The Kennedy Center began a year-long international celebration of the music of Leonard Bernstein at 100 in September. The iconic American composer, conductor, pianist, educator, and humanitarian (1918–1990) impacted nearly every musical genre...especially Broadway.
Image below: Leonard Bernstein
The Washington Chorus
The Washington Chorus, led by Artistic Director Christopher Bell, will present A Candlelight Christmas in the Concert Hall, December 10-22.The concert will feature brass, organ, sing-alongs, and a magnificent Candlelight Processional. A Candlelight Christmas will include songs such as The Dream Isaiah Saw, Hallelujah Chorus and more.
A rendering, above, of the planned expansion of The Kennedy Center
NSO Pops, conducted by Steven Reineke, will present Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ in Concertin the Concert Hall, November 24-26. Patrons can “relive the magic of the film in high definition on a giant screen while hearing the NSO perform John Williams’s unforgettable score.”
The film is said to be most enjoyed by ages 5 and up.
The NSO, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, will perform works by three composers who wrote music while away from their homelands in the Concert Hall, November 30-December 2.The program will include Britten's Matinées musicales and Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances, both of which were written in America. Soloist Yuja Wang will perform Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 5, which the composer wrote while he was in Paris.
Image below:Yuja Wang – Photo by Ian Douglas
The NSO, conducted by Jeannette Sorrell, will present Handel's Messiah in the festively-decorated Concert Hall, December 14-17. The NSO will be joined by soloists and the University of Maryland Concert Choir for the annual holiday presentation. The soloists will be Sophie Daneman, Ann McMahon Quintero, Karim Sulayman, andChristian Immler.
Image below: Members of the NSO
The NSO Pops will present vocalist Megan Hilty in the Concert Hall on December 8 & 9.The Tony®-nominated stage and screen star will offer “fresh takes on comforting classics and sing-along carols.
Image below: Megan Hilty.
The NSO Pops will perform Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration in the Concert Hall on December 20.The concert will mark the 25th anniversary of the acclaimed album that reinterpreted Handel’s oratorio Messiah. The album has been praised for its use of African-American music, ranging from spirituals to blues, from ragtime to hip hop.The concert is produced by Mervyn Warren, who is pictured below.
The NSO, conducted by Yutaka Sado, will perform Leonard Bernstein's "The Age of Anxiety," featuring pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, in the Concert Hall, January 11-13. Yutaka Sado studied conducting with Leonard Bernstein. The concert will include Rossini's Overture to The Thieving Magpie, Tchaikovsky's Francesca da Rimini, and Ravel's Boléro.
Image below:Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
The NSO, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, will perform works by Schumann & Brahms in the Concert Hall, January 25-27.The concert will include Brahms's Variations on a Theme by Haydn and Schumann's "Rhenish" Symphony. The compositions are linked by religious themes. The concert will feature violinist Leila Josefowicz in a performance of Oliver Knussen's Violin Concerto as part of Josefowicz's Kennedy Center residency.
Image below:Leila Josefowicz
Ben Folds will present Grammy-nominated pop singer-songwriter & Broadway musical composer Sara Bareilles & Pulitzer Prize-winning composer & singer Caroline Shaw, with the NSO, in the Concert Hall on January 12. Each artist will perform several songs with the orchestra, including hits as well as new music. Folds will host, with Edwin Outwater will conducting.
Image below: Ben Folds.
NSO Pops will present Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds in a world-premiere orchestral collaboration in the Concert Hall, January 19 & 20. Edmonds’s award–winning, multi-faceted career includes consecutive multi-platinum landmark albums. The 11-time Grammy Award® winner’s latest album is Return of the Tender Lover. His awards include the Soul Train Music Awards, BMI Awards, NAACP Image Awards, American Music Awards, BET Walk of Fame Award, & a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013; he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2017. In addition, he has collaborated with many of the top stars in the music world.
Image below: Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds
The Kennedy Center Chamber Players will perform Works of Françaix, Poulenc & Brahms on January 28 in the Terrace Theater. The focus will be on the composers’ lesser-known works, including Jean Françaix’s Woodwind Quintet No. 1, Francis Poulenc’s Sextet for Piano and Winds, and the String Sextet in B flat major by Johannes Brahms.
Image below: The Kennedy Center Chamber Players
Washington Performing Arts
Washington Performing Arts & Young Concert Artists (YCA) will present pianist Nathan Lee in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater on December 2. His program will include works by Bach, Mozart, Nikolai Kapustin, Chopin & Grunfeld. The fifteen-year-old pianist won First Prize in the 2016 YCA International Auditions. He has shared the stage with other celebrated pianists, including Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Lang Lang.
Image below:Nathan Lee – Photo by Matt Dine
Fortas Chamber Music
Fortas Chamber Concerts will present Cantus in the Terrace Theater on December 6. The eight-member men's vocal ensemble performs without a conductor as chamber musicians, “each contributing to the entirety of the artistic process.” The group will perform a holiday program titled Three Tales of Christmas.
Image below: Cantus
Fortas Chamber Music Concerts will present the Calidore String Quartet in the Terrace Theater on January 24.The American Quartet will perform “one of the most exciting programs from its repertoire - "Hungarian Spirit" - which showcases the influence and contribution of Hungarian music and artists on the string quartet canon.”
Image below: Calidore String Quartet
Renée Fleming VOICES
Renée Fleming VOICES will present a performance by Angélique Kidjo in the Eisenhower Theater on November 30.Kidjo is “a Beninese Grammy Award®–winning singer-songwriter and activist, noted for her diverse musical influences and creativity. Time Magazine has called her "Africa's premier diva."She “explores traditional roots of popular music to create something new.”
Image below:Angélique Kidjo
The Choral Arts Society of Washington, with the Choral Arts Chorus & Orchestra, conducted by Scott Tucker, will present AFamily Christmas in the Concert Hall on December 16. They will offer “a whirlwind tour of favorite sing-alongs and Christmas classics that will have your family singing all the way home. Expect visits from Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph!This one-hour concert is perfect for children ages 5 and up.”
The Choral Arts Society of Washington, conducted by Scott Tucker, will present Christmas with Choral Arts in the Concert Hall on December 17-24. The concert will celebrate “the joys of the season in a delightful program of popular holiday standards and seasonal Christmas classics.”
Vocal Arts DC will present Andrei Bondarenko, baritone, with Gary Matthewman, pianist, in the Terrace Theater on Tuesday, December 5.The young Ukrainian baritone has performed in Europe's most prestigious opera houses. He has recorded the Count in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro for Sony and Rachmaninov songs for Delphian.His program will include selections by Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Massenet, Fauré, Ibert, and Saint-Saëns.
Image below: Andrei Bondarenko - credit Marco Borgrove
Vocal Arts DC will present Tara Erraught, mezzo-soprano and Michael Heaston, pianist, in the Terrace Theater on January 9.The Irish vocalist performs principal roles at the Salzburg and Glyndebourne Festivals. Her program will include selections by Quilter, Liszt, Rossini, Wolf & Strauss.
The Kennedy Center will present the annual Messiah Sing-Along, with members of the Opera House Orchestra, conducted by Nancia D’Alimonte, in the Concert Hall on December 23.The event has been a family and community tradition since 1971. The orchestra will be joined by guest soloists, a chorus of 200, and the audience in performing Handel's masterpiece.
Jazz at The Kennedy Center
Jazz performances will continue in December with performances on:
December 9: NPR's A Jazz Piano Christmas
December 16: KC Jazz Club: A performance Inspired by abolitionist and activist Harriet Tubman
December 31: A Jazz New Year's Eve: NEA Jazz Master DeeDee Bridgewater performs music from her album titledMemphis.
Image below: DeeDee Bridgewater
Jazz performance will continue at the Kennedy Center on: