Conductors got their name by both guiding orchestras and wielding copper batons that deflect lightning away from the brass section. Behold an electrifying performance with this Groupon: for $75, you get a three-concert flex pass to see the National Symphony Orchestra at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' Concert Hall (a $177 value). The flex pass is good for one prime orchestra seat at any three classical performances in the spring 2012 season.
Now in its 80th year of euphony, the National Symphony Orchestra enlists 100 experienced musicians to carry out the 175 concerts that fill its 52-week season. In March, "Hungarian Dances" takes its place in an exploration of the music of Budapest, Prague, and Vienna with the Old World works of Lizst, Bartók, and Kodály. Later in the month, music director Christoph Eschenbach adds nine opera singers and a chorus from The Choral Arts Society of Washington to give vocal life to Fidelio, Beethoven’s only opera. May welcomes Grammy-nominated Nelson Freire—praised as "an extraordinary pianist" by the New York Times—to a program of Brahms, Weill, and Haydn, and to join in the orchestra's 100-member postshow high-five.
Along with regularly airing the masters, the NSO has commissioned more than 60 original works, and regularly provides educational opportunities and exhibitions to aspiring composers, conductors, and musicians. Seven crystal chandeliers presented to the Kennedy Center by Norway dangle below the Concert Hall's intricate acoustical canopy and stare down the 4,144-pipe organ standing sentry at the back of the stage and concealing the 4,144 flutists assigned to play it.