Free ‘Concert of Remembrance’ at Kennedy Center September 10

National Symphony Orchestra program to commemorate 9/11, reflect on loss from COVID, and honor frontline workers.

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. 

Isabel Leonard

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.”

The free NSO Concert of Remembrance is currently sold out, but the digital program is available online. 

Full Program 

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)
Leonard Bernstein

“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 

The National Symphony Orchestra led by Gianandrea Noseda. Photo courtesy of Kennedy Center.

For more information about the NSO, visit For more information about the Kennedy Center, visit 


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