Classical WETA's ongoing series featuring performances from the National Symphony Orchestra, hosted by Nicole Lacroix. This special radio series is made possible by WETA's Friends of Classical Music, including Patricia Sagon. The National Symphony Orchestra’s radio programs are generously supported in part by The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.
NSO Showcase Presents American Dance
Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - 9:00pm
From the mountains of Appalachia to New York City’s West Side, December’s NSO Showcase takes us on an exhilarating dance tour of the US, highlighting performances recorded at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts during the National Symphony Orchestra’s 2014 “New Moves: Symphony+Dance Festival.” Thomas Wilkins leads the NSO in the Suite from Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Michael Daugherty’s Red Cape Tango, Samuel Barber’s Souvenirs, and William Schuman’s New England Triptych. We’ve rounded out the program with the Symphonic Dances from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story from a May, 2015 Kennedy Center performance, conducted by Manuel López-Gómez. Our program begins with the suite of dances Copland fashioned from his ballet for Martha Graham, Appalachian Spring. The ballet was premiered right here in Washington, DC, at the Library of Congress, in 1944. Next—“it’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s Superman!” The Man of Steel meets his fate in Red Cape Tango, the last movement of Michael Daugherty’s Metropolis Symphony. Comic book heroes give way to pre-war socialites gliding to a different kind of tango at the Plaza Hotel’s Palm Court circa 1914, the inspiration for Samuel Barber’s ballet, Souvenirs. Nostalgia takes a more spiritual tone in William Schuman’s best-known work, the New England Triptych, based on three hymns from 18th century American composer William Billings, ending with Chester, a march popular with Revolutionary troops. Finally, our program takes us full circle to Washington, where Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story made its debut in 1957—a social and artistic triumph. The concert version was first performed a few weeks after Kennedy’s inauguration in February,1961, as part of a “Valentine” for Bernstein by the New York Philharmonic. Tangos, two-steps, waltzes and marches abound in our great American dance festival, so put on your dancing shoes and get ready to tap your toes for December’s NSO Showcase.
Gustav Mahler’s Monumental 9th Symphony
Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - 9:00pm
Highlights of National Symphony Orchestra Season Opening Concert
Conducted by Christoph Eschenbach with Guest Percussionist Martin Grubinger
Luis Araya immigrated to Arlington, Virginia from Bolivia in 1966, when very few Latinos lived in the county. He reflects on the changes he has seen over the years and the influence of Latinos in Arlington today.