(WASHINGTON)—The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) and Music Director Gianandrea Noseda conclude their journey of releasing the complete Beethoven Symphonies on February 9, 2024 when Symphony No. 9 and Beethoven: The Complete Symphonies are released on digital streaming platforms. A box set of SACDs containing all nine symphonies and a video of the Ninth on Blu-ray will be released on February 23, 2024, aligning with the NSO’s 2024 Europe Tour (February 16–28) with stops in Madrid, Zaragoza, Barcelona, Berlin, Nuremberg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Milan, and Hamburg. Pre-order will be available on January 12.  

“Beethoven’s voice is as fresh and powerful today as it was when he created those masterpieces,” said Noseda. “To approach Beethoven is a journey. You know you are starting the journey, but you never know where the journey will take you. With Beethoven, any moment is a discovery.” 

Capturing the complete Beethoven Symphonies was a multi-year project, with the performances and recordings spanning the 2021–2022 and 2022–2023 seasons. The recordings of Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3 were released in 2022, followed by Nos. 4 & 5, 6 & 8, and 2 & 7 in 2023. Symphony No. 9 was recorded with special guest artists Camilla Tilling (soprano), Kelley O’Connor (mezzo-soprano), Issachah Savage (tenor), Ryan McKinny (bass-baritone), and the Washington Chorus.  

These performances and recordings have earned critical acclaim. The Washington Post said, “If there was a question as to why the world needs another recorded Beethoven cycle, Noseda gamely offered the first few notes of an answer.” Washington Classical Review said the performance of No. 2 was “undeniably fresh and thrilling.” BBC Music Magazine praised the recordings of Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5 as having been played with “an energizing injection of sheer excitement.” The Washington Post praised the performance of Symphony No. 7 in May of 2023 as “powerful” and “rousing.”  

The box set includes cover art by the Kennedy Center’s first Artist-in-Residence, Mo Willems. In creating the Beethoven Abstracted designs for the cover art, Willems said, “I got to know Beethoven in a new way. When you listen to a symphony you are invited into a dialogue with its creator. I had the opportunity to see his technique change over his career and to feel the journey of his musical notes.” Also included in the box set are two Pure Audio Blu-ray discs that contain all symphonies and a bonus video of No. 9.  

The complete Beethoven Symphonies continue the legacy of the NSO’s rich recording history, which began in the 1940s. Under its own label the NSO released a pairing of Copland’s Suite from Billy the Kid and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”, in 2020, and the complete George Walker Sinfonias in September of 2023. For its achievement in performances and recordings, the NSO was nominated for the 2023 Gramophone Orchestra of the Year Award.    

ABOUT GIANANDREA NOSEDA
Gianandrea Noseda is one of the world’s most sought-after conductors, equally recognized for his artistry in both the concert hall and opera house. The 2023–2024 season marks his seventh as Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra. 

Noseda’s leadership has inspired and reinvigorated the National Symphony Orchestra which makes its home at the Kennedy Center. The renewed artistic recognition and critical acclaim has led to invitations to Carnegie Hall, international concert halls, as well as digital streaming and a record label distributed by LSO Live for which Noseda also records as principal guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. The label’s most recent and upcoming releases are dedicated to the complete Sinfonias by Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington, D.C. native George Walker and a Beethoven Cycle. The label launched in 2020 with Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 and Copland’s Billy the Kid. He has made over 80 recordings for various labels, including Deutsche Grammophon and Chandos on which he recorded many works including those by neglected Italian composers through his Musica Italiana series. 

Noseda became General Music Director of the Zurich Opera House in September 2021. In 2022, his initial four-year contract was extended through the 2027–2028 season. An important milestone will be two complete Ring Cycles in May 2024 in a new production by Andreas Homoki. Since April 2022, his performances of the Ring operas have been praised by critics and in February 2023 he was recognized as “Best Conductor” by the jury of the German OPER! AWARDS, specifically for his Wagner interpretations. 

From 2007–2018, Noseda served as music director of the Teatro Regio Torino, where his leadership marked the opera house’s golden era.  

Noseda has conducted the most important international orchestras, opera houses and festivals and had significant roles at the BBC Philharmonic (chief conductor), Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (principal guest conductor), Mariinsky Theatre (principal guest conductor), Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI (principal guest conductor), Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (Victor de Sabata Chair), Rotterdam Philharmonic (principal guest conductor), and Stresa Festival (artistic director). 

Noseda has a strong commitment to working with the next generation of musicians and in 2019 was appointed the founding Music Director of the Tsinandali Festival and Pan-Caucasian Youth Orchestra in the village of Tsinandali, Georgia. 

A native of Milan, Noseda is Commendatore al Merito della Repubblica Italiana, marking his contribution to the artistic life of Italy. He has been honored as Musical America’s Conductor of the Year (2015) and International Opera Awards Conductor of the Year (2016). In 2023, he received the Puccini Award whose past recipients include legendary opera stars Maria Callas, Birgit Nillson and Luciano Pavarotti. 

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The 2023–2024 season is the National Symphony Orchestra’s 93rd season, and Music Director Gianandrea Noseda’s seventh season. Noseda serves as the Orchestra’s seventh Music Director, joining the NSO’s legacy of distinguished leaders: Christoph Eschenbach, Leonard Slatkin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Antal Doráti, Howard Mitchell, and Hans Kindler. Its artistic leadership also includes Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke and Artistic Advisor Ben Folds. 

Since its founding in 1931, the NSO has been committed to performances that enrich the lives of its audience and community members. In 1986, the National Symphony became an artistic affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where it has performed since the Center opened in 1971. The 96-member NSO participates in events of national and international importance, including the annual nationally televised concerts on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, live-streamed performances from the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on medici.tv, and local radio broadcasts on Classical WETA 90.9 FM. 

The NSO builds on its recording legacy with its eponymous label that launched in 2020. Since launching, the National Symphony Orchestra has garnered praise for its ambitious recording projects including the orchestra’s first complete Beethoven Symphony cycle and the release of the first-ever cycle of George Walker’s Sinfonias, both led by Music Director Gianandrea Noseda. 

Additionally, the NSO’s community engagement and education projects are nationally recognized, including NSO In Your Neighborhood, an annual week of performances in schools, churches, community centers, and other unexpected venues; Notes of Honor, which offers free performances for active, veteran, prior service, and retired members of the military and their families; and Sound Health, a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its affiliated organizations. Career development opportunities for young musicians include the NSO Youth Fellowship Program and its acclaimed, tuition-free Summer Music Institute.

ABOUT MO WILLEMS
Mo Willems, the inaugural Kennedy Center Artist-in-Residence, is an author, illustrator, animator, and playwright. He collaborates on projects ranging from classical music, opera, comedy, dance, and painting to digital works with the National Symphony Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda, Ben Folds, Yo-Yo Ma, and others. Inspired by a concert of Beethoven’s works, Willems created nine pieces of art as visual responses to each of the nine symphonies. These vibrant artworks became the focal imagery on the NSO’s Beethoven albums.

FUNDING CREDITS
The NSO Music Director Chair is generously endowed by the Sant Family.
Major Support provided by Noseda Era Fund Supporters.
Additional Support provided by the Amici di Gianandrea.