Connect with us

Music & Concerts

SPRING ARTS 2016: classical music

Wide spate of genres represented in spring classical concerts



concerts, classical music, gay news, Washington Blade
concerts, classical music, classical concerts, gay news, Washington Blade

Out conductor Michael Tilson Thomas directing the San Francisco Symphony. They play the Kennedy Center on Saturday, April 16. (Photo courtesy Bucklesweet Media)

On Saturday, March 5 at 8 p.m., the National Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Conductor Christoph Eschenbach, performs Prokofiev’s “Symphony No. 1,” “Symphony No. 5” and Bruch’s “Scottish Fantasy” at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall (2700 F St., N.W.). Tickets are $15 and as with all Kennedy Center performances, tickets are available at

Also on the 5th at 8 p.m., the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs works by Bach and Brahms with several soloists and concert choir at the Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md.). They’ll also perform these works twice this weekend in Baltimore. Full details at

Every Friday at 12:15 p.m., free organ recitals are held at National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle). The church has one of the finest organs in the city and often attracts world-class performers. Out minister of music Rev. Michael McMahon programs the series. Details at

On Monday, March 7 at 8 p.m., the Vienna Mozart Orchestra performs at Strathmore. Tickets are $39-97.50.

On Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m., the NSO performs works by Brahms and Liszt and the world premiere of “Opera Without Words.” The concert will feature Jean-Yves Thibaudet on piano. Tickets are $15. This program will also be performed at 11:30 a.m. on Friday and March 11, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 12.

On Friday, March 11 at 8 p.m., Baldwin Wallace University presents “Advance Always: a Celebration of Frank Battisti and Harwood Whaley” featuring the schools wind ensembles, the Arlington Diocese Congregational Choirs and more performing works by Strauss, Sousa and more. It’s in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $25.

On Saturday, March 12 at 8 p.m., the BSO performs an all-Beethoven recital at the Strathmore. Tickets are $35-99.

On Monday, March 14, the Montreal Symphony performs works by Debussy, Prokofiev and Stravinsky at 7 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $50-120.

On Wednesday, March 16 at 8 p.m., Paul Jacobs returns for another organ concert in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on the Rubenstein Family Organ. He’ll perform works by Bach, Brahms, Reger, Mozart and more. Tickets are $15.

On Thursday, March 17 at 7 p.m., the NSO performs works by Brahms and Beethoven in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15. This program will be repeated at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 18 and at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 19.

On Sunday, March 20 at 7 p.m., Sir James Galway and Lady Jeanne Galway perform a flute recital at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $30.

On March 16-17 at 7:30 p.m., “Generations: Poland,” a dance performance by Company E that got postponed because of the blizzard, will be performed at the Kennedy Center Family Theater. Tickets are $25-35.

On March 22-23 at 7 p.m., cellist Sharon Robinson and pianist Anna Polonsky perform the five sonatas for cello and piano by Beethoven along with other works in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $45.

On Thursday, March 24 at 7 p.m., tenor Javier Camarena and pianist Angel Rodriguez perform a recital of operatic selections in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $50.

On Saturday, March 26 at 2 p.m., pianist Joseph Moog performs works by Beethoven, Liszt and Tchaikovsky at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $48.

On Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m., the NSO under the direction of Conductor Christian Macular performs works by Faure, Brahms, Debussy and more at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Violinist Nikolaj Znaider will also perform. Tickets are $15. This program will also be performed at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, April 1 and at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 2.

On Thursday, April 7, the NSO performs works by Mozart and Mahler at 7 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. This program will be repeated at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 9. Zanier will conduct and pianist Benjamin Grosvenor will perform. Tickets are $15.

On Tuesday, April 12 at 8 p.m., the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra will perform in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $60.

On Wednesday, April 13 at 8 p.m., cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emanuel Ax will perform several Beethoven cello sonatas at 8 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $60.

The NSO performs on Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. a concert or works by Barber, Bates and Ives with Hugh Wolff conducting and an appearance by violinist Anne Akiko Meyers at 7 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. This program will be repeated at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 16. Tickets are $15.

On Saturday, April 16, the San Francisco Symphony performs works by Schubert and Mahler at 8 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Michael Tilson Thomas, who’s openly gay, conducts. Mezzo Sasha Cooke and tenor Simon O’Neill will perform. Tickets are $55.

On Tuesday, April 19 at 8 p.m., violinist Hilary Hahn performs at the Strathmore. Tickets are $45-90.

On Sunday, April 24, the NSO performs “Lights! Canvas! Music!,” a family concert at 2 and 4 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15.

Also on the 24th, violist Antoine Tamest performs suites and partitas by Bach at 7 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $40.

On Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m., the NSO performs works by Dvorak, Ravel and more at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. James Gaffigan conducts. Storm Large and the Hudson Shad quartet will sing.This program will be repeated on Saturday, April 30.

Storm Large, known for her work with gay band Pink Martini, returns on April 29 at 9 p.m. for “Declassified: Cabaret of Sins,” a journey through the “crazy arc of love” and the seven deadly sins. Tickets are $39.

On Wednesday, May 4 at 8 p.m., out organist Christopher Houlihan will perform works by Bach, Franck, Vierne and more on the Rubenstein Family Organ at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15.

On May 5-7, the NSO performs works by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich under the direction of Andrew Litton at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. They perform again May 12-14 works by Elgar and Vaughan Williams under the direction of James MacMillian. Tickets are $15. Times and details at

On Tuesday, May 10 at 7 p.m., violinist Itzhak Perlman and pianist Emanuel Ax perform works by Mozart, Faure, Strauss and more at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $55-135.

On Sunday, May 22 at 4 p.m., pianist Simone Dinnerstein performs works by Glass and Schubert at the Strathmore. Tickets are $35-90.

Washington National Opera performs the first complete performance of Richard Wagner’s epic “Ring” cycle, a four-opera saga of gods and men, giants and dwarves starting in late April. “The Rhinegold” will be performed April, 30, May 10 and 17; “The Valkyrie” will be performed May 2,11 and 18; “Siegfried” will be performed May 4, 13 and 30; “Twilight of the Gods” will be performed May 6, 15 and 22. Tickets are $75 for each performance and are available here.

Legendary organist Diane Bish performs a recital at First Baptist Church of Washington (1328 16th St., N.W.) on Sunday, June 12 at 4 p.m. The church’s new Austin Organ is one of the city’s finest.


Music & Concerts

The Atlantis to showcase musical legends of tomorrow

New venue, a near replica of original 9:30 Club, opens next month



A look at the interior of the original 9:30 club. (Photo public domain/Library of Congress)

A new nirvana for music fans opens next month adjacent to the 9:30 Club. Dubbed The Atlantis, this intimate venue embraces a 450-person capacity – and pays homage as a near-replica of the original 9:30 Club.

The $10 million venue comes courtesy of I.M.P., the independent promoter that owns and operates the 9:30 Club and The Anthem, and operates The Lincoln Theatre and Merriweather Post Pavilion.

The Foo Fighters will inaugurate The Atlantis on May 30, which is also the 9:30 Club’s anniversary. Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl, during a concert in 2021, kicked off speculation that I.M.P was planning to open a new venue, noting that, “We’ll probably be the band that opens that place, too, right?”

Other big names on the inaugural 44-show run roster: Franz Ferdinand, Barenaked Ladies, Third Eye Blind, Spoon, and Billy Idol.

To thwart scalpers, The Atlantis utilized a request system for the first 44 shows when they went on sale two weeks ago. Within four days of the announcement, fans had requested more than 520,000 tickets, many times more than the total 19,800 available. All tickets have been allocated; fans who were unable to snag tickets can attempt to do so in May, when a fan-to-fan ticket exchange opens.

While I.M.P. oversees multiple larger venues, “We’ve been doing our smallest shows in other peoples’ venues for too many years now,” said Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P. “We needed a place that’s ours. This can be the most exciting step in an artist’s career.”

The 9:30 Club holds 1,200 people, while The Anthem has space for up to 6,000.

“This will be where we help introduce new artists to the world… our smallest venue will be treated as important, if not more, than our bigger venues. If the stories are told right, both the artists and the fans begin their hopefully longterm relationship. Its stage will support bourgeoning artists and the legends of tomorrow,” Hurwitz said. Hurwitz and the team developed a tagline for the new venue: The Atlantis, Where Music Begins.

Hurwitz got his start at the original 9:30 Club, originally located at 930 F St., N.W. He was an independent booker of the club for the first six years and then he bought it, and managed the move from its original location to its current location in 1996. The venue first opened in 1980.

Audrey Fix Schaefer, I.M.P. communications director, provides further insight. “We were missing small venues in our umbrella. Big acts don’t start in stadiums. We need a place for emerging artists and for the community to discover new acts. The Atlantis can help new artists grow.”

While design elements are still coming into focus, Schaefer says that the space will be intimate, with almost no separation between the artist and the crowd. “There will be energy on both sides of the stage,” she says.

Although The Atlantis is set to be a replica of the original 9:30, I.M.P. has spared no expense. Schaefer notes that the sound and light systems use the latest available technologies, similar to next door at the current 9:30 Club.

The Atlantis takes over the footprint of now-closed Satellite Room. The venue will have at least two bars flanking the stage; cocktails but no food will be available.

Schaefer notes that since its early days, 9:30 Club and I.M.P. “has always been a place where people are welcome. People come and feel safe with us.” 9:30 Club has hosted several LGBTQ Pride parties, the BENT dance party series, and other events for LGBTQ patrons. Particular acts of note during the kickoff run include Tegan & Sarah and Tove Lo.

The Washington Blade was a neighbor to the 9:30 Club at its original F Street location back in the 1980s. Despite their proximity, noise wasn’t an issue for on deadline nights, when Blade staff worked late hours.

“We would of course work later hours back then,” said Phil Rockstroh, a longtime Blade staffer, in a 2016 Blade interview. “Everything was typeset and done by hand without computers and fax machines so getting through deadlines was much more time consuming.”

Rockstroh said the noise wasn’t a distraction.

“It wasn’t too bad as older buildings were constructed more solidly,” Rockstroh said. “There was only one entrance to the building and you entered so far to the elevator that went up to the other floors and then continued down the hall to the entrance to the 9:30 Club. Frequently at night if I was coming or going, there were people spilling out the doors.”

“The Blade has always had a friendly relationship with the 9:30 Club,” he added.

Continue Reading

Music & Concerts

National Philharmonic to perform classical, contemporary works

Violinist Melissa White returns



The National Philharmonic will host “Beethoven’s 7th” on Saturday, April 15 at 8 p.m. at Strathmore.

Past and present will collide in this performance of contemporary works and classical masterpieces. Maestro Piotr Gajewski will direct Valerie Coleman’s “Umoja, Anthem for Unity for Orchestra” Violinist Melissa White will also return to the Philharmonic to perform Florence Price’s sweeping, melodic “Violin Concerto No. 2.”

Tickets start at $19 and can be purchased on the Philharmonic’s website.

Continue Reading

Music & Concerts

Bruce & Janet & John Legend, oh my!

Slew of iconic acts hitting the road after pandemic cancellations



Janet Jackson is among the iconic acts touring this spring.

Pop and rock icons are releasing their pent-up pandemic frustrations by mounting huge tours this spring and summer. After three years of canceled and postponed shows, everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Janet Jackson is hitting the road at long last. But save your coins because the TicketMaster algorithms are driving ticket prices to astronomical highs. Here are a few highlights from D.C.-area venues this spring. Although some of the iconic acts aren’t coming until summer — Beyonce, Madonna, Pink — several others are hitting the road this spring.

Betty Who plays March 10; Keyshia Cole headlines the All Black Extravaganza 20 Year Anniversary tour on March 18; the Yeah Yeah Yeahs come to town on May 3; Seal brings his world tour to town on May 10; and the beloved Pixies are back on the road with a new North American tour stopping here on June 10.

9:30 CLUB
Don’t miss Gimme Gimme Disco, an Abba dance party on March 18; Inzo arrives on March 31, followed by Bent on April 1; Ruston Kelly brings his The Weakness tour on April 17 along with Purr; The New Pornographers show on May 19 is sold out but there are tickets available for the May 20 show; The Walkmen have added a fourth show on May 23 because the other three shows are sold our;

Living legend Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are back with a vengeance, playing one of four area shows on March 27. (They’re in Baltimore the night before.) If you missed out this time, don’t worry, Bruce is playing Nats Park in September as well as at Baltimore’s Camden Yards. April 1 brings the R&B Music Experience, including Xscape, Monica, Tamar Braxton, and 112. Blink-182 comes to town on May 23. And this summer watch for Sam Smith to continue his hot streak, bringing his “Gloria” tour to town on Aug.4.

Janet Jackson makes her highly anticipated return to the stage this spring, arriving in our area on May 6 along with guest Ludacris. The LGBTQ ally and icon has promised new music on her upcoming “Together Again Tour,” which follows the pandemic-related cancellation of her “Black Diamond Tour.” Jackson also plays Baltimore’s newly renovated CFG Bank Arena on May 13.

John Legend plays two nights at Wolf Trap on June 2 and 3; Charlie Puth follows on June 4. Wolf Trap also hosts the Indigo Girls on June 7 just in time for Pride month. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Smithereens at the Birchmere on March 17. Fans of ‘80s alternative will be lined up for the Church also at the Birchmere at April 4, followed by Suzanne Vega on April 26. Amy Grant returns to the stage this spring and plays the Birchmere on May 2. Echostage plays host to a slew of buzz worthy shows this spring, including Ella Mai on April 8 and Fisher on May 12.

Continue Reading

Sign Up for Weekly E-Blast

Follow Us @washblade