Gianandrea Noseda extends NSO contract through 2024-2025 season

«Gianandrea Noseda will be staying in Washington. One year into the conductor’s tenure as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, Gary Ginstling, the orchestra’s executive director, announced a four-year contract extension, through 2024-2025, from the stage of the Kennedy Center Concert Hall during the orchestra’s season-opening gala Saturday night (…).The announcement put to rest some anxieties that the popular Noseda might look elsewhere after the expiration of his initial contract at the end of the 2020-2021 season — concerns that were augmented with the announcement this summer that the conductor will take over as music director of the Zurich Opera in 2021-2022. (It is not unusual for major conductors to have at least two regular posts.) … His energetic conducting took the orchestra from fire to serenity (in an Italianate rendering of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune”)… There’s a lot in the season ahead, however, that could allow him to make that statement and deliver performances as memorable as, for instance, last year’s Verdi Requiem.»
The Washington Post, Anne Midgette

«Many things are improving at the NSO under Noseda, not least the quality of programming for gala and holiday concerts. Out with the pops and crossover gala concerts of recent years, and in with more serious repertoire. The theme this year and throughout the upcoming season is space, chosen to honor the 60th anniversary of NASA and the 50th anniversary of that agency’s first landing on the moon, coming up next summer. Spacesuits were even on display in the lobby. (The video broadcast of the concert can be seen at Medici.tv.). (…)Holst’s vast orchestration provided Noseda a chance to show off the orchestra’s regular members and beyond with extended woodwind and brass sections, plus two timpanists, two harpists, and organist. The massed forces made the opening of “Mars” a martial thrill, with a particularly swift tempo imposed by Noseda (after the traditional performance of The Star-Spangled Banner to open the season). Amid the full blare of the amped-up brass section, with Holst turning up the volume to fffff at the conclusion of the movement, the player of the conspicuous tenor tuba part excelled. (…) Noseda, as tall as Darth Vader and dressed all in black, offered a fitting encore–John Williams’ “Imperial March” from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, with a knowing wink.»
Washington Classical Review, Charles T. Downey