Bryce Dessner, The National and the Cincinnati Symphony Perform at 2015 MusicNOW Festival

By Ian Holubiak on Mar 16, 2015 09:00 PM EDT

Last Friday, The National took to the stage for the first time in 2015 for a special performance at the MusicNOW Festival in Cincinnati. In a surprising move, too, the band teamed up with none other than the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Featuring a nine-song setlist, the collaboration premiered fan favorites like "Runaway," "England," "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks" and "Fake Empire."

The MusicNOW event is curated and founded by The National's own Bryce Dessner. And as Consequence of Sound reports, Aaron Dessner unfortunately missed the concert in order to attend to his wife and the impending birth of their child.

Other highlights from this year's festival include the Dessner/Sufjan Stevens/Nico Muhly collaborative work Planetarium, along with performances from Perfume Genius, Arcade Fire's Will Butler, and more.

In a review of the performance, the concert was described:

"To be expected, the crowd skewed younger than on most symphony nights. But there was something else extraordinary: Before intermission, more than 3,400 people in the sold-out crowd also stood and cheered for new music. The inventive classical program included a world premiere violin concerto, 'Lo,' by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, Dessner's 'Lachrimae,' and music by Varèse, Christopher Rouse and John Adams."

A first for both the CSO and the band alike, the show was an inventive concerto of modern sounds juxtaposed with classical elements, coalescing in a unique blend of alt rock in a symphonic landscape.

Check out a fan video from the show below.

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TagsAaron Dessner, MusicNOW 2015, The National, Bryce Dessner, Runaway, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, symphonic, Rock, Birth, Wife

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