In his storied career, Italian conductor Gianandrea Noseda has led orchestras from the BBC Philharmonic to the St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre. The dashing maestro was just named the director of the National Symphony Orchestra for a four-year term, and he’ll be at the podium for several concerts this month at The Kennedy Center.
“I think the potential for the NSO is so high,” says Noseda. “And [The] Kennedy Center is one of the most important arts centers in the world.” He returns this April for this spring’s innovative SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras, which includes an all-Russian program April 14 (tickets $25). Next, the Italian conductor will present a repertory of Mozart, W.F. Bach and Stravinsky April 19 through 21 (tickets $15 to $89).
“But I’m also looking forward to taking the orchestra out to other places in Washington, like Union Station (April 11, 1pm),” he says. Indeed, Noseda took this job to get to know the city, but also its concertgoers. “I like that American audiences react in a very distinctive and natural way to music,” he says. “If they like something, they show it.” Plus, he’s looking forward to diving into U.S. history at sites around town like the Library of Congress and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
For upcoming NSO dates, he’s programming everything from a salute to John Williams’ iconic Star Wars compositions to Mozart. It’s all part of engaging with both the musicians and the fans. “To attract new people to the symphony, you have to serve up a big variety,” says Noseda. “It’s like a meal: You need finger food, good wine, a main course. It’s about telling a story through the concert.”