Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Audra McDonald, Joshua Henry, Kelli O'Hara & More to Take Part in Kennedy Center's 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert

They join previously announced artists including Elizabeth Acevedo, Herman Cornejo, Renée Fleming, Ben Folds, Randall Goosby, and more.

Audra McDonald, Joshua Henry, Kelli O'Hara & More to Take Part in Kennedy Center's 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert

The Kennedy Center's 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert, to be held on September 14 in the Concert Hall, will now be broadcast across the nation on October 1 at 9 p.m. ET as THE KENNEDY CENTER at 50 on PBS, PBS.org, and the PBS video app. Echoing "An American Pageant for the Arts," the 1962 fundraising telecast for the National Cultural Center hosted by Leonard Bernstein, this special celebration will be hosted by six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald with special guest Caroline Kennedy and feature the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO). The concert will be directed and choreographed by Emmy Award® winner and Tony Award® nominee Joshua Bergasse and feature newly announced conductors JoAnn Falletta, Steven Reineke, and Thomas Wilkins.

"I am delighted that viewers across the country will be able to take part in the 50th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center through this special PBS broadcast," said Kennedy Center president Deborah Rutter. "I offer my continued well wishes for Michael Tilson Thomas on his journey to health as we carry forward his vision for the evening with JoAnn, Steven, Thomas, and all of these incredible artists whose work spans the breadth and depth of the performing arts in America. This promises to be an unmissable evening in celebration of the National Cultural Center and memorial to John F. Kennedy."

"PBS is honored to partner with the Kennedy Center as it celebrates five decades of extraordinary theater, dance and music. Performing arts are central to the cultural fabric of our nation, and we are excited to mark this wonderful occasion by showcasing these talented artists with audiences across the country," said Paula Kerger, PBS President & CEO.

Newly announced to take part in celebrating the great performance traditions that have enriched our varied cultural heritage and the bright future that lies ahead are Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, creators of the TikTok smash The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical; violinist Ray Chen; Tony® and Grammy Award® nominee Joshua Henry; four-time Grammy Award®-winning pianist, composer, producer, and founding Kennedy Center Hip Hop Culture Council Member Robert Glasper; Tony Award® winner David Henry Hwang and the original cast of his and Jeanine Tesori's groundbreaking musical-within-a-play, Soft Power; Grammy®-nominated soul singer-songwriter Bettye Lavette; Latin Grammy® winner and Grammy Award® nominee Gaby Moreno; Tony Award® winner Kelli O'Hara; Star Wars and Raya and the Last Dragon star Kelly Marie Tran; pianist Zhu Wang; and Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems in a world premiere collaboration with Artistic Advisor to the NSO, Ben Folds.

They join previously announced artists, including National Poetry Slam champion and 2018 National Book Award winner Elizabeth Acevedo; dancer, choreographer, and tradition-bearer of Black American social dance LaTasha Barnes; American Ballet Theatre principal dancers Herman Cornejo and Cassandra Trenary; Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor at Large Renée Fleming; violinist Randall Goosby; Lucille Lortel Award-nominated tap dancers featured on So You Think You Can Dance John Manzari and Leo Manzari; Grammy Award®-winning bassist/composer Christian McBride; Grammy Award®-winning musician Keb' Mo'; lead singer of Lake Street Drive Rachael Price; Grammy Award®-winning band Punch Brothers; and Astaire Award winner and Tony Award® nominee Tony Yazbeck. Activist-scholar and Piscataway tribe historian, Dr. Gabrielle Tayac, will participate in a land acknowledgement that will feature a performance from Lance Fisher and Giovanna Gross.

Tickets to the 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert are available at the Kennedy Center website or by calling (202) 467-4600. To learn more about the Kennedy Center's 50th Anniversary, click here.

TodayTix

Related Stories

More Hot Stories For You


Bloomingdale School Of Music 2022/23 Faculty Concert Series to Begin in OctoberBloomingdale School Of Music 2022/23 Faculty Concert Series to Begin in October
September 30, 2022

Bloomingdale School of Music has announced its 2022/23 Faculty Concert Series at the David Greer Concert Hall, 323 West 108th Street, NYC. The upcoming season will feature rarely heard classical and jazz music for various instruments and voices performed by Bloomingdale's outstanding faculty and guest artists.

ALL THINGS EQUAL - THE LIFE AND TRIALS OF RUTH BADER GINSBURG to Launch 2022-23 National Tour Next MonthALL THINGS EQUAL - THE LIFE AND TRIALS OF RUTH BADER GINSBURG to Launch 2022-23 National Tour Next Month
September 30, 2022

All Things Equal – The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a new play by multiple-Tony Award winning playwright Rupert Holmes, will launch its 16 city, 2022-2023 National Tour on Oct. 5th in St. Petersburg, FL.  

White Castle and Evil Genius Beer Company Partner on New Limited Edition IPAWhite Castle and Evil Genius Beer Company Partner on New Limited Edition IPA
September 30, 2022

Philadelphia-based Evil Genius Beer Company has unveiled their most craveable partnership yet as they announce a new limited edition beer, It Hits Different, with the iconic fast-food brand, White Castle®.

TheaterWorksUSA to Present THE LIGHTNING THIEF Theatre for Young Audiences Edition at Five Angels TheaterTheaterWorksUSA to Present THE LIGHTNING THIEF Theatre for Young Audiences Edition at Five Angels Theater
September 30, 2022

TheaterWorksUSA new, 60-minute production of The Lightning Thief: Theatre for Young Audiences Edition will perform in New York City before heading out on its quest around the country. Performing two shows only on October 1, 3 PM and 7 PM at Five Angels Theater.

Musical Duo Charming Disaster to Perform at Caveat in OctoberMusical Duo Charming Disaster to Perform at Caveat in October
September 30, 2022

On October 7, goth-folk duo Charming Disaster will launch Halloween season by bringing their Musical Tarot Show to Lower East Side speakeasy venue Caveat. Stage magician and storyteller Nelson Lugo will perform an opening act.