(WASHINGTON)—The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), led by Music Director Gianandrea Noseda and Executive Director Gary Ginstling, announces its classical programming for the 2022–2023 season. The new season, during which Maestro Noseda appears in 14 programs and leads a total of 36 concerts, embodies the special connection between Orchestra and Music Director that has strengthened over the past five years. NSO Classical subscriptions for the 2022–2023 season are now available here or by calling (202) 416-8500.
“As I embark on my sixth season as Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra, I continue to be overwhelmed by the artistry and commitment of the great musicians of the Orchestra,” said NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda. “This wouldn’t be possible without the symbiotic relationship we have with our audience and community, and their boundless support. The 2022–2023 season reflects our Orchestra’s past, present, and future with musical adventures involving a diverse group of artistic voices with long-standing bonds with the NSO and many who are joining us for the first time. Our overriding goal is to present the highest artistic quality in an open and inviting musical environment at the Kennedy Center. We welcome anyone and everyone to join us on what we anticipate to be extraordinary musical journeys.”
The 2022–2023 classical offerings celebrate the NSO’s past while serving as a catalyst for its role as an increasingly dynamic and innovative orchestra. This balance is seen throughout the newly announced season—from the performances of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS (the work that opened the Kennedy Center in 1971) and a program that nods to former NSO Music Director Mstislav Rostropovich (1977–1994), to the presentation of five new commissions (three of which are world premieres) and a score of artist debuts.
Highlights of the 2022–2023 classical season include:
- The final installment of the Beethoven & American Masters Festival, the first of which took place in January 2022. In Part II, Noseda leads four programs that juxtapose Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphonies No. 2, 6, 7, 8, and 9 with large-scale works by Black American composers George Walker and William Grant Still (May 12 & 13, 2023; May 19 & 20, 2023; May 24 & 25, 2023; and June 1–3, 2023). These performances are part of a major recording project in which the NSO will release all nine Beethoven symphonies and all five sinfonias by George Walker.
- Three performances of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS, commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy as part of the Kennedy Center’s opening festivities in September 1971. This new production—the culmination of the Kennedy Center’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebrations—features conductor James Gaffigan, director Alison Moritz, choreographer Hope Boykin, and baritone Will Liverman as the Celebrant in his NSO debut (September 15, 17 & 18, 2022).
- A mini-residency with pianist Daniil Trifonov, with three programs conducted by Noseda, including the Season Opening Gala (September 24, 2022). Trifonov performs concertos by Sergei Prokofiev and Alexander Scriabin, as well as Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini over the course of these programs (September 24, 2022 & April 13–15, 2023).
- A series of Symphonic Surprise! programs, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, that are not announced in advance (November 3–5, 2022).
- The world premieres of NSO-commissioned works by Philip Glass (October 27–29, 2022) and Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon (April 21–23, 2023), and D.C. premieres of NSO co-commissioned works by Steven Mackey (December 1–3, 2022) and Jessie Montgomery (March 2 & 4, 2023). The NSO also gives the world premiere of Michael Daugherty’s Blue Electra, commissioned for and performed by violinist Anne Akiko Meyers (November 10–12, 2022).
- 20 NSO debuts: conductors Fabio Biondi, Karina Canellakis, Kevin John Edusei, Stanislav Kochanovsky, Dalia Stasevska, and Joseph Young; pianists Michelle Cann, Beatrice Rana, and Conrad Tao; sopranos Julia Bullock, Liv Redpath, Chen Reiss, and Camilla Tilling; mezzo-soprano Hannah Ludwig; tenors John Matthew Myers and Issachah Savage; baritone Will Liverman; and bass-baritones Hanno Müller-Brachmann and Neal Davies. Violinist Francesca Dego makes her NSO subscription debut, having previously performed with the Orchestra at Wolf Trap.
- High-profile returning guest artists, including violinists Leila Josefowicz, Leonidas Kavakos, Anne Akiko Meyers, Midori, and Julian Rachlin; pianists Seong-Jin Cho, Cédric Tiberghien, and Stephen Hough; mezzo-sopranos J’Nai Bridges and Kelley O’Connor; and conductors James Gaffigan, David Robertson, Sir Mark Elder, and Krzysztof Urbański.
- Three programs spotlighting the solo talents of NSO musicians: Principal Cello David Hardy in Benjamin Britten’s Cello Symphony (October 22 & 23, 2022); Principal Trumpet William Gerlach in Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (March 2 & 4, 2023); and members of the NSO Horn section Abel Pereira, Markus Osterlund, James Nickel, and Robert Rearden in Robert Schumann’s Konzertstück (“Concert Piece”) for 4 Horns and Orchestra (April 27–29, 2023).
As previously announced, the Orchestra continues its commitment to performing and recording all five Sinfonias by George Walker, a native of Washington, D.C. and the first Black composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. The first release, Walker’s Sinfonia No. 4, will be distributed digitally through the NSO’s record label on June 24, 2022, with subsequent releases through 2023 and 2024, and a physical album coming thereafter. Accompanying the digital releases are music videos, interviews, and behind-the-scenes content. NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda describes Walker’s sinfonias as “an extraordinary musical discovery.”
In addition to its regular subscription concerts, the NSO connects with the larger community in the D.C.-area through performances at The Anthem in D.C.’s The Wharf and Capital One Hall in Tysons, and through its ongoing series NSO In Your Neighborhood. The Orchestra also engages with classical audiences of the future through Family Concerts in the Fall and Spring.
“Now more than ever, the NSO is committed to bringing our community together to experience live orchestral music and to hopefully leave feeling refreshed and energized,” said NSO Executive Director Gary Ginstling. “Gianandrea and the NSO musicians have a relationship that continues to develop and blossom, and they are committed to making every evening in the concert hall a special one. With our range of programming and artists next season, we are confident that there will be something for everyone.”
Artists and performances are subject to change.
CONCERTS WITH MUSIC DIRECTOR GIANANDREA NOSEDA
Gianandrea Noseda will lead 14 classical programs in 2022–2023 to include:
- The NSO’s Season Opening Gala, which includes a feast of popular orchestral works that showcase the NSO at its best. Pianist Daniil Trifonov, in the first program of his mini-residency with the Orchestra, is soloist in Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Also on the program are Carlos Simon’s This Land, Bedřich Smetana’s Vltava, and Richard Strauss’ Suite from Der Rosenkavalier. Funds raised through the NSO Gala support the Orchestra’s performances, education programs, and community engagement initiatives throughout the year. Sponsorships will be available in April at kennedy-center.org/nsogala (September 24, 2022).
- A program that salutes former NSO Music Director Mstislav Rostropovich, with NSO Principal Cello David Hardy as soloist in Benjamin Britten’s Cello Symphony—a work written for Rostropovich—and Symphony No. 6 by Sergei Prokofiev, another composer whom Rostropovich knew personally (October 22 & 23, 2022).
- The world premiere of Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 15, commissioned by the NSO and the Kennedy Center, on a program that also includes Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with soloist Julian Rachlin (October 27–29, 2022).
- A Symphonic Surprise! conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. In this format, the program is not announced in advance. Maestro Noseda will provide listeners with tidbits—such as a historical context, technical hints, and short descriptions—and invite audience members to guess the piece. The composer and titles are revealed through these fun interactions as the evening unfolds (November 3–5, 2022).
- The adventures of the early years of flight and the legend of the Flying Dutchman are explored in a program with Samuel Barber’s Night Flight and the world premiere of Michael Daugherty’s Blue Electra, featuring violin soloist Anne Akiko Meyers, on the first half. The second half of the program includes Richard Wagner’s Overture to Der fliegende Holländer and Claude Debussy’s La mer (November 10–12, 2022).
- 2023 begins with two weeks of concerts led by Noseda. On a program that juxtaposes two close friends of the Romantic era, Seong-Jin Cho first joins the NSO as soloist in Johannes Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1, which is followed by Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 3, “Rhenish” (January 12–14, 2023).
- The following week, Leonidas Kavakos returns as soloist in Dmitri Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1. Then, Noseda conducts Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6, one of the composer’s less-performed symphonies that Noseda has called “a perfect match for the NSO’s sound right now” (January 19–21, 2023).
- The second concert in Daniil Trifonov’s mini-residency comes in April, with Trifonov performing two concertos in one weekend: Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 on Thursday and Saturday, and Alexander Scriabin’s Piano Concerto on Friday. The works both fall within Russia’s turbulent early 20th century, known as the Silver Age, which Trifonov chose as the title of his 2020 album release on Deutsche Grammophon. The program opens with Sofia Gubaidulina’s The Rider on the White Horse and closes with Igor Stravinsky’s complete L’Oiseau de feu (“The Firebird”) (April 13–15, 2023).
- Later that month, a program of works inspired by stories and literature features mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges as soloist in Luciano Berio’s Folk Songs, and in the world premiere of a new work by Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon. Opening the program is Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, and the closing work is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet – Fantasy Overture (April 21–23, 2023).
- Another program showcasing the talents of NSO musicians, this time the horn section, with Robert Schumann’s Konzertstück (“Concert Piece”) for 4 Horns and Orchestra. Music by both Mendelssohn siblings also features on this program: Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel’s Overture in C major and Felix Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 3 closes another celebration of the Romantic era (April 27–29, 2023).
- Noseda’s last four weeks with the NSO for the 2022–23 season are devoted to Part II of the Orchestra’s Beethoven & American Masters The first week (May 12 & 13, 2023) pairs Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphonies No. 7 and 8 with Sinfonia No. 5 by George Walker. The following week (May 19 & 20, 2023) features Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 with William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 2, “Song of a New Race.” The third week’s program (May 24 & 25, 2023) brings two of Beethoven’s Overtures—Egmont and Coriolan—and his Symphony No. 2, together with Walker’s Sinfonia No. 2. The grand finale of the entire project (June 1–3, 2023) features Beethoven’s Overture to Prometheus, Walker’s Sinfonia No. 3, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, with three of the four vocal soloists in their NSO debuts, joined by The Washington Chorus.
FIVE NEW COMMISSIONS/THREE WORLD PREMIERES
The NSO continues its longstanding commitment to new music by offering five new commissions and three world premieres in the 2022–2023 season:
- Philip Glass, Symphony No. 15 (NSO Co-Commission, World Premiere)
October 27–29, 2022
The NSO under Music Director Gianandrea Noseda gives the world premiere of Philip Glass’ latest symphony in the composer’s 85th birthday year.
- Michael Daugherty, Blue Electra (Commissioned for Anne Akiko Meyers, World Premiere)
November 10–12, 2022
Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers is soloist in the world premiere of a work by Michael Daugherty, named for Amelia Earhart’s airplane. Gianandrea Noseda conducts.
- Steven Mackey, Mnemosyne’s Pool (NSO Co-Commission)
December 1–3, 2022
David Robertson leads Steven Mackey’s work, co-commissioned with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Symphony Orchestra.
- Jessie Montgomery, Hymn for Everyone (NSO Co-Commission)
March 2 & 4, 2023
Co-commissioned with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Music Academy of the West, Jessie Montgomery’s Hymn for Everyone has its East Coast premiere on a program led by Dalia Stasevska in her NSO debut.
- Carlos Simon, New Work title TBD (NSO Commission, World Premiere)
April 21–23, 2023
Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon’s new work receives its world premiere under Gianandrea Noseda, with mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges as soloist.
- American operatic baritone Will Liverman makes his NSO debut as the Celebrant in Leonard Bernstein’s MASS, led by conductor James Gaffigan, as the culminating event in the Kennedy Center’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Liverman starred in The Metropolitan Opera’s world premiere production of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones, and was nominated for a 2022 Grammy Award® for his album Dreams of a New Day—Songs by Black Composers (September 15, 17 & 18, 2022)
- Conductor Karina Canellakis, Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, makes her debut leading works by Brett Dean, Maurice Ravel, and Béla Bartók (November 17 & 19, 2022).
- Soprano Julia Bullock, who has served as Artist-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the San Francisco Symphony, performs Samuel Barber’s Knoxville – Summer of 1915 in her debut, led by conductor David Robertson (December 1–3, 2022).
- All five guest artists—conductor Fabio Biondi, soprano Liv Redpath, mezzo-soprano Hannah Ludwig, tenor John Matthew Myers, and bass Neal Davies—make their debuts on the NSO’s performances of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah (December 15–18, 2022) with the Choral Arts Society of Washington, led by Scott Tucker, artistic director.
- Italian pianist Beatrice Rana, Silver Medalist at the 2013 Van Cliburn Competition, recently performed Beethoven’s “Emperor” Piano Concerto with NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda and the London Symphony Orchestra; this season, she makes her NSO debut as soloist in Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto under the baton of James Gaffigan (February 2 & 4, 2023).
- Soprano Chen Reiss debuts with the NSO under former Music Director Christoph Eschenbach in performances of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate.
- Violinist Francesca Dego makes her NSO subscription debut this season, performing Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 on a program led by conductor Krzysztof Urbański; she previously joined the NSO on its summer season at Wolf Trap (February 9–11, 2023).
- Dalia Stasevska—Chief Conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra—makes her NSO debut, leading the East Coast Premiere of Jessie Montgomery’s Hymn for Everyone (an NSO Co-Commission) as well as Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and her countryman Jean Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2. Dynamic young pianist Conrad Tao also makes his NSO debut on this program, as soloist in the Shostakovich (March 2 & 4, 2023).
- Russian conductor Stanislav Kochanovsky makes his debut leading an all-Russian program, featuring Sergei Rachmaninoff’s formidable Piano Concerto No. 3 with soloist Stephen Hough, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique” (March 23–25, 2023).
- Kevin James Edusei, who currently serves as Chief Conductor of the Munich Symphony Orchestra, leads violinist Midori in her return as soloist for Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Violin Concerto. The program also contains three works by Maurice Ravel, and Nocturne, the NSO’s first performances of music by Samy Moussa, a composer whom Edusei has championed (March 31 & April 1, 2023).
- Soprano Camilla Tilling, tenor Issachah Savage, and bass-baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann all make their debuts this season as soloists in Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the final concert in the NSO’s Beethoven and American Masters Festival – Part II (June 1–3, 2023).
- The NSO’s 2022–2023 season concludes with a program featuring debuts of conductor Joseph Young and pianist Michelle Cann. Cann is soloist for Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement; the program opens and closes with two composers’ reflections on Shakespeare: Antonín Dvořák’s Othello Overture and an extended suite from Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet (June 8 & 10, 2023).
RETURNING GUEST CONDUCTORS
- James Gaffigan conducts two programs with the NSO in the 2022–2023 season: Leonard Bernstein’s MASS, with stage direction by Alison Moritz (September 15, 17 & 18, 2022); and Beatrice Rana’s NSO debut in Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto, in a program that also features ballet music from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Idomeneo and Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 (February 2 & 4, 2023).
- John Storgårds leads the Orchestra’s first subscription concerts of the season, featuring violinist Leila Josefowicz returning as soloist in John Adams’ Violin Concerto, as well as Sergei Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3 (September 29–October 1, 2022).
- David Robertson, former Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and particularly known as a champion of contemporary works, conducts the NSO premiere of Steven Mackey’s Mnemosyne’s Pool, an NSO co-commission. The all-American program also includes Samuel Barber’s Knoxville – Summer of 1915 with soloist Julia Bullock and Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (December 1–3, 2022).
- Krzysztof Urbański, who served as Music Director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra from 2011 to 2021, returns to lead Krzesany by Wojciech Kilar, known in his native Poland as a prominent film composer, as well as Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with soloist Francesca Dego and Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (“The Rite of Spring”) (February 9–11, 2023).
- Sir Mark Elder, currently Music Director of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, England, conducts Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 (February 16, 18 & 19, 2023).
- Former NSO Music Director Christoph Eschenbach returns this season, leading Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 as well as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Overture to Le nozze di Figaro and Exsultate Jubilate with soprano Chen Reiss (February 23–25, 2023).
NSO FAMILY CONCERTS
These afternoon concerts are designed for young audiences, ages five and up, and take place in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
- Sleepover at the Museum (Saturday, October 15, 2022 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.)
Follow Mason and his friends in a musical and scientific scavenger hunt through the many exhibits that make any natural history museum special! A Creative Conversation takes place after the 4 p.m. performance.
THE KENNEDY CENTER CHAMBER PLAYERS
This four-concert series on Sunday afternoons in the Terrace Theater offers audiences the opportunity to enjoy chamber music performed by titled NSO musicians. The 2022–2023 season performances slated for 2 p.m. on November 20, 2022; January 29, 2023; March 19, 2023; and June 11, 2023. Programming details and performer names will be announced at a later date.
NSO IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
The NSO maintains a robust community engagement program year-round, anchored by the annual In Your Neighborhood (IYN) program, which takes the Orchestra and chamber ensembles into community venues in a particular neighborhood for a concentrated period of activity. In the 2022–2023 season, IYN enters its 12th year with a return to Southeast, East of the River, and the neighborhoods in D.C.’s Ward 8, including Anacostia, Barry Farm, Congress Heights, Joint Base Anacostia Bolling, and Bellevue. A second week of IYN is planned for March of 2023, with the neighborhood details to be announced at a later date.
OTHER NSO SERIES AND PROGRAMS
NSO Pops, DECLASSIFIED® curated by NSO Artistic Advisor Ben Folds, The Anthem series, and programming at the REACH will be announced at a later date.
The Kennedy Center continues to prioritize the health and safety of artists, staff, and patrons. Current protocols can be found here and will continue to be updated as they evolve.
The Blue Series Sponsor is Raytheon
The NSO Music Director Chair is generously endowed by the Sant Family
The NSO Pops Presenting Sponsor is AARP
The Season Opening Gala Presenting Sponsor is the Centene Charitable Fund
Major support provided by Noseda Era Fund Supporters
Additional support provided by the Amici di Gianandrea