To commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11, reflect on the ongoing loss from COVID-19, and honor the healthcare professionals who have been on the front lines throughout the pandemic, the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) will perform a free Concert of Remembrance Friday, September 10, 2021, 7:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
Conducted by NSO music director Gianandrea Noseda, this special concert experience will feature “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band and Grammy Award–winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard with music by Leonard Bernstein, William Grant Still, the Kennedy Center’s new Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon, Aaron Copland, and others. The concert will include remarks by special guest speakers General Colin Powell, Dr. Francis Collins, and others. Representatives and guests from the Washington metropolitan community working in positions of service will also be in attendance.
To mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, James Lee III’s NSO commission An Engraved American Mourning will receive its world premiere. Inspired by a quote from former President George W. Bush in 2011, Lee uses a four-note descending motive throughout the piece to represent the phrase “we re-mem-ber.”
John Stafford Smith/John Williams The Star-Spangled Banner**
Aaron Copland Fanfare for the Common Man**
William Grant Still Mother and Child
James Lee III An Engraved American Mourning (world premiere)
“Greeting” (from Arias and Barcarolles) *
“Lonely Town” (from On the Town) *
“Somewhere” (from West Side Story) *
“Take Care of this House” (from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue) *
Carlos Simon This Land
George W. Warren/Thomas Knox God of Our Fathers**
Samuel Ward/Carmen Dragon America the Beautiful**
(*) Isabel Leonard, mezzo-soprano
(**) “The President’s Own” The United States Marine Band, Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
For more information about the NSO, visit nationalsymphony.org. For more information about the Kennedy Center, visit kennedy-center.org.