Every now and then, the classical-music world reaches a fever pitch in its praise for a young artist. Such is the case with Gustavo Dudamel, a 27-year-old conductor from Venezuela—one of more than 400,000 young people, many from impoverished households, who have come through El Sistema, that country’s program of music education. On November 18, “Dudi” conducts the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony and Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98. For tickets ($42 to $152), call the Washington Performing Arts Society at 202-785-9727 or visit wpas.org.
Pianist Lars Vogt makes his National Symphony Orchestra debut November 20 through 22 performing music by Mozart. On November 28 and 29, the NSO Pops is joined by the Jazz Ambassadors of the US Army Field Band in a concert of music by Duke Ellington and Billy Taylor. Conductor Marvin Hamlisch supplies commentary. For tickets ($20 to $80), call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor will be awarded posthumously to George Carlin, the standup comic and author who took jabs at everything “from cocaine to Rogaine.” Tickets for the November 10 tribute are $50 to $120; call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org. PBS will broadcast the show.
Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center Opera House
Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia, conducted by Plácido Domingo, stars Renée Fleming November 1, 5, 9, and 11; Sondra Radvanovsky sings the title role November 7, 15, and 17. Washington native Denyce Graves stars in Bizet’s Carmen, with Julius Rudel conducting, November 8, 10, 14, 16, and 19; Laura Brioli sings the role November 12 and 18. For tickets ($45 to $300), call 202-295-2400 or visit dc-opera.org. If a performance is sold out, $25 standing-room tickets will be made available (two per order) at the Kennedy Center box office (202-467-4600) and the opera’s box office (800-444-1324).
Kennedy Center Opera House
The San Francisco Ballet returns November 25 through 30, first with a program that includes Christopher Wheeldon’s “Within the Golden Hour.” After the 26th comes Helgi Tomasson’s Giselle. For tickets ($29 to $99), call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Music Center at Strathmore
Broadway veterans James Naughton and Christine Ebersole sing show tunes November 9; tickets are $25 to $65. The National Philharmonic Choral Masterworks performs Carmina Burana November 22. Tickets are $29 to $79, ages 7 to 17 free. 5301 Tuckerman La., North Bethesda; 301-581-5100; strathmore.org.
George Mason University Center for the Arts
The male vocal ensemble Chanticleer does it all, from madrigals to gospel. Its concerts November 29 and 30 will be devoted to Christmas music. Tickets are $24 to $48 at tickets.com. Braddock Rd. and Rt. 123, Fairfax. 888-945-2468; gmu.edu/cfa.