September NSO In Your Neighborhood Schedule Announced

In Your Neighborhood: East D.C.

September 12-16, 2019, join the National Symphony Orchestra for the first In Your Neighborhood series taking place in September!

NSO In Your Neighborhood is a community engagement initiative that provides free NSO performances and activities for one week in a specific D.C. neighborhood. Events range from full NSO concerts and chamber performances to in-school visits and masterclasses, presented in collaboration with local and community-based venues.

This fall, the NSO partners with community-based organizations, local artists, and neighborhoods across Wards 5, 6, and 7 to celebrate the rich cultural legacy in Northeast Washington, D.C. All events are FREE and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, September 12

Community Performance
12–1 p.m. • American Job Center • 4058 Minnesota Avenue, NE
NSO harpist Adriana Horne performs for the staff and job seekers at the D.C. Department of Employment Services headquarters.

On-air Interview
3–4 p.m. • WPFW 89.3 FM Radio
Tune into WPFW’s Jazz and Justice radio show hosted by pianist and founder of the DC Women in Jazz Festival, Amy Bormet, to learn more about the In Your Neighborhood community engagement initiative and upcoming performances.

Full Orchestra Community Concert
8 p.m. • Echostage • 2135 Queens Chapel Rd, NE
The NSO returns to Echostage for a full orchestra concert led by NSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke! The Orchestra plays a high-energy program perfect for symphonic and R&B/soul music lovers alike. Don’t miss this chance to witness the power of the full orchestra, featuring vocal soloists Mykal Kilgore and Nova Payton. This concert is standing room only. Doors open at 7 p.m., the pre-show starts at 8 p.m., and the NSO concert begins at 8:45 p.m. 85 minutes, no intermission

The National Symphony Orchestra at Echostage in January 2015

Friday, September 13

Community Performance
6–7 p.m. • The DC Eagle Bar • 3701 Benning Road, NE
One of D.C.’s oldest and largest LGBTQ bars (est. 1971) hosts a chamber performance on their indoor stage during happy hour with Jeffrey Weisner, Charles Nilles, Alexander Jacobsen, and William Wasson’s upright bass quartet.

Community Performance
6:30–7:30 p.m. • Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy • 3675 Ely Place, SE
Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, a community-based organization that uses baseball and softball to foster positive character development and academic achievement, hosts an NSO string ensemble featuring Wanzhen Li (violin), Eric deWaardt (viola), and Eugena Chang (cello) performing for students, families, and the general public in their “All-Star Pavilion.” This event is outdoors. In the event of inclement weather, this event will take place indoors.

Saturday, September 14

Neighborhood Block Party
12–2 p.m. • Kenilworth Recreation Center • 4321 Ord Street, NE (outdoor parking lot)
In 2017, Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled the newly renovated expansion of the Kenilworth Recreation Center, designed to be eco-friendly and energy-efficient. To highlight the city’s continued commitment of support for economic development in Ward 7, the NSO is hosting a Neighborhood Block Party in advance of a full orchestra concert. Activities include local small business vendors, snacks, D.C. Public Library’s Go-Go Tech Truck, an Instrument Petting Zoo, and more!

Full Orchestra Community Concert
2 p.m. • Kenilworth Recreation Center • 4321 Ord Street, NE
Don’t miss the NSO in this full orchestra concert at the Kenilworth Recreation Center. Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl leads a program of diverse composers and unique compositions, featuring D.C. violinist and vocalist Chelsey Green and The Green Project and NSO cellist Rachel Young. Seating is first-come, first-served, and space is limited. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

Community Performance: A Marvin Gaye Tribute
8–9 p.m. • The Riverside Center • 5200 Foote Street, NE
Held at the historic site of Marvin Gaye’s professional singing debut, The Riverside Center, formerly known as the Crystal Room nightclub, now serves as a healthy food incubator space, bike repair station, and community programming venue operated by Washington Parks & People. An NSO string ensemble—including Wanzhen Li (violin), Tsuna Sakamoto (viola), and Steven Honigberg (cello)—pays homage to the District’s legacy of Marvin Gaye in an intimate performance of selected arrangements featuring local favorite Cecily—a vocalist, songwriter, and 2019 Best Soul Album Wammie Award winner. Seating is first-come, first-served, and space is limited.

Sunday, September 15

Community Performance
2 p.m. • City Winery • 1350 Okie Street, NE
With a mantra of “Indulge the Senses,” City Winery specializes in combining culinary and cultural experiences for music lovers to enjoy sounds, smells, tastes, and views all at once. City Winery hosts NSO musicians Nurit Bar-Josef (violin), Angelia Cho (violin), Daniel Foster (viola), Chiara Kingsley Dieguez (viola), and Loewi Lin (cello) for a chamber concert during their weekend brunch in the Wine Garden. Patrons have the option to purchase brunch while enjoying the free performance. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and brunch service continues until 2:30 p.m. This event is free, but RSVPs are requested. To RSVP, visit

Community Performance
12–1 p.m. • Freshe Café • 601 Division Avenue, NE
Join NSO musician Peter Cain (bass clarinet) and guest musician Sara Matayoshi (violin) as they perform an afternoon concert at this community-based farm-to-table café, which also doubles as a culinary arts training location for local youth and adults. Seating is first-come, first-served, and space is limited.

Masterclass: Violin Re-Identified: From Bach to Beyoncé and BEYOND!
2–3 p.m. • Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library • 3935 Benning Road, NE
Explore the unique sound of violin re-identified with special guest Chelsey Green and The Green Project as they dare to break the barrier between multiple musical worlds. In a workshop designed to introduce audiences of all ages to the infinite possibilities of violin performance within live music, take your ears on a journey through music history—from classical to jazz to pop—and experience how musicians and non-musicians alike can transform their lives through the power of personal creativity.

Community Performance
3–4 p.m. • The United States National Arboretum • 3501 New York Avenue, NE
The NSO presents a chamber performance on the Arboretum lawn featuring NSO musicians Leah Arsenault Barrick (flute), Jamie Roberts (oboe), and Robert Rearden (horn) and guest musicians Kristin Bowers (clarinet) and Sam Blair (bassoon). This event is outdoors and audiences are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to enjoy the concert. In the event of inclement weather, this event will take place in the Visitors Center Auditorium.

Community Performance
6–7 p.m. • Chuck Brown Memorial Park • 2901 20th Street, NE
Go-Go, a subgenre of funk music, was born out of Washington, D.C.’s rich cultural history. Paying homage to this legacy made popular by the late American guitarist, bandleader, and singer Chuck Brown—nicknamed “The Godfather of Go-Go”—the NSO presents a chamber concert in collaboration with the GoGo Symphony, featuring NSO musicians Aaron Goldman (flute) and Stephen Dumaine (tuba), and guest musicians Amy McCabe (trumpet), and Wei-Ping Chou (horn) alongside Go-Go legends Mighty Moe Hagans and JuJu House, performing in the plaza at Chuck Brown Memorial Park. In the event of inclement weather, this event will be rescheduled.

Monday, September 16

Community Performance
12–1 p.m. • American Job Center • 4058 Minnesota Avenue, NE
NSO musician Jamie Roberts (oboe) and guest musicians Joey Grimmer (bassoon), and Jamila Tekalli (keyboard)—play for staff and job seekers at the D.C. Department of Employment Services headquarters.

Community Performance
6–7 p.m. • Marvin Gaye Recreation Center • 15 61st Street, NE
Curated in collaboration with the NSO’s Community Advisory Group (consisting of local artists, arts organizations, and community members), this event features an NSO chamber performance interspersed with audio of oral histories of musicians and long-time residents of Ward 7. This performance encourages audiences to reflect on the dynamics of a changing city through the lens of music, arts, and culture.

Community Performance
7–8 p.m. • Eastern Senior High School • 1700 East Capitol Street, NE
Serving grades 9–12, Eastern High School has a historic legacy of advocating for students and families through rigorous academics and a plethora of extra-curricular activities. Members of the NSO perform a chamber concert at the main entrance of the school, featuring Wanzhen Li (violin), Eric deWaardt (viola), and Eugena Chang (cello). This event is outdoors. Audiences are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to enjoy the performance. In the event of inclement weather, this event will take place in the Auditorium.

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Share your In Your Neighborhood experiences on social media!

Tag your posts, photos and video using the hashtag #NSOneighbor, and tag us on Facebook & Twitter.

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NSO In Your Neighborhood is presented as part of The Irene Pollin Audience Development and Community Engagement Initiatives.

Major support for NSO In Your Neighborhood is provided by

Linda and Tobia Mercuro, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and Tina and Albert Small, Jr.

Additional support is provided by Melanie and Larry Nussdorf and Dr. Michael Angell.

David M. Rubenstein is the Presenting Underwriter of the NSO.

NSO In Your Neighborhood Schedule Announced

For 2019, NSO In Your Neighborhood returns to the Columbia Heights, U Street, and Shaw areas of our nation’s capital. All events are free and open to the public. Seating is limited to the capacity of each venue and available on a first-come, first served basis unless otherwise noted. Some events require advanced reservations. All events/artists/programs are subject to change and/or cancellation without prior notice. Read more

Gianandrea Noseda on one of his signature works, Britten’s War Requiem

Merging the Latin Mass for the Dead with anti-war poems by a young officer named Wilfred Owen who was killed just days before the end of World War I, Britten’s War Requiem is an emotional indictment of war as a heroic myth, which Owen called ‘the Old Lie.’ As November marks 100 years since the Armistice of World War I, the NSO will combine forces with some of today’s most gifted voices and choral groups for this epic work. Britten said he wanted the soloists to represent “the three nations that had suffered most during the war,” and in this performance, NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda honors that tradition conducting a Russian soprano Karina Flores, British tenor Ian Bostridge, and German baritone Matthias Goerne.

Maestro Noseda shared some of his thoughts on the piece with us:

Read more

Capitol Concert Memories: Glenn Garlick

Ahead of the National Symphony Orchestra’s annual performance at the National Memorial Day Concert, broadcasted live on PBS each year, musician Glenn Garlick shares some memories of playing at the U.S. Capitol. Watch this year’s National Memorial Day Concert live at 8 p.m. on PBS. Check local listings. 

I have been in the NSO since 1980 so I have played a lot of Capitol concerts. My memories of early concerts on the Capitol grounds are mixed…I am not sure which were Memorial Day, July Fourth or Labor Day. It seems to me that in the beginning we did not differentiate the holidays so much. Rather, we played a concert of generally light classical music for anyone who wanted to attend, with a lot of American classics (Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin) mixed in.

One problem with an outdoor concert is that Nature sometimes takes over and spills a lot of water on everyone. One such concert was due to be conducted by our then-Music Director, Mstislav (Slava) Rostropovich. Rain was predicted for the evening and our management was in constant contact with the weather service to determine if we should cancel the concert or try to fit it in before the storm arrived. The concert was scheduled for 8:00 p.m. and, if the weather service was correct, the storm would sweep through at 8:00. But, the prediction was that at 8:00 there would be about 20 minutes of very heavy rain followed by a beautiful, cool evening. Our manager, Henry Fogel, announced to the crowd that heavy rain was on the way, but if they could last it out and stay, we would still play. A huge cheer went up from the crowd and everyone hunkered down and covered up as much as possible.

Read more

Back from Russia and on to Shostakovich

After a whirlwind tour of Moscow and St. Petersburg, the NSO is back home rehearsing for this weekend’s concerts in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. It’s fitting that immediately upon their return from Russia the orchestra will perform music by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich.

Shostakovich was a close friend of former NSO music director, Mstislav Rostopovich and his Symphony No. 5 is a favorite of the orchestra. Since the NSO was founded, it has been performed well over one hundred times! Here’s what NSO cellist Glenn Garlick had to say about the piece last time it was performed in May 2013.

NSO Tour in Russia: Wednesday in Moscow

Rostropovich Festival founder, director, and Slava’s daughter, Olga Rostropovich, with Maestro Eschenbach, welcomes the NSO to Moscow and to the festival on Wednesday morning at the start of rehearsal.

NSO music director Christoph Eschenbach conducts the first rehearsal of the tour on Wednesday morning at Moscow Conservatory — a musically important venue where many of the great Russian composers and musicians (among them Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, and of course Rostropovich) performed, taught, and conducted. Read more

NSO Tour to Russia: Tuesday in Moscow

A poster for the Rostropovich Festival promotes the upcoming NSO concerts in Moscow. 

Press materials await pickup at Tuesday’s press conference at the TASS news agency in Moscow.

Photographers get their shots of the participants at the press conference. 

Speakers take their seats at the press conference on Tuesday at TASS. (L-R: translator, NSO violist William Foster, Festival founder Olga Rostropovich, Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter, NSO Concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef, and press event moderator).

NSO violist William Foster reminisces with Slava’s daughter, Olga, about working with Slava when he was NSO music director (1977-1994).

NSO concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef talks about Slava’s impact on the Orchestra and how his influence is still felt today.

A writer from a Russian magazine directs a question to the NSO’s William Foster at Tuesday’s press conference.

Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter answers a question from the press at Tuesday’s press conference.

NSO cellist Steven Honigberg coaches a quintet of young Russian musicians in a masterclass on Tuesday afternoon.

NSO cellist Steven Honigberg demonstrates a musical point for a Russian bassist in Tuesday’s masterclass.

US Ambassador John Tefft and Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter chat during a welcome reception at Spaso House on Tuesday evening.

Ambassador Tefft and his wife Mariella greet Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter (L) and Olga Rostropovich (R) on Tuesday evening.

NSO Principal Viola Daniel Foster and NSO keyboardist Lisa Emenheiser perform a short recital of music by Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff for the guests at Spaso House on Tuesday.

Olga Rostropovich (L) and Deborah Rutter chat with NSO Music Director Christoph Eschenbach after the performance at Spaso House.

A tiramisu cake honors Slava’s 90th birthday, which would have been Monday, March 27.

A replica of the Kennedy Center’s bust of John F. Kennedy by American sculptor Robert Berks sits at Spaso House in Moscow.

Moscow’s famous Red Square is lit up at night.

NSO musicians use the underground street crossing to walk back to the hotel after Tuesday’s reception.

All photos by Scott Suchman.

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