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Halloween Spooktacular - The Sequel!

KC Connection: NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular - The Sequel! Web Extension
Additional music heard in the NSO Halloween Spooktacular: The Sequel! program
Orchestra, Music

NSO Haloween Whodunit

KC Connection: NSO Family Concert: Halloween Whodunit Web Extension
Additional music heard in the NSO Halloween Whodunit program
Orchestra, Music

NSO Open Rehearsal

2700 F St.: NSO Open Rehearsal with Q&A Session
During this rehearsal, Maestro Christoph Eschenbach will conduct a program that includes music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Anton Bruckner.
Music, Composers, Backstage, Music Legends, Orchestra

Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood

Cuesheet: Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood
Once upon a time, Peter and the Wolf was a musical tale about a Russian boy who helps catch a wolf. This version features Peter’s tale with tons of twists. For starters, instead of cold, snowy Russia, the story now happens in sunny Hollywood, California.
Family, Animals, Composers, Folklore, Musical Instruments, Orchestra

Connections: Science and Math + Music

Cuesheet: Connections: Science & Math + Music
Calling all math nerds, science geeks, and music lovers! Join NSO musicians for a fun and surprising look at how math, science, and music connect to one another.
Musical Instruments, Orchestra, Music

NSO Teddy Bear Concerts

Cuesheet: NSO Teddy Bear Concerts 2014-15
The 2014-15 season’s Teddy Bear Concerts invite the youngest of music lovers (and their favorite stuffed animal) to join in fun, interactive performances with musicians from the NSO.
Music, Family, Musical Instruments, Orchestra

NSO Family Concert: Peter and the Wolf

Cuesheet: NSO Family Concert: Peter and the Wolf
“Boys like me are not afraid of wolves!” says Peter to his grandfather. But when one actually wanders out of the woods, what will Peter do to save his animal friends?
Animals, Folklore, Musical Instruments, Music, Composers, Orchestra

NSO Family Concert: Mozart's Magnificent Voyage

Cuesheet: NSO Family Concert: Mozart's Magnificent Voyage
Mozart’s young son longs to leave school and spend more time with his famous father. When he finds a magic traveling trunk, his wish comes true as he’s swept back in time to Mozart’s childhood and opera The Magic Flute.
Music, Family, Musical Instruments, Orchestra

NSO Kinderclassics: Bears, Bears Everywhere!

Cuesheet: NSO Kinderclassics: Bears, Bears Everywhere!
It’s a big bear world out there! This concert takes a peek at these adorable creatures and the sounds of their homelands—music as unique as they are. Join NSO musicians and a special guest storyteller for a performance that assembles a wild combination of instruments to create music from around the world.
Music, Family, Musical Instruments, Orchestra

NSO Halloween Spooktacular: The Sequel!

Cuesheet: NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular: The Sequel!
Join the NSO for a frightfully fun follow-up program, complete with ghoulishly attired musicians who might just “BOO” you in return from behind their instruments.
Composers, Folklore, Music, Orchestra, Science Fiction & Fantasy

NSP YPC: Listen Up! Music is a Language

Cuesheet: NSO Young People's Concert: Listen Up! Music Is a Language
Did you know music has a lot to say? Without any words at all, music is a language anyone can understand. It tells stories, expresses feelings, and even makes us think.
Composers, Folklore, Music, Orchestra

Enso String Quartet

Cuesheet: Enso String Quartet: Performance & Demonstration
Known for their high-energy performances and musical versatility, the Enso String Quartet has proven they are much more than your average chamber music group. Get to know them as they perform a wide range of musical styles, and discuss how music is created and why it affects us as listeners.
Music, Musical Instruments, Orchestra, Young Artists

NSO Open Rehearsal: George Washington

Cuesheet: NSO Discussion, Demonstration & Open Rehearsal: george WASHINGTON
Music meets history as state-of-the-art technology, beautiful imagery, surround-sound, spoken words, and orchestral music blend together in this new multimedia composition.
Music, America, Composers, Orchestra, Presidents

Connections: Music Matters

Cuesheet: Connections: Music Matters
What do earthquakes, sports cars, and memories have in common? Music, of course! Join NSO musicians to discover the connections and explore why music matters.
Musical Instruments, Orchestra, Music

Presto! The Case of the Vanishing Viola

Cuesheet: NSO Kinderkonzert: Presto! The Case of the Vanishing Viola
Oh no, a musician’s viola has been stolen! Could the culprit be the magician next door? Join Presto!—a string trio—to follow the clues and crack the case.
Musical Instruments, Orchestra, Music

Aaron Copland

The Story Behind The Song: Fanfare for the Common Man
After the U.S. entered World War II, this brass and percussion piece sounded the call to service and sacrifice.
America, History, Orchestra, Music

Maria Callas as Norma

Article: Viva la Diva!
A look at some of opera's most demanding female roles
Theater, Orchestra, Music, Tragedy, Opera

Conductor at Concert

Field Guide: Musical Must-Do's
Everything you need to know before you go to a symphonic, orchestral, or jazz concert performance
Orchestra

Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Field Guide: A Field Guide to Concert Halls
Everything you need to know before you go to an arts event in a concert hall
Orchestra

Beethoven graffiti

Collection: Great Composers
Get inside the mind of a composer-- from a popular song, to a Broadway musical, to a symphony, how does a composer write music?
Composers, Jazz, Innovators & Pioneers, Musical Instruments, Music, Music Legends, Opera, Orchestra, Popular Culture

Violin hands

Collection: Classical Music Resources
Booming orchestras, teeming concert halls, obsessive composers, and prodigal musicians – classical music is anything but boring. Learn how Beethoven continued to pen symphonies while going deaf, discover the science behind the instrument and the math behind the music, and explore the ways in which music and emotion go hand-in-hand.
Composers, Europe, Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra

It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings!

Collection: Opera Resources
Get out your opera glasses and prepare to take a look at the history and evolution of an art form over four hundred years old. Learn how singers train and condition their voices, become familiar with some of the stage’s most tragic love affairs, and discover how theatre and music combined can tell epic stories in unforgettable ways.
Choreographers, Composers, Europe, Musicals, Orchestra, Opera, Tragedy, Theater

Stage Fright

Article: Scare Away Stage Fright
Help your child let go of performance fears
Backstage, Ballet, Broadway, Dance, Family, Musicals, Opera, Orchestra, Young Artists

Boy playing violin

Article: Private Matters
The benefits of private music lessons go beyond the additional instruction your child receives
Young Artists, Music, Orchestra

Boy Smiling and Playing a Violin

Article: Performing Under Pressure
Help your child master the excitement and stress of music competitions
Young Artists, Music, Orchestra, Musical Instruments

kid with headphones

Article: Kids' Classical Countdown
A classical music 101 for families and young listeners
Music, Orchestra, Composers, Family

Boy Playing Violin

Article: The Many Gifts of Music
How music gets inside your kid's head
Young Artists, Music, Science, Orchestra, Family, Education

moon and raven

Grade 5 Lesson: Haunting Music
Learn about orchestral “program music” inspired by the spooky and bizarre
Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, Folklore

Strings

Grades 3-4 Lesson: String Instruments and Pitch
In this lesson, students explore how pitch is altered based on the width and length of the string
Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, Science

Percussion

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Percussion Instruments and Pitch
This lesson introduces students to the instruments of the percussion family
Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, Science

Woodwinds

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Woodwind Instruments and Pitch
This lesson introduces students to the instruments of the woodwind family
Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, Science

Brass

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Brass Instruments and Pitch
This lesson introduces students to the instruments of the brass family
Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, Science

Ballerinas

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Ballet and Classical Music
This lesson will introduce students to both conceptual and practical elements of classical ballet.
Ballet, Dance, Music, Orchestra

Balkan Quartet

Video: Balkan Quartet
Specializing in Gypsy music, these versatile musicians from the heart of the Balkans perform music from the region
Music, World Cultures, Europe, Musical Instruments, Orchestra

Landfillharmonic

Video: Music from the Trash Heap
The people of Cateura struggle with poverty, pollution, and other problems. However, the Cateura Orchestra of Recycled Instruments inspires the youth there to find hope in music.
Latin America, Musical Instruments, Inventions, Music, Young Artists, Orchestra

Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Video: The Kennedy Center Concert Hall
Conductor Emil de Cou leads an expedition to the Kennedy Center's grand Concert Hall
Art Venues, Music, Orchestra, Science

Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra

Video: Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra
Join the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra for a lecture and demonstration explaining each of the four sections of the Chinese orchestra as well as some of the individual instruments.
China, Asia, Musical Instruments, Orchestra, Music, World Cultures

El Alto Strings

Video: El Alto Strings
The Bolivian musicians may practice Bach and other classical music at home, but they were eager to share their interpretation of traditional Bolivian music during their performance at the Kennedy Center.
World Cultures, Musical Instruments, Latin America, Orchestra, Music, Young Artists

Sounds Historic

Flash Interactive: Sounds Historic
Explore the relationship between history and music with the pieces and activities from the Sounds Historic concert, performed by the National Symphony Orchestra. Learn how music can be inspired by history, capture history, or even make history.
America, History, Orchestra, Music, Folklore, Jobs in the Arts

Perfect Pitch

Flash Interactive: Perfect Pitch
Batter up! This multimedia exploration introduces students to the most enduring all-stars of the orchestra: the instruments.
Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, Sports

Spooky Sounds and Scary Tales

Flash Interactive: Spooky Sounds and Scary Tales
Dust off the cobwebs and warm up your imagtination to hear composers tell stories about supernatural creatures and events.
Orchestra, Music, History, Folklore

A World of Music

Audio Series: A World of Music
We’re off on a Musical Tour of Europe! The invention of the orchestra hundreds of years ago meant bigger musical possibilities, and composers all across Europe were inspired to try their hand at pushing classical music to new limits
Composers, Controversial, Europe, Folklore, Geography, History, Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra

Summon the Heroes: Classical Music to the Rescue!

Audio Series: Summon the Heroes: Classical Music to the Rescue!
Throughout the ages, composers have celebrated the accomplishments of famous heroes through music. What does a hero sound like? Get ready to find out!
Composers, Folklore, Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, Popular Culture, Movies & Movie Stars

Reach For The Moon: John F. Kennedy’s Vision and Courage

Audio Series: NSO Young People's Concert - Reach For The Moon
Just like President Kennedy had a vision for America, composers have visions of how they want their music to sound. For some, their musical mission is to explore a galaxy of stars and planets, moon shots, space walks, and galactic battles!
Composers, History, Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, Technology, Space, Presidents

NSO YPC Exploring Extremes

Audio Series: Exploring Extremes: Music to the Max!
Join the NSO to explore music’s extremes—from high notes and low notes to how big or small instruments (and their sounds!) can be. Plus, get to know the “extremely talented” violin, and discover different ways of listening to music.
Composers, Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra

Audio Series: Listen Up! Music Is a Language
Did you know music has a lot to say? Without any words at all, music is a language that anyone can understand.
Composers, Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, Language

Violin head

Audio Series: Classical Music in America
Follow the course of classical music in America from colonial times to the present in a series of NPR podcasts.
History, Music, America, Composers, Orchestra

Instrument Spotter's Guide Promo

Slideshow: Instrument Spotter's Guide
Learn to identify the strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments that make up an orchestra
Musical Instruments, Orchestra, Music

Audio Slideshow: Beethoven: Listening to Symphony No. 9
Part 4 of the Beethoven Rocks series: Ode to Joy
Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, History, Composers, Music Legends, Europe

Audio Slideshow: Beethoven: Listening to Symphony No. 6
Part 3 of the Beethoven Rocks series: The Pastoral
Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, History, Composers, Music Legends, Europe, Nature

Audio Slideshow: Beethoven Rocks!
Part 1 of the Beethoven Rocks series: Get to know Classical music's biggest star
Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, History, Composers, Music Legends, Europe

Audio Slideshow: Beethoven: Listening to Symphony No. 5
Part 2 of the Beethoven Rocks series: The Riff Heard ‘Round the World
Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, History, Europe, Composers, Music Legends

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Leopold Stokowski
"A painter paints pictures on canvas, but musicians paint their pictures on silence."
Music, Music Legends, Orchestra

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Johannes Brahms
"Study Bach. There you will find everything."
Composers, Music Legends, Music, Orchestra

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Ludwig Van Beethoven
"Art! Who comprehends her? With whom can one consult concerning this great goddess."
Composers, Music, Music Legends, Orchestra

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Vladimir Ashkenazy
"I believe that interpretation should be like a transparent glass, a window for the composer's music."
Music, Composers, Orchestra, Music Legends

Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns

Arts Days: October 09, 1835: A Prolific Talent
Composer and organist, conductor and pianist, Saint- Saëns composed numerous works including Carnival of the Animals and Danse macabre. Among his contemporaries, the music he composed and performed was typically regarded as technically flawless.

He was famous for sitting stock-still at his keyboard during performances and playing every note perfectly. That calm demeanor earned him some criticism for his apparent lack of feeling. But to collectively consider the hundreds of pieces of music he composed in his lifetime, Saint- Saëns’ music shows much emotion and beauty.
Composers, Music, Music Legends, Orchestra, Europe

Leonard Bernstein

Arts Days: August 25, 1918: Bernstein’s Bold Baton
You might find it odd that Leonard Bernstein was the first American-born and trained music director of the New York Philharmonic. But historically speaking, he was also the first American classical music conductor to earn worldwide acclaim.

Bernstein, who was awarded Kennedy Center Honors in 1980, was applauded for his ability to convey all the facets of a composer’s music and its meaning when he was conducting—or when he was teaching at his Young People’s Concerts. He also wrote orchestral pieces, ballet scores, choral and chamber music, the score for the film On the Waterfront; and of course, the music for Broadway’s Candide and West Side Story.

Held in extremely high regard by musical colleagues, Bernstein’s passion and intensity for conducting, writing, and playing music never ebbed over his lengthy career.
America, Composers, Broadway, Music, Music Legends, Musicals, Orchestra

Beethoven

Arts Days: December 16, 1770: Music’s Master
Young Ludwig van Beethoven was first given music lessons by his dad, performing his first concert at age seven. He stunned listeners with his technical abilities on the piano and organ, impressing them even more when he produced his first composition at nine. The father of this child who would become one of the greatest classical composers in history hoped his son would follow in the steps of Mozart himself, who died when Beethoven was 21.

Beethoven went on to write symphonies, like No. 9 in D Minor, the first symphony written by a prominent composer to include a choral portion. Though he eventually went completely deaf, Beethoven’s genius was such that he still composed and conducted even when he could not hear a single note. Beethoven was a brilliant improviser, rule-breaker, and master of dramatic music.
Composers, Innovators & Pioneers, Music Legends, Europe, Music, Orchestra

Johann Strauss II

Arts Days: February 09, 1867: Step, Slide, Step
Austria’s Johann Strauss, the Younger, would be absolutely amazed to know the extent to which his work “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” has endured as one of the best-known pieces of classical music.

At the time this 19th century successful composer and conductor, and son of Johann Strauss, The Elder, was known for his light dance music and operettas. But it was this waltz in particular, with its distinct melody and dance rhythms, that became the focus of every concert hall’s dance floor first in Vienna, and later in Europe.

In 1872, Strauss brought his Viennese waltz to America’s shores where the music and dance captivated the country. On this particular day, Blue Danube was performed at a concert of the Vienna Men’s Choral Association.

Strauss is credited with composing 500 waltzes, earning him the title of “Waltz King.”
Composers, Dance, Music, Orchestra, Europe

Princess Victoria of England

Arts Days: January 25, 1858: Nuptial Notes
Wedding bells rang on this day in 1858 at the marriage ceremony of Princess Victoria of England to Prince Friedrich of Prussia.

The princess walked down the aisle to German composer Richard Wagner's "Bridal Chorus," and after saying "I do," she and her new husband exited the church to the sounds of the "Wedding March" by German composer Felix Mendelssohn.

Overnight, these songs became the hot music selections for wedding processionals and recessionals. To this day, both songs remain popular, traditional choices in Western weddings.
Popular Culture, Music, Composers, Orchestra

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Arts Days: January 27, 1756: The Music Man
It's hard to imagine, but child prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart could play the keyboard and violin almost as soon as he could walk. He began composing original music at age five and was regularly invited to perform for European royalty.

At 17, he left his home to travel Europe in search of new musical opportunities. He stopped in Vienna, Paris, London, and Rome, where he observed and absorbed new musical forms and techniques.

Mozart's travels helped create his unique, versatile compositional language. He modernized the highly intricate Baroque style of music with advanced technical sophistication, enabling his works to reach new emotional heights.

In his lifetime, he created over 600 works and wrote in every major classical genre: symphony, opera, solo concerto, chamber music including string quartet and quintet, large-scale religious masses, choral music, dances, divertimenti, serenades, and the piano sonata.
Composers, Innovators & Pioneers, Music Legends, Opera, Music, Orchestra

Igor Stravinsky

Arts Days: June 17, 1882: Blazing Music's Trail
One of the greatest composers and conductors of 20th century music, Igor Stravinsky was urged by his parents to become a lawyer. But he was bitten by the musical bug as a child, attending concerts, learning to play piano, and most importantly, studying orchestration with his influential teacher, composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov.

At just 18, Stravinsky was hired to compose a score for the Ballets Russes. The Firebird, which met with critical and commercial success, was followed by more ballet scores, including Petrushka. His score for another ballet, The Rite of Spring, startled and even outraged listeners at its world premiere with its creative experimentation of chords and rhythms.

Stravinsky drew on Russian folk tunes in his works, but added elements that were completely his own, from new rhythmic patterns to polytonality, sounds that no one had ever heard before in symphonic music. Far ahead of his time, Stravinsky shook up people’s beliefs of what classical music was by reinventing modern music.
Ballet, Composers, Dance, Music, Music Legends, Orchestra

Strauss

Arts Days: June 11, 1864: A Pioneer of the Modern Movement
This composer of Romantic and early-modern works understood the workings of an orchestra like few others have before or since.

As a young man, he used to frequent rehearsals of the Munich Court Orchestra and take lessons in music theory with some of the conductors. Strauss’ training and own innate talent for writing complex orchestral pieces led him in new directions as he got older; he started writing “tone poems,” pieces of music inspired by and written about a painting, novel, or some other non-musical source (his first tone poem was Don Juan). In addition, at the turn of the 19th century, Strauss began composing operas. He conducted many orchestras and also explored dissonance, combining chords in ways that sometimes startled listeners.
Composers, Europe, Music, Music Legends, Orchestra

Carnegie Hall

Arts Days: May 05, 1891: The Music House That Steel Built
The stages (there are three now) of Carnegie Hall, the preeminent concert hall in the U.S., have been graced by everyone from jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald and violinist Isaac Stern, to opera star Luciano Pavarotti and pianist Fats Waller.

In the late 19th century, the landmark building on New York’s Upper West Side, then known simply as “Music Hall,” was funded by steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and designed by architect William Burnet Tuthill. On this opening night, two important figures in classical music—conductor Walter Damrosch and composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky—were featured.

It would have been hard to imagine on this festive occasion that only 75 years later, Carnegie Hall would be slated for demolition. Fortunately, Stern and others persuaded the city to purchase the building and Carnegie Hall was saved. Renovations in the 1980s prompted critics to complain that the Hall’s famous acoustics were harmed, but others said that the renovations have improved the sound by muffling street noise.
Art Venues, Music Legends, Music, Orchestra

Johannes Brahms

Arts Days: May 07, 1833 and 1840: A Couple of Romantics
The famous lilting melody we call “Brahms’s Lullaby” is named for its composer Johannes Brahms. Among his other works were his German Requiem for orchestra and chorus, numerous pieces for string quartet, and several symphonies. Classical music scholars tell us that Brahms was a perfectionist, working and re-working a musical piece. Yet with all his stirring works, it’s Brahms’s delicate lullaby that many people associate with him.

As for Tchaikovsky, he was a kingpin among composers of the Romantic era, creating sentimental melodies and ballet music (such as that for The Nutcracker), the opera Eugene Onegin, and symphonies. He taught music and served as a critic as well as a composer, and he was very well-regarded among fellow musicians, fans, and even the Tsar of Russia, who arranged a special pension for him.
Composers, Europe, Music, Music Legends, Orchestra

Beethoven

Arts Days: April 27, 1810: Elise Who?
We´ll never know who the great German composer and piano virtuoso Ludwig van Beethoven had in mind when he wrote this delicate piano composition that is instantly recognizable after just a few notes. While it’s known as For Elise in English, its formal name is Bagatelle in A minor (a bagatelle is a short, light piece of music usually written for piano). Für Elise was actually jotted down right on the paper Beethoven used.

Some scholars think the reference indicates Beethoven wrote it for one of his girlfriends, but others say the informal name is the result of a transcription goof, and in fact the piece was intended to be Für Therese (a woman Beethoven had really wanted to marry but never did). At any rate, Für Elise is a charming work.
Math, Music Legends, Composers, Orchestra, Europe

Bernstein! Inside the Music

Multimedia Series: NSO Young People's Concert - Bernstein! Inside the Music
As an equally-famous conductor, composer, and musician, Leonard Bernstein not only conducted music by the world’s greatest composers, he also wrote many important works for orchestras.
Composers, History, Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, Music Legends

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