The Catholic University of America

Jan. 12, 2015

National Symphony Orchestra to Perform at CUA

The Catholic University of America will play host to one of the country’s most well-respected orchestras next month when the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), led by Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, performs at the Hartke Theatre on Monday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be reserved for the free concert at (Update 1/12/15: Tickets are now sold out.)

The concert at CUA is the culmination of the 2015 NSO In Your Neighborhood series, a week of events in the Brookland and NoMa (North of Massachusetts Avenue) neighborhoods of Washington, D.C.

“This is a remarkable opportunity for our students to learn from the members of the National Symphony, but this event is also a wonderful representation of the importance of our home, the beautiful Brookland neighborhood with its many community organizations that are doing such great work,” said Grayson Wagstaff, dean of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music.

“The concert will also be the inaugural event in our yearlong celebration that will highlight all the different programs of the School of Music, from orchestral music, to opera and musical theatre, to piano and our divisions of music education, composition, and musicology.”

The concert will feature NSO Principal Flute Aaron Goldman and will include the following Mozart works: Overture to Le Nozze di Figaro, K. 492; Concerto No. 2 in D major for Flute and Orchestra, K. 314; and Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551, “Jupiter.” For more information about the concert, go to

“All of us at the National Symphony Orchestra gladly salute the 50th anniversary of Catholic University's Benjamin T. Rome School of Music,” said NSO Executive Director Rito Shapiro. “As one of the Washington area's leading universities, Catholic University has played an important role in the cultural life of the region. We look forward to celebrating this important anniversary with them in January, through our appearance as part of NSO In Your Neighborhood. We congratulate them on their achievements, and hope they have many more anniversaries to come!”

Prior to the concert, musicians from the NSO will address the University community as part of Studio X, the music school’s weekly music colloquium in which undergraduates gather for presentations, performances, and master classes. On Jan. 12, at 3:30 p.m., a group of musicians from the NSO will give a brief performance for students in Ward Hall and discuss the career paths to becoming an orchestral musician.

“Hearing first-hand advice from musicians that have been so successful in their professional careers will be incredibly valuable for our undergraduate students,” said Stephen Gorbos, assistant professor of music composition and theory.

Simeone Tartaglione, clinical assistant professor of conducting, said the concert will be both “a learning opportunity” and “a tremendous gift” for members of the University community.

“The NSO is one of the biggest and best orchestras in the country,” Tartaglione said. “Whenever they play, everyone should go and listen because it’s a wonderful joy to listen to them. For our music students especially, they need to take advantage of the opportunity to listen to the orchestra in the same place we perform.”

Troy Paolantonio, a doctoral student studying orchestral instrument performance, said he is looking forward to seeing some of the music school’s faculty perform during the concert.

“Not only is a chance to see the National Symphony Orchestra an incredible treat just by itself, but many faculty members and primary instrument teachers are members of this esteemed orchestra,” he said. “My teacher, Alice Weinreb, is second flutist with the NSO, and any chance to see her perform in one of her many areas of expertise, orchestral playing, is a true privilege. … There are few comparable examples to learn from and be wowed by like that of the NSO, and we are lucky to have them here.”

In addition to performing at Catholic University, the NSO will also perform orchestral concerts and work with nearly 20 community partners in Brookland and NoMa. Events during the NSO In Your Neighborhood series, which begins Jan. 6, are scheduled to take place in local schools, libraries, daycare centers, and community centers.

Throughout 2015, the music school will host a series of special events honoring its anniversary, including a full program by the CUA Symphony Orchestra and choruses at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall on Sunday, April 12, at 8 p.m.

Additional anniversary events will include performances of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas beginning Jan. 20, Verdi’s Rigoletto March 19 to 22, and the musical Most Happy Fella Oct. 23 to 25. A number of events in both the spring and fall of 2015, including a concert of newly composed music for the Stations of the Cross and a celebration of Catholic mission music from Bolivia, will feature the uniquely Catholic traditions emphasized in the mission of the music school, Wagstaff noted.

For more information about the music school’s 50th anniversary celebration, visit
For more information about the NSO In Your Neighborhood series or to reserve tickets to the Jan. 12 concert, visit

Music study and performance at CUA began shortly after the creation of the University in 1887. In 1950, music moved onto the campus proper as a division, then a department within the School of Arts and Sciences in 1954, and was designated a School of Music in 1965. In 1984, it was named in honor of Benjamin T. Rome, alumnus, trustee emeritus, and longtime friend and benefactor. The school is the preeminent center for music study, performance, and research in Catholic higher education in the United States and internationally recognized for its diverse curricula. The music school offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees — including in some disciplines Ph.D. and D.M.A. programs — in performance of instrumental music, piano, voice, and musical theatre, as well as choral conducting and sacred music, composition and theory, musicology, orchestral conducting, music education, and voice and piano pedagogy. Newer programs include the Institute of Sacred Music, which fosters performance, composition, and research in Catholic sacred music, and a highly innovative Bachelor of Arts program. The school has maintained a three-decade emphasis on Latin American music with a number of faculty experts in this field. The music school designs programs and curricula that inspire young musicians to be imaginative in developing audiences, in providing musical service throughout communities, and in connecting with the evolution of American arts institutions and new ways that professional artists can and do serve humanity.




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