Press Releases

National Philharmonic Closes 2020-21 Season on June 6 with Free Streamed and On-Demand Performance and Related Panel Discussion and Q&A on June 13 & 16

June 2, 2021

The National Philharmonic, led by music director Piotr Gajewski, streams its final free concert of this hybrid season on Sunday, June 6 at 2 p.m., live on its YouTube channel and website, featuring music by Latino and Black composers. The performance will be available through June 12 for free on-demand viewing, as well.

The concert program features the Philharmonic’s Principal Violist, Julius Wirth, as soloist in

Eduardo Alonso-Crespo’s Concerto for Viola. The Argentinian composer’s work was written in 2002, not long after serving as Music Director of the Carnegie Mellon University Contemporary Ensemble for over a decade.

The centerpiece of the program is Carlos Simon’s Portrait of a Queen, with dramatic spoken word written by Courtney D. Ware narrated by Virginia native, Aundi Marie Moore. Simon’s 2017 work traces the path of Black people in America through the lens of one figurative Black woman who represents strength, courage, and selflessness as she experiences pain and struggle, hope and triumph.

On Sunday, June 13 at 2 p.m. , the National Philharmonic hosts a panel discussion as part of its ongoing Harmonic Justice series: Arts Education & Racial Equity, with Philadelphia Orchestra’s assistant principal bassist Joseph H. Conyers, trumpeter Rafael Elster, and Executive Director of Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance Quanice G. Floyd, moderated by National Philharmonic Board member and social justice expert Cherise Fanno Burdeen. The panel will also stream on the National Philharmonic’s YouTube channel and website. As follow up to this panel, audience members are invited to join a live virtual town hall discussion on this topic on Wednesday, June 16, at 8 p.m.


Celebrated for showcasing world-renowned guest artists in time-honored symphonic masterpieces, National Philharmonic continuously strives to create remarkable educational opportunities in the community while promoting diversity and representation in classical music.

The National Philharmonic is an accessible, enriching component in the Greater Washington DC Metropolitan Area, believing that music has the power to spark imagination and shape the world around us. As the only organization with a united orchestra and chorus in the region, over the years National Philharmonic has expanded its footprint beyond its home at Strathmore, with year-round masterclasses along with Summer String and Summer Chorale Institutes for youth, armed services programs, and partnerships with community organizations. In addition to these programs, National Philharmonic fosters a love of music in young people across the region by offering free admission to all children between the ages 7 to 17-years-old.


This concert is Co-sponsored by Julie and Ray Pangelinan. 2020-21 Season Sponsors – Jean and Paul Dudek; Ed Grossman and Rochelle Stanfield; Ted Mirecki, NatPhil Board Member; Martha Newman; Doug and Emily Jacobson; and Potter Violins.

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