Christoph Eschenbach honors the memory of his predecessor at the helm of the National Symphony Orchestra, Mstislav Rostropovich, with a performance of Shostakovich’s Eighth Symphony. The second of three large symphonies related to the composer’s experiences during World War II, the work did not find popularity with the Soviet authorities at the time of its premiere, in 1943.
Violinist Gidon Kremer also joins the NSO to play the Violin Concerto in G Minor by Mieczysław Weinberg, who was born in Poland but lived in the Soviet Union most of his life. The work is a rarity, along with most of Weinberg’s music, only now beginning to find an audience, thanks in no small part to Kremer’s efforts to revive it.
Christoph Eschenbach conducts this program 7 p.m. January 26, 8 p.m. January 27 and 28 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. kennedy-center.org/calendar/event/NRCSH; 202-467-4600.
The Mariinsky Ballet also makes its annual visit from St. Petersburg starting next week, presenting another Russian rarity, The Little Humpbacked Horse, or The Tsar-Maiden. In 1960, Rodion Shchedrin premiered a new score for this Russian classic, drawn from a folk tale about a magic horse that helps a foolish young man win the hand of the Tsar-Maiden. Alexei Ratmansky made this new choreography for the Mariinsky in 2009, described as an effervescent take on this comic work. Although the company brought this ballet to New York in 2011 for the Lincoln Center Festival, these performances will be the first in Washington.
Performances run from January 31 to February 5 in the Kennedy Center Opera House, with live music from the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. kennedy-center.org/calendar/event/BRBSG; 202-467-4600.