Wolf Trap in a big way this year, from performing this seemingly one-night-only recital in the acoustically rich Barns, to serving as the organization’s 2024 Filene Artist in Residence, helping to coach and mentor a new crop of emerging singers (7/14)
  • Wolf Trap Opera: Silent Night — Composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell’s Pultizer Prize-winning opera captures the energy of battle-hardened soldiers and the vivid experience of peace (8/9, 8/11, 8/15, 8/17)


Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H St. NE

  • Let Inspiration Be Your Guide — The quirky and unassuming, volunteer-oriented community orchestra, led by Artistic Director and Conductor Victoria Gau, offers an emotional adventure through music with this concert, first exploring Brahms’ vivid and telling Tragic Overture, then getting swept away with the drama and lush romance of Coleridge-Taylor’s Ballade, finally settling in Scotland with Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 “Scottish,” which was inspired by Scottish folk dances as well as by the German composer’s experiences in Edinburgh (3/23)
  • CCS Creates! — A special evening of chamber music focused on original compositions by four of the orchestra’s multi-talented members: Andrew Acquaviva, Eric Hall, Daniel Lu, and Karl Meyer (4/13, St. Mark’s Capitol Hill)
  • Take Me To The River — The orchestra goes with the flow of music celebrating two of the world’s great rivers, Smetana’s The Moldau, a symphonic poem paying tribute to the Moldau River that runs through the heart of Bohemia and the Czech Republic, and Florence Price’s The Mississippi River, a poignant, soul-stirring work with echoes of Black American spirituals and jazz as the mighty body of water flows through the heart of the United States, journeying from Native American land to New Orleans. In addition to the water-logged musical voyages, the season closer also includes Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor performed by young French-Canadian instrumentalist Romain-Olivier Gray (5/5)


7750 Capital One Tower Rd.
Tysons, Va.

  • The Capital Wind Symphony — This area ensemble focuses on “celebrating and sharing the Great American Wind Band Tradition,” chiefly through free programs such as this concert, “Metamorphosis,” described as one that “weaves together compositions that, like a moth’s transformation, evolve through changing motives, variations, and narratives” (4/12)
  • Virginia Chamber Orchestra: Brian Ganz Enchants with Beethoven — Internationally acclaimed, locally based pianist has become best known as an expert on and frequent performer of works by Chopin, but for this concert with the VCO, he takes a foray with Beethoven, specifically the composer’s popular Piano Concerto No. 4, part of a program also finding the orchestra performing Mendelssoh’s Symphony No. 1 and Vaughan Williams’ Prelude on Welsh Hymn Tune “Rhosymedre,” which has become a staple at royal weddings and funerals as well as the recent coronation of Charles III (4/14)
  • The Charlottesville Symphony — This hybrid orchestra comprised of professional musicians and faculty members of the University of Virginia as well as volunteer community members and talented UVA students concludes its season with an eclectic program of everything from Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to West Side Story to an orchestral arrangement of works by percussionist and sound artist and UVA professor JoVia Armstrong (4/28)
  • The Washington Balalaika Society — This community orchestra is the largest of its kind in America, with a focus on performing music from Eastern Europe on traditional folk instruments. This year’s Spring Concert, Roma Rhapsody, celebrates the music traditions of the Roma, or Gypsy, people, including recognizable works such as Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody #2 and selections from Bizet’s Carmen and others (6/15)


University of Maryland
College Park, Md.

  • Masterful Strings: Amadi Azikiwe, viola — The noted string virtuoso takes a break from his work leading the Harlem Chamber Players and playing with Pressenda Chamber Players for a special recital at the Clarice (3/26, Gildenhorn Recital Hall)
  • Murasaki Duo — A world premiere and a rarely heard sonata for cello and piano, part of the UMD School of Music Faculty Artist Series (3/30, Gildenhorn)
  • Wouldn’t That Be Queer with Luke Spence, trumpet — Works by Amy Beach, Libby Larsen, Lori Laitman, Dorothy Gates, and Edvard Grieg become LGBTQ-specific art songs in this “uniquely queer” program, a touring production from the recently formed International Pride Orchestra and its Artist Recital Series featuring a brass instrumentalist and professor of trumpet who is also a UMD alumnus (4/4, Gildenhorn)
  • Allison Loggins-Hull, Alicia Hall Moran & Gabriela Martinez: Diametrically Composed — Newly commissioned works featuring flute, voice, and piano exploring the duality of being a mother and an artist (4/5, Gildenhorn)
  • Ying Quartet with Xavier Foley, double bass — A quartet by Haydn is paired with inventive originals in a program capped off by the Grammy-winning ensemble joined by featured soloist and composer Foley performing a virtuosic string quintet by Dvořák (4/12, Gildenhorn)
  • Alarm Will Sound: Music for 18 Musicians — A quartet of compositions by iconic Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Reich, including a title work billed as “one of the most influential minimalist works of all time,” performed by genre-busting 20-member ensemble that the New York Times calls “as close to being a rock band as a chamber orchestra can be” (4/13, Dekelboum)
  • Maryland Opera Studio: Florencia en el Amazonas — Inspired by the magical realism of celebrated author Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Daniel Catán’s opera offers a magical boat ride celebrating art, the natural world, and the human spirit, as rendered by UMD School of Music opera students (4/13, 4/17, 4/19, 4/21, Kay Theatre)
  • New Music at Maryland Concert (4/23, Gildenhorn)
  • Maryland Opera Studio: Opera al Fresco — Music Director Craig Kier leads a free “audience favorite” afternoon program previewing upcoming performances by the studio’s student artists (4/25, Grand Pavilion)
  • Spring Piano Division Showcase — An annual showcase featuring students from the prestigious and highly selective Piano Division of the UMD School of Music (4/25, Gildenhorn)
  • Maryland Day 2024 — The annual campus-wide, all-genre “open house” celebrating the creativity of Terps and the local community through performances, experiences, and activities (4/27)
  • UMD Choral Activities — A Bach Cantata Series performance of one of the great master’s cantatas featuring conductors and singers from the graduate choral program (5/2, Grand Pavilion)
  • UMD Balinese Gamelan Saraswati Ensemble — An evening of traditional Balinese music in a partnership between the UMD student ensemble, named after the Hindu goddess of knowledge and the arts, and local artists and performers part of the professional group whose name translates as “flowering friendship” (5/2, Kay)
  • UMD Symphony Orchestra — Music Director David Neely oversees a season-ending program culminating with La Mer, the innovative and poignant work exploring the ebb and flow of the ocean by musical impressionist Claude Debussy (5/4, Dekelboum)
  • Tesla Quartet — An eclectic program of works, from Beethoven to Alistair Coleman to Terry Riley, inspired by stars in the night sky and galaxies beyond, all performed by acclaimed Juilliard-born ensemble known for their technically refined skill (5/5, Gildenhorn)
  • Voix de Chanson & Freundemusik — UMD’s two student-led a cappella ensembles perform familiar standards and newly arranged works (5/6, Gildenhorn)
  • National Orchestral Institute + Festival: Seven Deadly Sins — Aspiring orchestral musicians from across the country take part in this month-long program offering professional music experiences such as this one, a “sung ballet” bringing the worlds of voice, dance, and orchestra together, presented in partnership with Wolf Trap Opera and featuring the company’s emerging opera singers in the cast (6/1, Dekelboum)



  • Jukebox: A ’50s and ’60s Cabaret — This year’s 18th Annual Cabaret from the 90-member auditioned main chorus offers a tribute to legends of Motown, rock-and-roll, doo-wop, and pop, with the hit repertoire enhanced by dynamic visuals and video projections and dazzling lighting — or, in sum, to quote the official description, “mixing up old school swing with new school bling” (6/15, Capitol Turnaround, 700 M St. SE)



  • Echoes — The Symphonic Band will perform a concert offering with “reflections of our past and present, guiding us to the future.” The Symphonic Band’s new Assistant Director Jonathan Villegas makes his conducting debut (3/23, Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW)
  • Globetrotting — Prepare to be a virtual jetsetter exploring the diversity of jazz music and sounds at this concert featuring DCDD’s Jazz Band, led by Travis Gettinger. The international trip promises a diverse itinerary with a stop to hear the lively rhythms of Latin America and another to catch the smooth melodies of European jazz — and all of it for free (3/30, The Auditorium in the MLK Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW)


GMU Center for the Arts Concert Hall
Fairfax, Va.

  • Indigo Girls — Amy Ray and Emily Saliers will sing in signature rich harmony when they join the FSO for “larger-than-life arrangements of their songs,” something the seminal lesbian duo has been doing with symphonies around the country for a dozen years or so, with a project touted as “finding an elusive sweet spot…creating a seamless blend of folk, rock, pop, and classical that elevated their songs to new heights” (5/11, Capital One Hall, Tysons)
  • Melodies of the Soul — English composer Anna Clyne drew inspiration from 13th-century Persian poet Rumi to create her enchanting Dance for Cello and Orchestra, and Israeli-American cellist Inbal Segev will join the FSO to give the work its regional premiere. Part of a program led by FSO Music Director Christopher Zimmerman that includes two suites by Stravinsky and Prokofiev’s Overture on Hebrew Themes (5/18, Harris Theatre, Fairfax Campus)
  • Celebrating Gershwin at 100 — Pianist Jeffrey Biegel joins the FSO under Zimmerman to pay tribute to the Gershwin Centennial by performing “Rhapsody in Blue” — the original classic by George Gershwin but also a new work by Peter Boyer intended to celebrate American diversity and known by the fuller patriotic title “Rhapsody in Red, White, and Blue.” Designed as a way of “honoring the past and celebrating the future of American classical music,” this season finale concert also includes Amy Beach’s “Gaelic” Symphony, heralded as the first symphony published by an American woman composer roughly 130 years ago (6/9)
Folger Consort


Folger Theatre
201 E. Capitol St. SE

  • Music of Medieval Spain — While the full, greatly expanded campus of the Folger Shakespeare Library won’t open until late June, the institution’s Folger Theatre has reopened after years of renovation, allowing the acclaimed early music ensemble in residence to again perform in its acoustically rich home. The Consort will kick things off with a toast to a remarkable time in history of Christian, Islamic, and Jewish coexistence: the 13th century on the Iberian Peninsula, or more specifically the Kingdom of Castile in what is today the heart of Spain, where people from all three cultures lived in close proximity and regularly interacted and intermingled in often-harmonious fashion, and also engaged in significant cross-cultural exchanges of art, ideas, music, and medicine. The concert will demonstrate the musical exchange through a mix of Sephardic songs, Arab Andalusian music, and tunes from the era’s Cantigas de Santa Maria, and that notable compendium of medieval music is also the source of song texts and illustrations depicting multicultural musical ensembles that will be projected during the performance (3/22-24, Folger Theatre)
  • Ovid’s Metamorphoses — The season-closing concert focuses on French composers in the 18th century who were directly inspired by stories and myths contained in the ancient Roman epic, among them Jean-Philippe Rameau, who created incandescent cantatas for his retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice. Soprano Amy Nicole Broadbent will be accompanied by a quartet of violin, traverso, viola de gamba, and harpsichord, in a performance of graceful yet dramatic works by Marais and Leclair, and one of Telemann’s masterful Paris Quarters (4/12-14)
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C.



  • Youth Invasion — Under the direction of GMCW’s Associate Conductor C. Paul Heins, the GenOUT Youth Chorus returns for its annual concert giving voice to the identities and experiences of LGBTQ and allied youth, this year collaborating with the chorus of Tenleytown’s Jackson-Reed High School as directed by Ronté Pierce (4/28, Atlas Performing Arts Center)
  • A Night at the Museum — The organization’s annual fundraiser comes with dinner and open-bar reception, live and silent auctions, special presentations including the Harmony Award ceremony, plus entertainment from the special celebrity guest, RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Raja Gemini (5/18, The Ritz-Carlton, 1150 22nd St. NW)
  • Portraits — Nine visual artists, nine composers, and nine choreographers have been commissioned to join forces in a multi-genre effort to capture “the vibrant spectrum of sexual, gender, racial, ethnic, and cultural identities” in this world-premiere production featuring the full chorus and the ensemble 17th Street Dance and marking GMCW’s return to the grandest venue of them all (6/16, Kennedy Center)


4373 Mason Pond Dr.
Fairfax, Va.

  • University Singers — “Flying to the Stars: DaVinci and Beyond” (4/9)
  • Mason Symphonic Band (4/10)
  • Mason Opera: Mozart’s The Impresario and Steven Stucky’s The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts) — Talented students from GMU’s Dewberry School of Music perform in collaboration with an instrumental chamber ensemble (4/19-21)
  • Mason Wind Symphony — “The Blue Marble: An Earth Concertvation Experience” (4/25)
  • Mason Symphony Orchestra — “Concerto Competition Winners Concert” (4/26)
  • Bamberg Symphony with Hélène Grimaud: The World After Wagner — One of Germany’s premier orchestras offers a program exploring Richard Wagner’s complicated legacy and colossal influence on music, art, and culture, and performing Wagner’s “Prelude to Act I” from Lohengrin and the Overture to Tannhäuser, plus selections from Johannes Brahms and Robert Schumann, including the latter’s dazzling piano concerto played by virtuoso pianist Grimaud (4/27)
  • Brian Ganz — Renowned pianist and expert on all things Frédéric Chopin offers “A Chopin Recital,” featuring a pair of Chopin études, including the tumultuous “Revolutionary” Étude No. 12, one of his most recognizable, a ballade, a scherzo, and mazurkas that Ganz says are among the Polish Romantic composer’s most daring and experimental (5/4)


Merchant Hall
Manassas, Va.

  • American Festival Pops Orchestra: American Icons — Peter Wilson conducts this music organization in a patriotic celebration of iconic works by some of America’s greatest composers, styled as a “star-spangled concert…the entire family will enjoy,” with selections ranging from Aaron Copland’s “Hoe-Down” to music from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story to a medley of John Williams’ classic film scores (4/6)
  • Bridging the Gap — This local string duo, comprised of violinist Peter Wilson aka artistic director of the American Festival Pops Orchestra and double bassist Aaron Clay, celebrates 25 years together as an unlikely pair performing an unexpectedly broad range of music, from classical and jazz to funk and rock (4/24)
  • The New Dominion Choraliers of Prince William County — “Ceili: An Irish Music Festival” is billed as a grand celebration of Irish music and dance, both that from the Emerald Isle directly as well as that from the Irish diaspora in America, all co-presented by a coterie of local performing arts groups including McGrath Morgan Academy of Irish Dance and the Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra (4/28)
  • Manassas Symphony Orchestra — “Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!” is the title of this program offering “an exclusive performance of Dixieland favorites” and featuring Doreen Ketchens, dubbed the “Clarinet Queen of New Orleans”; program also includes Ferde Grofe’s Mississippi Suite, a symphonic homage to the Big Easy (5/4)
  • Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra — “An Evening of Magic, Lyricism, and Fate,” with musical selections including Verdi’s Overture to La Forza Del Destino, Stamitz’s Sinfonia Concertante No. 20, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 (5/24)
  • Manassas Chorale — Local music organization closes out its 30th season with a greatest hits celebration they’re calling “Musical ‘Pearls’ from Three Decades” and featuring the full ensemble and orchestra as well as the Greater Manassas Children’s Choir (5/31)



  • Las Místicas de México — For the remainder of its 23/24 season, this ever-bold, never-boring, small yet mighty hybrid opera/theater company serves up a trio of offerings (plus the annual gala) in signature fashion, each one more unusual and unusually intriguing than the last, and wholly unlike anything else you’ll find around town. Take, for instance, the immersive multi-genre, multi-sensory production celebrating the visionary art created by a historical coterie of Mexican women artists, from the poet nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz to songstress Chavela Vargas to painter Frida Kahlo, as devised by an inspired coterie of contemporary, local non-Mexican women artists. Directed by Maribeth Diggle and the IN Series’ Timothy Nelson, the production will build from a medieval music drama rendered by Anna Deeny Morales with original music from artist and scholar Tina Chancey and performed by a cast of actors and singers and the Washington Children’s Chorus. Meanwhile, the Mexican legends and their artistic output will be on display through light and projection design by Abigail Hoke-Brady (3/23-24, Great Hall of Baltimore’s Emmanuel Episcopal Church)
  • 2024 IN Series Gala — Billed in part as “a magical evening honoring the friendship and legacy of poet June Jordan and world-renowned director Peter Sellars,” with Sellars to be presented by the inaugural June Jordan Award at the ceremony (5/2, District Winery)
  • Return of Ulysses: Song of My Father — The second installation in the organization’s Monteverdi Trilogy greatly expands on the Italian composer’s rarely heard second opera, an adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey about Ulysses’ traumatic homecoming from the Trojan War. In the IN Series’ retelling overseen by Nelson, however, that classic tale becomes an elaborate and modern multi-genre, multi-cultural show ultimately focused on the Vietnam War, its era, and aftermath. Inspired by Jonathan Shay’s groundbreaking book Odysseus in America about PTSD and moral injury among veterans, the IN Series’ production features new English text drawn from the diaries of war veterans, newly commissioned arrangements of Vietnam-era popular songs rendered in the style of Monteverdi madrigals by composer Emily Lau, further modified with the words of Vietnamese-American poet Ocean Vuong, plus a signature mix of modern and traditional Southeast Asian dance styles from choreographer Jitti Chompee, founder of leading Thai contemporary dance company 18 Monkeys (5/11-26, Source Theatre; 5/31-6/2, Baltimore Theatre Project)
  • An Alcestiad — Louise Talma became the first American female composer to have a full-scale opera performed in Europe over 60 years ago, also earning much acclaim for the work, The Alcestiad — nevertheless, it has gone unperformed and all-but unknown everywhere ever since. The IN Series hopes to help change that with this show, centered around a modified version of the opera that Talma herself played on piano at a memorial service for famed playwright Thornton Wilder, The Alcestiad‘s librettist. Featuring pianist Emily Baltzer, the production will also shed light on the relationship between Wilder and Talma, which was notable but platonic and professional — quite unlike the passionate affairs Talma is known to have had with several women (Summer 2024)



  • Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra — An exploration of the rich and varied chamber music repertoire featuring members of the in-house orchestra who emerge from the unseen depths of the Opera House orchestra pit to take center stage, each taking a turn playing solo as well as part of a distinct small ensemble (3/27, 4/26, Millennium Stage)
  • Kennedy Center Chamber Players: Spring Concert — Acclaimed ensemble featuring nine titled musicians of the National Symphony Orchestra perform classics from three centuries of chamber music at this year’s annual concert (4/7, Terrace Theater)
  • NSO Youth Fellows (4/18, Millennium Stage)
  • Opera Lafayette: Mouret’s Les Fêtes de Thalie — A wise and humorous look at love through the eyes of three women, told as a series of operatic acts with dance, in a modern, fully staged premiere over 300 years after a debut that set the standard for what came to be known as comédie-ballet; students and alumni from New York’s Joffrey Ballet will assist Antonia Franceschi with choreography for a production directed by Tony- and Olivier-nominated playwright Claire van Kampen and conducted by Christophe Rousset (5/3-4, Terrace)
  • The Washington Chorus: Elijah Reimagined — Led by the organization’s Eugene Rogers, concert offers an innovative take on Mendelssohn’s well-loved oratorio Elijah “like nothing seen before.” Grammy-winning singer Will Liverman stars as the biblical prophet joined by three other soloists plus the Children’s Chorus of Washington and the University of Michigan Chamber Choir for a production “promising a visual spectacle” (6/8, Concert Hall)



  • Diverse Romantic Visions: Florence Price and Brahms — The lush string quartet by groundbreaking Black composer Price is paired with the famous Clarinet Quintet by Johannes Brahms, performed with guest instrumentalist Julian Milkis at a program guest hosted by Jatrice Martel Gaiter of Volunteers of America (3/23, Gunston Arts Center – Theater 1)
  • Concerto Celebration: Bologne, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven — A contemporary of Mozart sometimes dubbed the Black Mozart, French Caribbean composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges will be toasted at NCE’s season finale as part of its focus on three famous concertos. In addition to one by Bologne, the program highlights Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor with the ensemble’s own Leonid Sushansky serving as featured instrumentalist, and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 “The Emperor” rendered by Carlos César Rodriguez (5/18, Ballston Auditorium, Marymount University Ballston Center)


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

  • L’Éternel with The Washington Chorus — The philharmonic joins forces with the chorus under Artistic Director Eugene Rogers, plus four soloists, for a program highlighting three brilliant choral works: the intricately detailed and expressive Psalm 24 from Lili Boulanger, the dramatic and profound Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky, and the moving and masterful Missa in C from Ludwig van Beethoven (the moving and masterful Missa in C) (5/11)


Kennedy Center Concert Hall

  • Fauré’s Requiem & Mozart’s “Paris” Symphony — One of the most iconic works of the sacred choral repertoire, Gabriel Fauré’s paradise-envisioning masterpiece is performed by the NSO under French-Canadian maestro Bernard Labadie and with featured soloists as well as the Washington Chorus; also on the program are two symphonies, one by Mozart and another by Rigel, both of which also premiered to great acclaim in Fauré’s hometown of Paris (4/4-6)
  • String Thing — NSO bassist Paul DeNola and violinist heather LeDoux Green perform a “daring double act of classical fun” as a “silent” comedic tag-team communicating only through their instruments and a trunk full of gags to introduce young audiences to orchestral highlights as well as hijinx (4/6-7, Family Theater)
  • Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony — One of the most popular symphonies of all time, Antonín Dvořák’s sweeping and dramatic Symphony No. 9 was inspired by the African-American and indigenous music the Czech composer encountered during a visit to America. Grammy-winning conductor Xian Zhang guides the NSO through the masterpiece, with two additional works serving as a prelude: Ballade for Orchestra by African British-American composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and the Saxophone Concerto co-commissioned by the NSO from composer Billy Childs (4/11-13)
  • Also sprach Zarathustra — Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra opens with a famous ascending brass passage heard in Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, but the full tone poem offers “a wild ride of cosmic drama” as the NSO will demonstrate with Simone Young at the conducting podium. The program also features dazzling French pianist Lise de la Salle reuniting with the NSO to play Mozart’s elegant piano concerto (4/18-20)
  • Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony — Four years after earning three Grammy nominations for his work in leading the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in a recording of Bruckner’s gripping unfinished symphony, Manfred Honeck, the PSO’s Music Director, will do it again, this time for a live performance with the NSO. At the same concert, NSO Concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef will join to perform Beethoven’s rarely heard Romances Nos. 1 and 2 for violin and orchestra (5/2-4)
  • Benjamin Grosvenor plays Liszt — Acclaimed as a “one in a million giant of solo piano” (The Independent), Grosvenor will be the featured soloist in a performance with the NSO of Liszt’s scintillating Piano Concerto No. 1. Anja Bihlmaaier will lead the NSO in the performance of Liszt as part of a program also including Mari, a NSO co-commissioned new work from Bryce Dessner named for the Basque forest goddess, and Symphonie fantastique, Hector Berlioz’s “epic fever dream of obsession, ecstasy, tantrums, and wild ambition” (5/9-11)
  • Randall Goosby plays Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto — Goosby, the recent Sphinx laureate and Juilliard graduate, is a musical prodigy ready to make his NSO debut performing Mendelssohn under the baton of the Hollywood Bowl conductor Thomas Wilkins. Anna Clyne’s This Moment, a meditative reflection on the practice of peace and reconciliation, and Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations, which features some of the most moving passages in Western classical music, also factor into the program (5/16-19)
  • Noseda conducts Mahler’s Seventh Symphony (5/30-6/1)
  • Noseda conducts Verdi’s Otello — “Experience the thunderous music of Otello in the hands of our opera-loving Music Director,” touts the official blurb for this concert, featuring a handful of vocal soloists, the Choral Arts Society of Washington, and the Children’s Chorus of Washington. The performance serves to launch the new NSO series “Musical Roots: Opera in Concert,” designed as a way for Noseda to satisfy his twin musical loves, that of opera as well as the orchestra. Announced with the subhead “Celebrating Noseda’s 60th Birthday,” the series is also something of a milestone gift to the maestro (6/7-9)
  • NSO: DECLASSIFIED: Ben Folds Presents — The late-night series from the indie icon and NSO Artistic Advisor returns for more live music, both classical and contemporary, all performed in a laid-back, casual setting well beyond the traditional orchestra setting (6/14)
Terence Blanchard: Fire Shut Up In My Bones at Strathmore


The Music Center
5301 Tuckerman Lane
North Bethesda, Md.

  • Portland Youth Philharmonic Orchestra & Imani Winds — For their centennial celebration, PYPO, the oldest youth orchestra in the U.S., welcomes Grammy-winning ensemble to perform Jeff Scott’s Paradise Valley Serenade, a new work for wind quintet and orchestra and Amy Beach’s long-neglected Gaelic Symphony, among others (3/25, Music Center) Dr. Leah Claiborne — Championing piano music by Black artists (4/11, The Mansion)
  • Annapolis Symphony Orchestra: Roman Festivals (4/14, Music Center)
  • U.S. Naval Academy: Britten War Requiem (4/19, Music Center)
  • Terence Blanchard: Fire Shut Up In My Bones: Opera Suite in Concert — A concert production offering excerpts from Blanchard’s original opera, with a libretto by Kasi Lemmons based on the memoir of New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow (4/26, Music Center)
  • 2024 Maryland Young Voices Festival — Seven youth choirs from across the state of Maryland come together for a day of learning and performing, both as one large combined choir and individually as seven entities (4/27, Music Center)
  • MCYO: Fantastical Journeys — A showcase of incredible young musicians from the region(5/19, 5/22, Music Center)
  • Maeve Gilchrist — Innovative Celtic harpist and composer (5/23, The Mansion)


Kennedy Center Opera House

  • Songbird — A poor woman is forced to choose between her true love, a fellow pauper, and a mysterious wealthy man who promises her financial security if she’ll only become his mistress in this production derived from La Périchole, Jacques Offenbach’s 19th-century opera bouffe. Transported from Paris to Prohibition-era New Orleans and reimagined as a Jazz Age-infused musical comedy and love story performed in French and English with projected English titles, Songbird stars superstar mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard in the title role opposite Tony-nominated leading man Ramin Karimloo as her fellow downtrodden singer and lover (Through 3/23, Eisenhower Theater)
  • Turandot — Puccini’s final work gets dramatically overhauled in a new production overseen by WNO’s Francesca Zambello touted as “a Turandot for our times” on account of its diverse cast, led by Ewa Plonka and Marjorie Owens alternating as the titular lead and Yonghoon Lee and Jonathan Burton alternating as potential suitor Prince Calaf. In this staging, the famed opera, which remained unfinished at the time of Puccini’s death, actually sports a compelling ending devised by Grammy-winning composer and playwright Christopher Tin with assistance on the libretto from acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Susan Soon He Stanton (5/11-25)
  • 2024 WNO Opera Gala — A special pre-performance cocktail reception on The River Plaza and a celebratory reception in The REACH immediately following the opening night performance of Turandot (5/10)



  • Alisa Weilerstein, cello — Renowned musician performs her new innovative, theatrical project co-commissioned by Washington Performing Arts called Fragments, which intersperses movements of Bach cello suites with elegant 10-minute fragments of newly commissioned works from 27 different and diverse composers, presented in unknown order to heighten interest and intrigue among the audience (4/6, Kennedy Center Terrace Theater)
  • Yo-Yo Ma & Kathryn Stott — Extraordinary cellist and beloved music ambassador reunites with longtime musical partner and pianist for a lively recital with works by Dvořák, Pärt, Menino, Fauré, and Shostakovich (4/14, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)
  • Rachel Barton Pine, violin (4/19, Kennedy Center Terrace Theater)
  • Anna Geniushene, piano — The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Silver Medalist in 2022 performs an intriguing program of “Opus One” — that is, the first — works by Schumann, Clementi, Chopin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Berg, and Weinberg (4/27, Kennedy Center Terrace Theater)
  • Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra — A performance of orchestral showpieces by Germany’s acclaimed BRSO with Sir Simon Rattle as its chief conductor (4/30, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)
  • Evgeny Kissin, piano (5/11, Kennedy Center Concert Hall)
  • Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir — 30th Anniversary Celebration Concert(6/1, Lisner Auditorium)


Filene Center
1551 Trap Road
Vienna, Va.

  • NSO: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony — The National Symphony Orchestra kicks off its summer season at Wolf Trap with the greatest and biggest symphony of them all in a production led by conductor Ruth Reinhardt and featuring Wolf Trap Opera Artists as soloists (7/12)
  • Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert — Emil de Cou conducts the NSO, bringing John Williams’ Oscar-winning score to life as the original film in the Star Wars franchise is projected in HD onto giant screens in-house and on the lawn (7/13)
  • NSO with Wolf Trap Opera: La Bohème — Puccini’s ever-popular, heart-wrenching tale will be staged with a sharp cast of WTO artists (7/19)
  • Ghostbusters in Concert — The NSO under Emil de Cou will perform Elmer Bernstein’s Grammy-nominated score live while the Oscar-nominated comedy blockbuster from 1984 screens in HD projection (7/26)

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