Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
2023–2024 National Symphony Orchestra Season Announced Featuring Europe Tour & More

2023–2024 National Symphony Orchestra Season Announced Featuring Europe Tour & More

The 2023–2024 season opens on September 23, 2023 with Fate Now Conquers.

The National Symphony Orchestra has announced its 2023-2024 season led by Music Director Gianandrea Noseda and incoming Executive Director Jean Davidson. The NSO's 93rd season features fresh new works that expand the orchestral repertoire, with programs that reflect on its rich symphonic history and concerts that reach out and nurture new audiences including those outside the Concert Hall.

The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) announces its 2023-2024 season led by Music Director Gianandrea Noseda and incoming Executive Director Jean Davidson. The NSO's 93rd season features fresh new works that expand the orchestral repertoire, with programs that reflect on its rich symphonic history and concerts that reach out and nurture new audiences including those outside the Concert Hall.

From February 16-28, 2024, Noseda leads his first international tour with the NSO; the orchestra's first multi-city European tour since 2016. The NSO will visit some of Europe's most important concert halls performing for audiences in Spain, Germany, and Italy, joined by soloists pianist Seong-Jin Cho and violinist Hilary Hahn. Noseda will bring the NSO to his home city, Milan, with a performance at the Teatro alla Scala on February 26, 2024, at the invitation of the Filarmonica della Scala with which Noseda has a close relationship as a guest conductor.

Music Director Gianandrea Noseda said of the 2023-2024 season: "I am honored that the National Symphony Orchestra has chosen to celebrate my 60th birthday throughout this season. My life has been dedicated to music and without the incredible artists by whom I am surrounded-from the NSO to many friends and colleagues-I would not be here today. The program we have crafted is a journey through my many musical 'acts' with a focus on what I love doing at home and on the podium: story-telling."

A centerpiece of the NSO's mission is its commitment to new works by many of today's leading composers, co-commissioned with other American and international orchestras. Among the highlights this season is Adolphus Hailstork's new work, JFK: The Last Speech, presented on the 60th anniversary of that speech at Amherst College, featuring Phylicia Rashad as the narrator, soprano Katerina Burton, and conducted by Kevin John Edusei. Other commissions include works by Kennedy Center Honoree Tania León, Billy Childs, Bryce Dessner, and Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon.

In addition to its regular subscription concerts, the NSO connects with the larger D.C. community through performances at The Anthem at D.C.'s The Wharf and through its ongoing community engagement initiative, NSO In Your Neighborhood. The Orchestra also engages with classical audiences of the future through Family Concerts in the fall and spring.

Additional programming aimed at reaching new audiences and expanding the orchestra's artistic scope includes NSO's acclaimed Pops series, its free annual Notes of Honor initiative for active duty and retired service members, Sound Health with the National Institutes of Health, DECLASSIFIED® curated by NSO Artistic Advisor Ben Folds, and concerts at the REACH. Programming to be announced at a later date.

CONCERTS WITH MUSIC DIRECTOR GIANANDREA NOSEDA

Act I: Gianandrea's Roots

The 2023-2024 season opens on September 23, 2023 with Fate Now Conquers, a work by Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon. The Season Opening Gala Concert program also includes Edward Elgar's Introduction and Allegro, featuring assistant principal musicians from the NSO in solo roles, and Ravel's arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

An all-Rachmaninoff program, nodding to Noseda's time as principal guest conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, celebrates the composer's 150th birthday in 2023. The program opens with the symphonic poem The Rock and closes with the choral symphony The Bells, featuring soprano Elena Stikhina, tenor Sergey Skorokhodov, bassbaritone Alexey Markov, and the Choral Arts Society of Washington. Denis Kozhukhin is soloist in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 4 (September 28-30, 2023).

The following week sees a program of Ottorino Respighi's trilogy of Roman tone poems: Fontane di Roma, Pini di Roma, and Feste Romane (October 5-7, 2023) in celebration of Noseda's Italian heritage.

Act II: Gianandrea's Friends

The new year begins with a series of weeks uniting Noseda with some of his most frequent collaborators. The first week sees pianist Fazil Say make his NSO debut as soloist in the Keyboard Concerto in E minor by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach-Johann Sebastian's oldest son-and Stravinsky's Capriccio. Also on the program are Stravinsky's Concerto in D and Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 95 (January 11-13, 2024).

Gil Shaham is soloist in Antonín Dvořák's Violin Concerto in a program that opens with Ethel Smyth's Overture to The Wreckers and closes with Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 9, "The Great" (January 18 and 20-21, 2024).

The following week, pianist Seong-Jin Cho returns to the NSO as soloist in Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4. Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon's Concerto for Orchestra, an NSO co-commission, opens the program, and Dimitri Shostakovich's enigmatic Symphony No. 5 brings the first month of the year to a close (January 25-27, 2024).

Last in this series of concerts is Hilary Hahn as soloist in Erich Wolfgang Korngold's cinematic Violin Concerto. Noseda also leads the orchestra in Alban Berg's Lyric Suite, arranged for orchestra by Berg from the original string quartet version, and Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, "Eroica" (February 7-9, 2024).

The NSO returns to Carnegie Hall in New York with James Ehnes in Korngold's Violin Concerto, along with Berg's Lyric Suite and Beethoven's "Eroica" (February 12, 2024).

From February 16-28, 2024, the NSO embarks on its first multi-city European tour since 2016. Noseda leads the orchestra joined by guest soloists Seong-Jin Cho and Hilary Hahn in programs that feature repertoire from this season. Additional details to be announced at a later date.

Act III: Launching New Opera-in-Concert Series

The first of Noseda's final two subscription concerts in the 2023-2024 season is a nod to the equal love he has for both opera and symphonic works. This third and final residency this season begins with Symphony No. 7, a masterwork by a titan of symphonic writing, Gustav Mahler who was, himself, an opera conductor (May 30-June 1, 2024).

The final concerts of the NSO's 93rd season-and Noseda's seventh season as Music Director-see the launch of a new opera-in-concert series. Recently named Best Conductor 2023 at Germany's international OPER! AWARDS, Noseda leads the orchestra in concert performances of his favorite operas, beginning with Giuseppe Verdi's Otello. The cast is led by tenor Arsen Soghomonyan in the title role, joined by soprano Erika Grimaldi, baritone Roman Burdenko, tenor Francesco Marsiglia, WNO Cafritz Young Artists, and the Choral Arts Society of Washington. Previously, Noseda led the NSO in a program of the second act of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in November 2019, which brought the orchestra to David Geffen Hall in New York. This series is a continuation of the orchestra's commitment to presenting opera with Noseda (June 7 and 9, 2024).

SIX NEW COMMISSIONS

Adolphus Hailstork, JFK: The Last Speech (NSO Co-Commission)

October 26 and 28, 2023 A new work by Adolphus Hailstork commemorates the last speech of President John F. Kennedy, which he delivered at Amherst College on October 26, 1963; the first of these two concerts takes place on the 60th anniversary of that occasion. The libretto, which intersperses lines from the speech with quotations from the poetry of Robert Frost, was written by a former Amherst senior Neil Bicknell who was in the audience for the speech. Soprano Katerina Burton is featured along with Tony Award®-winning actress Phylicia Rashad as the narrator. Kevin John Edusei conducts the program, which also includes Duke Ellington's Harlem-in honor of Ellington's 125th birthday-and John Adams' Harmonielehre.

Tania León, Pasajes (NSO Co-Commission)

November 2-4, 2023 Gustavo Gimeno leads a new work by 2022 Kennedy Center Honoree Tania León, cocommissioned by the NSO. Also on the program are Brahms' Symphony No. 4 and Camille Thomas performing Elgar's Cello Concerto in her debut.

Carlos Simon, Concerto for Orchestra (NSO Co-Commission)

January 25-27, 2024 Gianandrea Noseda will conduct Carlos Simon's new Concerto for Orchestra, a co-commission. Also on the program are Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 with Seong-Jin Cho and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5.

Billy Childs, Saxophone Concerto (NSO Co-Commission)

April 11-13, 2024 Billy Childs wrote his new Saxophone Concerto, an NSO co-commission, for Steven Banks, winner of a 2022 Avery Fisher Career Grant. The program opens with Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Ballade for Orchestra and closes with Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World." Xian Zhang conducts.

Bryce Dessner, Mari (NSO Co-Commission)

May 9-11, 2024 In his debut, Daniele Rustioni leads the latest NSO co-commission from Bryce Dessner. Also on the program are Franz Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Benjamin Grosvenor and Hector Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique.

Anna Clyne, This Moment (NSO Co-Commission)

May 16, 18-19, 2024 Anna Clyne was commissioned through the League of American Orchestra's Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Orchestra Commissions Program and her piece This Moment will have been premiered at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival in Colorado. Thomas Wilkins leads the program that also features Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with Randall Goosby in his NSO debut and works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Elgar.

ARTIST DEBUTS

Soprano Elena Stikhina, tenor Sergey Skorokhodov, and bass-baritone Alexey Markov make their debuts on Rachmaninoff's The Bells under the baton of Music Director Gianandrea Noseda, as part of the Rachmaninoff at 150 celebration (September 28-30, 2023).

Finnish conductor Tarmo Peltokoski-last year appointed principal guest conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic at age 22-makes his NSO debut this season, leading the Prelude to Richard Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Béla Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Yuja Wang as soloist, and Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 1 (November 9, 11-12, 2023).

Orion Weiss performs Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 12 in his NSO debut under conductor Michael Tilson Thomas (November 16 and 18, 2023).

Franco-Belgian cellist Camille Thomas, the first female cellist to join the artist roster of the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label, performs Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in her NSO debut with Gustavo Gimeno leading the orchestra (November 2-4, 2023).

For his NSO debut, conductor Dima Slobodeniouk leads pianist Yefim Bronfman and the NSO in Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2; the program also includes Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 (November 30-December 2, 2023).

Laurence Equilbey, founder of period instrument ensemble Insula Orchestra, makes her NSO debut leading the orchestra's annual performances of George Frideric Handel's Messiah. Soprano Robin Johannsen, countertenor Christopher Lowrey, tenor Aaron Sheehan, and baritone Jonathon Adams also make their debuts on this program (December 14-17, 2023).

Turkish pianist Fazil Say, a frequent collaborator of Music Director Gianandrea Noseda in other cities, makes his NSO debut performing W.F. Bach's Keyboard Concerto in E minor and Stravinsky's Capriccio, conducted by Noseda (January 11-13, 2024).

Conductor José Luis Gomez makes his subscription debut with the NSO in Classics in Concert, a program of light classics, featuring NSO Associate Concertmaster Ying Fu (March 7-9, 2024).

Bernard Labadie-music director of La Chapelle du Québec and principal conductor of Orchestra of St. Luke's-makes his debut leading a program of works all premiered in Paris: Henri-Joseph Rigel's Symphony No. 4, Mozart's Symphony No. 31, "Paris," and Gabriel Fauré's Requiem with soprano Joélle Harvey and bass-baritone Michael Sumuel, who is also making his NSO debut (April 4 and 6, 2024).

In his debut, Italian conductor Daniele Rustioni leads Mari, an NSO co-commission by Bryce Dessner (see: Commissions & Premieres), as well as Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Benjamin Grosvenor and Hector Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique (May 9-11, 2024).

Violinist Randall Goosby makes his NSO debut in Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, conducted by Thomas Wilkins (May 16, 18-19, 2024).

Tenor Arsen Soghomonyan, who made his debut at Otello at the Bayerische Staatsoper in 2022, makes his NSO debut in the same role in the opera-in-concert production of Verdi's Otello, led by Music Director Gianandrea Noseda. Baritone Roman Burdenko and tenor Francesco Marsiglia will also make their NSO debuts in this production (June 7 & 9, 2024).

RETURNING GUEST CONDUCTORS

Joshua Bell leads a special concert before the official Season Opening Gala Concert, serving as soloist and conductor in Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1, and leading Mendelssohn's Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream and Symphony No. 4, "Italian" (September 15-16, 2023).

Kevin John Edusei returns after making his debut in the 2022-2023 season, leading the NSO cocommissioned JFK: The Last Speech by Hailstork (see: Commissions & Premieres), alongside works by Ellington and Adams (October 26 and 28, 2023).

Longtime former San Francisco Symphony music director and co-founder of the New World Symphony Michael Tilson Thomas leads Olly Wilson's Shango Memory, Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 12 with soloist Orion Weiss (see: Artist Debuts), and Arnold Schoenberg's orchestration of Brahms' Piano Quartet (November 16 and 18, 2023).

Xian Zhang, who currently serves as music director of the New Jersey Symphony, leads Billy Childs' new Saxophone Concerto for Steven Banks (see: Commissions & Premieres), ColeridgeTaylor's Ballade for Orchestra, and Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World" (April 11- 13, 2024).

Australian conductor Simone Young returns for a program comprising Kaija Saariaho's Orion, Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 9, "Jeunehomme," with soloist Lise de la Salle, and Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra (April 18 and 20, 2024).

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra music director Manfred Honeck leads a program featuring Beethoven's Romances Nos. 1 & 2 with NSO Concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef as soloist, his Overture to Fidelio, and Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 (May 2-4, 2024).

Thomas Wilkins leads powerhouse young violinist Randall Goosby in his NSO debut (see: Artist Debuts) as soloist in Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. Also on the program is a work cocommissioned by the NSO, Anna Clyne's This Moment, along with Coleridge-Taylor's Danse nègre, and Elgar's Enigma Variations (May 16, 18-19, 2024).

NSO FAMILY CONCERTS

These afternoon concerts are designed for young audiences, ages five and up, and take place in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. A third family concert in the spring will be announced at a later date.

 Halloween Spooktacular (Sunday, October 22, 2023 at 2:00 and 4:00 PM) Led by Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, the Halloween Spooktacular continues an annual tradition where costumed musicians perform Halloween-themed repertoire to celebrate Halloween.

The Music of Duke Ellington (Sunday, March 17, 2024 at 2:00 and 4:00 PM) These performances will be conducted by Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser and are part of the Kennedy Center's season-long celebration of Duke Ellington's 125th birthday.

NSO IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

The NSO's longest-running community engagement initiative, the In Your Neighborhood (IYN) program, takes the Orchestra and small ensembles into community venues in a particular neighborhood for a concentrated period of activity in a particular neighborhood. Next season, the program enters its 12th year. In the fall of 2022, NSO musicians performed more than 20 events throughout the Ward 8 District, East of the River. This spring, more than 25 chamber performances will take place in Ward 5, in the Brentwood, Brookland, Eckington, Fort Lincoln, Woodridge, Trinidad, and University Heights neighborhoods.

NOTES OF HONOR

The NSO will present its annual free performance for members of the military and their families as part of the NSO Notes of Honor initiative. This marks the seventh year of the NSO's initiative that aims to recognize and express the Orchestra's gratitude to active duty and prior service members, veterans, and retired service members through free programming at the Kennedy Center.

THE KENNEDY CENTER CHAMBER PLAYERS

This Sunday matinee concert series at 2:00 PM in the Terrace Theater offers audiences the opportunity to hear chamber music performed by titled NSO musicians. Additional artists and repertoire to be announced. Performances will take place on November 5, 2023; January 14, 2024; and April 7, 2024.



Embracing Arlington Arts Releases 2023 One-Stop Library Of Studies Of Health Benefits Of T Photo
The non-profit organization Embracing Arlington Arts is proud to release its third edition of a one-stop library database of 100 study links providing scientific evidence of the health benefits (both physically and mentally) of various arts genres for every community sector.

Round House Theatre Commissions Works by James Ijames, Inda Craig-Galván & More Photo
Round House Theatre has commissioned works by James Ijames, Inda Craig-Galván, and joint-commissioned Margot Bordelon and Jiehae Park.

Review: SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! at Fords Theatre Photo
What did our critic think of SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! at Ford's Theatre? Four lady singers dominate in the very best way SHOUT SISTER SHOUT!, a musical biography of Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973). at Ford's Theatre through May 13. Sister Rosetta began singing in church alongside her mother, Katie Bell, who traveled and preached in the rural South before women could vote.

Signature Theatres SIMPLY SONDHEIM Starring Norm Lewis, Solea Pfeiffer & More Re-Relea Photo
Signature Theatre is presenting a streaming re-release of its 2021 digital production of Simply Sondheim on March 22 in honor of the late composer’s birthday in continuation of its season-long tribute to Signature’s signature, Stephen Sondheim.


More Hot Stories For You


Embracing Arlington Arts Releases 2023 One-Stop Library Of Studies Of Health Benefits Of The ArtsEmbracing Arlington Arts Releases 2023 One-Stop Library Of Studies Of Health Benefits Of The Arts
March 23, 2023

The non-profit organization Embracing Arlington Arts is proud to release its third edition of a one-stop library database of 100 study links providing scientific evidence of the health benefits (both physically and mentally) of various arts genres for every community sector.

Round House Theatre Commissions Works by James Ijames, Inda Craig-Galván & MoreRound House Theatre Commissions Works by James Ijames, Inda Craig-Galván & More
March 22, 2023

Round House Theatre has commissioned works by James Ijames, Inda Craig-Galván, and joint-commissioned Margot Bordelon and Jiehae Park.

Signature Theatre's SIMPLY SONDHEIM Starring Norm Lewis, Solea Pfeiffer & More Re-ReleasedSignature Theatre's SIMPLY SONDHEIM Starring Norm Lewis, Solea Pfeiffer & More Re-Released
March 22, 2023

Signature Theatre is presenting a streaming re-release of its 2021 digital production of Simply Sondheim on March 22 in honor of the late composer’s birthday in continuation of its season-long tribute to Signature’s signature, Stephen Sondheim.

Photos & Video: Get a First Look at SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! at Ford's TheatrePhotos & Video: Get a First Look at SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! at Ford's Theatre
March 22, 2023

Get a first look at photos of the east coast premiere of Shout Sister Shout at Ford's Theatre!

Photos/Video: First Look At Ford's Theatre's SHOUT SISTER SHOUT!Photos/Video: First Look At Ford's Theatre's SHOUT SISTER SHOUT!
March 21, 2023

The Ford's Theatre 2022-2023 season continues with SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! by Cheryl L. West, based off the biography by Gayle F. Wald, production supervised by Sheldon Epps and directed by Kenneth L. Roberson. Check out first look photos below!