News & Politics

Washington Performing Arts Announces Its Next Season Is Moving Online

Due to Covid-19, the DC music mainstay will stream concerts from big-name performers.

DC's Kennedy Center. Photo courtesy of iStock.

Washington Performing Arts is one of the area’s leading sources of classical-music programming (along with jazz, world, and other genres), putting on performances at the Kennedy Center, Strathmore, Sixth & I, and other venues. Like every other concert presenter, the organization has been profoundly affected by Covid-19. While there are starting to be a few tentative steps toward staging in-person concerts, WPA has opted to take its entire upcoming season online, it announced Monday during a Zoom event.

Launching in early 2021, the series, called Home Delivery Plus, will include big-name performers such as pianist András Schiff; a trio consisting of violinist Joshua Bell, pianist Evgeny Kissin, and cellist Steven Isserlis; mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges; and cellist Alisa Weilerstein, among others (you can see the complete lineup here.) There will also be a tribute to Aretha Franklin and other non-classical fare.

The performances will be streamed live from various venues around town. Information about dates, venues, and ticket prices will be released over the summer (“pricing will be structured in keeping with the streaming marketplace,” according to a release), and tickets will go on sale at some point after Labor Day. A variety of packages will be available, with some including extras like artist Q&As and opening performances from local musicians.

One interesting thing to note: WPA says that there’s a chance in-person tickets will end up being available for these performances, should it prove to be safe to have audiences attend indoor concerts when the time comes. If that happens, those tickets will be sold separately from the streaming tickets.

Politics and Culture Editor

Rob Brunner grew up in DC and moved back in 2017 to join Washingtonian. Previously, he was an editor and writer at Fast Company and other publications. He lives with his family in Chevy Chase DC.