Robert Schumann famously compared Beethoven’s 4th Symphony to “a slender Greek maiden between two Norse giants” referring to its neighbors, the 3rd and 5th symphonies. On November first, WETA Classical will open its 2023-24 NSO Showcase season with an epic concert where Beethoven’s graceful 4th will again be surrounded by three dramatic, death-defying works by Michael Daugherty, Richard Wagner and Sergei Prokofiev.

Last November at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Gianandrea Noseda led the NSO in the world premiere of Michael Daugherty’s Blue Electra, a concerto commissioned by violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, in honor of Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra10E Special airplane, and her pioneering career and tragic disappearance.

Anne Akiko Meyers
Anne Akiko Meyers, soloist on Blue Electra

Richard Wagner’s near-death experience aboard ship inspired his opera, The Flying Dutchman. “The voyage through the Norwegian reefs made a wonderful impression on my imagination;” he wrote in his autobiography, “the legend of the Flying Dutchman, which the sailors verified, took on a distinctive, strange coloring that only my sea adventures could have given it.” 

The program concludes with Gianandrea Noseda and the NSO in Prokofiev’s rarely performed but masterful Symphony No. 6, written to honor the victims of World War II.

And what about Beethoven’s 4th Symphony? We’ll hear a performance from the second installment of the NSO’s Beethoven cycle recordings. As Maestro Noseda wrote, “the second part of this Beethoven cycle is both a snapshot in time and an argument for the universality of Beethoven’s music. Captured in this beautiful recording is the collective feeling of gratitude and joy in reconnecting with audiences and with each other during the first full season back after the pandemic. It also captures how Beethoven’s music contains universal truths that can affect us anew even though these works were written more than 200 years ago. Incredible music-making and playing by the musicians of the NSO.”

Be sure to listen to NSO Showcase Wednesday evening, November 1st at 9PM, and streaming all month long at



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