History of the National Symphony Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach, Music Director
The Roger and Victoria Sant Chair
Steven Reineke, Principal Pops Conductor
Ankush Kumar Bahl, Assistant Conductor
The National Symphony Orchestra's 82nd season is its third under the leadership of Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, who is also the Music Director of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The NSO recently completed its first international tour under Maestro Eschenbach's direction, garnering great acclaim, and has undertaken its second extremely successful international tour in the course of the 2012-2013 season, visiting Spain, Germany, France, and Oman. The National Symphony Orchestra regularly participates in events of national and international importance, including performances for state occasions, presidential inaugurations and official holiday celebrations. Through its tours of four continents and performances for heads of state, the National Symphony also fills an important international role.
Officially founded in 1931, throughout its history the Orchestra has been committed to both artistic excellence and music education. In 1986 the National Symphony became an artistic affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the nation's center for the performing arts, where it has presented a concert season annually since the Center opened in 1971. The Orchestra itself numbers 100 musicians, presenting a 52-week season of approximately 175 concerts each year. These include classical subscription series, pops concerts, summer performances at Wolf Trap and on the Capitol lawn, and one of the country's most extensive educational programs.
The National Symphony Orchestra has a strong commitment to the development of America's artistic resources. Through the John and June Hechinger Commissioning Fund for New Orchestral Works, the Orchestra has commissioned more than 60 works, including cycles of fanfares and encores, which, taken as a whole, are representative of the diverse influences in American composition today. The National Symphony has long been distinguished for its nurturing of young American conductors. In addition, through its American Residencies, the NSO has visited 21 states, performing, training, and teaching, with all proceeds from concerts remaining in the state to benefit local arts organizations.
Throughout its history, the National Symphony Orchestra has served the nation through tours, broadcasts, and other special projects.
For more information, please visit www.nationalsymphony.org.