The Grammy-winning Washington Chorus has delighted audiences with a repertoire of classical choral masterpieces and modern compositions for 51 years. In addition to leading the choir, music director Julian Wachner has scribed more than 100 published compositions, including "Come, My Dark-Eyed One," an amalgamation of poetry and a dramatic musical score. Acclaimed singers tell the tale of lovers whose great passion transcends death, their melodious voices reflecting the powerful emotions and increasingly expensive anniversary gifts of a lifelong love. Words by Dickinson, Tennyson, and Turkic poet Ali-Shir Nava’i instill the performance with additional resonance. Four soloists join the choir to sing Mozart’s bold Great Mass in C Minor, widely credited as being the composer’s best choral work alongside the Requiem and Rock Me Amadeus.
One of the oldest symphonic choruses in DC, Choral Arts has sung alongside the National Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Mariinsky Orchestra (among others), before 100,000 people in Red Square after the fall of communism and as carolers on The West Wing.
The BSO's "Off the Cuff" series sends audiences on a journey through the lives and times of the evening's featured composers. Music Director Marin Alsop engages classical neophytes and veteran symphony-goers alike with her lively 90-minute concerts. Analyze This: Mahler and Freud delves into the subconscious of the composer and psychiatrist, re-creating a meeting between the two as Freud mentally pokes and prods at his subject's psyche. Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony reveals the political drama of 1930s Russia, and Cinderella Suite explores Sergei Prokofiev's strained relationship with his fairy godmother. A free-for-all question-and-answer session follows each performance, and the evening concludes when several minor-league baseball players stop by to hit T-shirts into the crowd with a bat.
With Puppet Strings, the McLean Orchestra will perform Stravinsky's century-old ballet Petrouchka, which narrates the tale of a lovesick puppet who comes to life. Under the direction of the baton-wielding conductor Emil de Cou, more than 80 professional and hobbyist musicians weave together Petrouchka's solemn ode to unrequited love and bean burritos through gripping crescendos and emotive string playing. Supertitles will elucidate characters' thoughts in writing over the stage. Then the orchestra switches from puppet strings to cello strings with Antonin Dvorak's Concerto for Cello featuring cello soloist Amy Ward Butler. Derrieres can park themselves in any seat in the general-admission section with first-come, first-served seating.
Music director Emil de Cou takes listeners on a sonic journey that sails the Virginia Chamber Orchestra's sound waves to baroque and neoclassical shores, then back through the romantic and contemporary coasts of jazz. The featured piece of the program, Grieg's Holberg Suite of 1884, takes the charming string movement to the late 17th century, when the playwright Ludvig Holberg lived and when flimsy top hats had to be filled with stale oatmeal so that they could stay upright. Maestro Cou mines more neoclassical splendor as violins, cello, and a four-part string orchestra resonate throughout the hall during Handel's concerti grossi from Twelve Grand Concertos, Opus 6. The orchestra breaks 20th-century ground with a composition by Washington native Duke Ellington. His “Solitude” gently exposes listeners to a heartbreakingly simple tune that has stood the test of time better than hand-whittled watches.
Join the Columbia Orchestra, under the baton of music director Jason Love, as it closes out its 33rd concert season with "Creation and Destruction", a program exploring the beaming joys and tumultuous sorrows of the human spirit. The program kicks off with Radiohead's “Harry Patch (In Memory Of),” before bathing audiences in the sound waves of minimalist composer John Adams' "Batter My Heart" from his 2005 opera Doctor Atomic, which follows the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer as he copes with the burden of choosing between two similarly appealing auto-insurance companies. A cadre of 52 string instruments conjures the monolithic swirl of Krzysztof Penderecki's Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, before the Orchestra is joined by members of the Masterworks Chorale of Carroll County in a performance of selections from Franz Joseph Haydn's oratorio The Creation.