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Shostakovich to Strobe Lights: National Symphony Orchestra Performs at Echostage to Younger Audience

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Jan 13, 2015 11:32 PM EST

The National Symphony Orchestra may have made its most significant leap to getting a younger demographic into orchestral, bringing the power of symphonic chorus to the club — more specifically, a 3,000 cap venue called Echostage.

A club that's normally fit for dubstep slingers and 808 drops, this time the venue was packed with the sounds of Shostakovich, Bernstein and Prokofiev. While the music is bombastic and "punk" in its own right, it took on a new color on the dance floor of Echostage, according to Anne Midgette.

In a new series entitled NSO in Your Neighborhood, players from the orchestra are sent either as a single unit or as a group to bring classical music to some unique and unexpected places. Departing from the normal Kennedy Center stage, the NSO has performed underground at Union Station and other places around the Brooklyn area (designated as "NoMa").

And like EDM-ers of all stripes, strobe lights ignited the dance floor and showcased video projections against the back walls of the venue. The orchestra's pops conductor, Steven Reineke, also, brought the event to a head with a wonderful program consisting of some of the greatest heavyweight in classical (Prokofiev, that badass).

So while opera companies and orchestras across the country grapple with the difficulties of bringing classical to younger ears, the NSO may have finally found a clever route to get into the minds of the youngins.

For now, though, get cultured of Shostakovich below.

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TagsEchostage, National Symphony Orchestra, NSO in Your Neighborhood, Steven Reineke, Kennedy Center, Prokofiev, Shostakovich