Among the major events planned for the season are a month-long Festival of China in October. The series includes visits from the National Ballet of China, Beijing Modern Dance Company. City Contemporary Dance Company, Guangdong Modern Dance Company, and Shen Wei Dance Arts, as well as music, theater, and film events.
Also among the season highlights is a one-night performance in concert of Richard Strauss's Daphne with soprano Ren_e Fleming in the title role. Semyon Bychkov leads the WDR Symphony Orchestra of Cologne.
The National Symphony Orchestra's season, its 75th, includes American tours in October and March; commissioned world premieres from Roberto Sierra, Joseph Schwantner, and David Del Tredici; and a semi-staged production of Mozart's Abduction From the Seraglio in honor of the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth. The season begins with a gala anniversary celebration featuring pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
The jazz series includes visits from trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, pianist Bill Charlap, vocalist Diane Schuur, and pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi; the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Big Band is featured in an 80th-birthday celebration for saxophonist James Moody. The center also hosts the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival and the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, which focuses on the guitar this year.
The Fortas Chamber Music Concerts include performances by the Orion String Quartet with pianist Peter Serkin, the Guarneri String Quartet, guitarist Sharon Isbin and mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer, and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the center's chamber music ensemble in residence. The repertoire focuses on Mozart in another nod to his sesquibicentennial.
Visiting dance troupes include the National Ballet of Canada, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Kirov Ballet, Royal Ballet, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Ailvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Suzanne Farrell Ballet, which is based at the center, also returns.
The Kirov Opera and Orchestra return for a weeklong residency, the fourth in its decade-long partnership with the center. Repertoire includes Turandot, Parsifal, and the Verdi Requiem. Artistic director Valery Gergiev conducts.