The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) and Washington National Opera (WNO) both make their home at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on the Potomac River in Washington. We saw an outstanding performance of the NSO in Concert Hall on May 30.
The concert was part of a month-long series of music and dance events at the Kennedy Center titled Unexpected Italy: A Celebration of Italian Culture. This festival was organized by the Kennedy Center in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy (news release) and the Italian Institute of Culture (news release).
The Kennedy Center's description of the concert we heard:
Music Director Gianandrea Noseda continues the Kennedy Center’s spring celebration of his home country! In his NSO debut, superb Swiss-Italian pianist Francesco Piemontesi lends his depth, intensity, and sincerity to Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Rachmaninoff’s well-loved homage to extraordinary Italian violinist Niccolò Paganini. The program also features Respighi’s charming “Ancient Airs and Dances” and Casella’s Symphony No. 2—one of Noseda’s favorite symphonies of all time.
Pianist Francesco Piemontesi was amazing. He played without sheet music. You can watch the concert here. Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini begins at 27:30.
Before the concert, we had a delightful dinner at the Roof Terrace Restaurant.
Washington, DC Trip: Click here for the introductory post about our trip to Washington which lists all of the posts in this series.