Summer is at hand, meaning that the pickings get slimmer in the monthly concert agenda for local events. On the other hand, we will also have a summer festival preview coming up, with some of the performances outside of Washington we most want to hear.
Composer James MacMillan
Happily the National Symphony Orchestra is extending its season at the Kennedy Center through June, until at the end of the month the summer concerts at Wolf Trap kick in. The June concerts are far from throwaways either, with one of the violinists we most enjoy listening to, Augustin Hadelich, joining the NSO for a concert with conductor Jakub Hrusa (June 6 to 8), where he will play Dvořák's violin concerto. Mezzo-soprano Nadezda Serdyuk joins for a performance of Prokofiev's score for the film Alexander Nevsky.
Other NSO concerts feature contemporary pieces we really want to hear. Principal cellist David Hardy is the soloist for Dutilleux's Tout un monde lointain, with guest conductor Matthew Hall also leading pieces by Ravel and Vaughan Williams (June 13 to 15). Jean-Yves Thibaudet will give just one performance of James MacMillan's third piano concerto ("The Mysteries of Light") in a program also feeaturing Lutoslawski's Concerto for Orchestra (June 20), conducted by Krzysztof Urbanski.
Hear musicians who would like to be the orchesra players of tomorrow, at the series of performances offered by the National Orchestral Institute at the University of Maryland (June 6 to 30). Concerts include free programs of chamber music, featuring members of the faculty or students, and Saturday night concerts by the festival orchestra, highlighted by Mahler's gripping sixth symphony.
If you like your Wagner without singing, check out the National Philharmonic's Wagner 200th Anniversary Celebration concert (June 1, 8 pm), in the Music Center at Strathmore.
Pianist Markus Groh
Happily, the concert series at the National Gallery of Art continues through the month of June, headed up by a concert from the local ensemble Inscape Chamber Orchestra (June 2, 6:30 pm). Tickets: FREE.
Washington Performing Arts Society concludes its season with a recital by pianist Markus Groh (June 1, 2 pm) in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater.
The Kennedy Center is once again hosting its Ballet Across America week (June 4 to 9), which will feature performances by a selection of talented regional ballet companies from around the United States, in the Kennedy Center Opera House.
The Washington National Opera continues its American Opera Initiative with two performances of Approaching Ali, a new opera by D. J. Sparr (June 8 and 9), in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater.