National Symphony Makes High-Energy Season Debut

“It’s like rain on your wedding day,” said the National Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Director Jean Davidson as she greeted the audience for the home opener of the NSO’s 93rd season during a weekend storm, adding that it was good sign for the Sept. 23 opening night and gala. Davidson also noted that the organization has been nominated for Gramophone’s 2023 Orchestra of the Year Award.

With that, Music Director Gianandrea Noseda, who is in his seventh season as NSO conductor, swung his baton to inaugurate the 2023–2024 season with the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The lush, moving, high-energy program included Rossini’s “Overture to La gazza ladra,” Elgar’s “Introduction and Allegro for String Quartet and String Orchestra, Op. 47” (featuring Ying Fu, violin, Dayna Hepler, violin, Abigail Evans Kreuzer, viola, Glenn Garlick, cello), Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon’s “Fate Now Conquers” and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” its finale with the insistent bells tolling for “The Great Gate of Kiev,” evoking a sign of our times.

Then, many of the audience exited the Kennedy Center Concert Hall to go to the Reach, through the garage because of the rain, for the remainder of the evening — a luxe gala with dinner and dancing, co-chaired by Ashley Davis and Timothy Lowery.

Music Director Gianandrea Noseda and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Sept. 23 season opening at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Photo by Scott Suchman.



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