News & Politics

National Symphony Orchestra Announces New Concert Season

"Scheherazade" opens a season filled with new work from American composers.

Photograph by Scott Suchman

The National Symphony Orchestra has announced a full 2021-2022 season slated to open in September. After a nearly year-and-a-half hiatus, the orchestra will officially open the season with a performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade conducted by music director Gianandrea Noseda for its opening night gala on September 25.

Planning the season was a bit of a puzzle, as the orchestra worked to honor pandemic-canceled artistic engagements and work around artists fluctuating calendars. Beethoven fans will note the symphony will finally realize the postponed “Beethoven at 250” concerts next January with performances of his first, fourth, fifth, and ninth symphonies paired with works from American composers William Grant Still and DC native George Walker.

There will also be new commissions and world premieres from Angélica Negrón, Philip Glass, and Joan Tower. James Lee III will debut the NSO-commissioned An Engraved American Mourning as part of a free September 10 concert to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and honor frontline healthcare workers.

Michael Tilson Thomas will have a mini-residency with the orchestra in the spring. A 2019 Kennedy Center Honoree and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra, Tilson Thomas will conduct a program featuring American composers like Copland, Ruggles, and himself, and will lead the symphony and Choral Arts Society of Washington in a performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony in late March.

A full lineup of the NSO season can be found here.

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Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.