December 19, 2023
For Immediate Release December 19, 2023
(NORTH BETHESDA, MD) — The National Philharmonic’s (NatPhil) season continues into 2024 with two performances in February: one full-orchestra concert, conducted by Jeri Lynne Johnson, and one piano recital by longtime NatPhil friend Brian Ganz.
Jeri Lynne Johnson makes her NatPhil debut on February 10, leading a program that pairs Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 with a recent concerto by prolific American composer and flutist Valerie Coleman. Phenomenal Women, a concerto for wind quintet and chamber orchestra, premiered in 2018 at Carnegie Hall and was praised by The New York Times for its “memorable freshness and color.” The piece comprises five movements dedicated to 20th and 21st-century Black women who inspire Coleman: poet Maya Angelou, mathematician Katherine Johnson, tennis player Serena Williams, former First Lady Michelle Obama, and boxer Claressa Shields; within these portraits is a movement dedicated to mothers in the caravan of migrants headed to the United States, fighting to reclaim their children. Coleman also serves as soloist in Phenomenal Women as part of a wind quintet comprised of oboist Katherine Needleman, clarinetist Mariam Adam, bassoonist Alexander Davis, and French hornist Priscilla Rinehart.
Later in the month, pianist Brian Ganz continues his survey of the complete works of Frédéric Chopin—a project begun in 2011—with Chopin the Virtuoso, a solo recital program showcasing some of the composer’s most challenging compositions.
February 2024 Full Concert Schedule:
Saturday, February 10, 2024 at 7:30 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore
Dvořák Symphony No. 7
Jeri Lynne Johnson, conductor
Valerie Coleman, flute
Katherine Needleman, oboe
Mariam Adam, clarinet
Alexander Davis, bassoon
Priscilla Rinehart, horn
National Philharmonic joins forces with dynamic guest conductor Jeri Lynne Johnson for Valerie Coleman’s Phenomenal Womenand Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7. Phenomenal Women draws inspiration from Maya Angelou’s poem and book of the same name, and celebrates five phenomenal women—Angelou, mathematician Katherine Johnson, tennis great Serena Williams, Olympic boxer Claressa Shields, and former first lady Michelle Obama—telling each of their stories through jazz, classical, and traditional music styles. Coleman, a Grammy-nominated flutist and founder of Imani Winds, will play with a wind quintet assembled for the performance.
Hailed as one of Dvořák’s most significant works, Symphony No. 7 is a musical journey of epic proportions. From the majestic first movement to the triumphant climax of the finale, Dvořák weaves rich harmonies, playful rhythms, and elements of Czech folk music throughout. Brought to life under the baton of Jeri Lynne Johnson, conductor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Stride” as part of the 2022 Kennedy Center Honors and founder of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, this program is not to be missed.
Valerie Coleman, Phenomenal Women: Concerto for Wind Quintet Soli and Chamber
Antonín Dvořák, Symphony No. 7 in D minor
Saturday, February 24, 2024 at 7:30 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore
Chopin the Virtuoso
Brian Ganz, piano
Pianist Brian Ganz returns in recital to the NatPhil stage to continue his enduring quest to perform every note the great Polish composer Frédéric Chopin ever wrote. Since its inception in 2011, the “Extreme Chopin” project has showcased Ganz’s virtuosity, deep musicality, and engagement with his audience through Chopin’s magnificent works. This year’s program highlights Chopin’s own virtuosity through some of his most challenging compositions, masterfully performed by Ganz.
Program—All works by Frédéric Chopin:
Introduction and Rondo, Op. 16
Polonaise in G-flat major, Op. Posth.
Impromptu No. 3 in G-flat major, Op. 51
2 Nocturnes, Op. 37
Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20
12 Etudes, Op. 25
Tickets ($19–$99) are available online at nationalphilharmonic.org. Kids 17 and under can attend National Philharmonic performances for free through the All Kids. All Free. All the Time. initiative.
About the National Philharmonic
Celebrated for showcasing world-renowned guest artists in time-honored symphonic masterpieces, National Philharmoniccontinuously strives to create remarkable educational opportunities in the community while promoting diversity and representation in classical music.
National Philharmonic is an accessible, enriching component in the Greater Washington D.C. 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.
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Camille Cintrón Devlin
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