Kennedy Center at 50

Premiering Friday, Oct. 1 at 8 p.m.

Echoing “An American Pageant for the Arts,” the 1962 fundraising telecast for the National Cultural Center hosted by Leonard Bernstein, this special celebration will be hosted by six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald with special guest Caroline Kennedy and feature the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO).

The concert will be directed and choreographed by Emmy Award® winner and Tony Award® nominee Joshua Bergasse and feature newly announced conductors JoAnn Falletta, Steven Reineke, and Thomas Wilkins.

Newly announced to take part in celebrating the great performance traditions that have enriched our varied cultural heritage and the bright future that lies ahead are

  • Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, creators of the TikTok smash “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical”
  • Violinist Ray Chen
  • Tony® and Grammy Award® nominee Joshua Henry
  • Four-time Grammy Award®–winning pianist, composer, producer and founding Kennedy Center Hip Hop Culture Council Member Robert Glasper
  • Tony Award® winner David Henry Hwang and the original cast of his and Jeanine Tesori’s groundbreaking musical-within-a-play, “Soft Power”
  • Grammy®–nominated soul singer-songwriter Bettye LaVette
  • Latin Grammy® winner and Grammy Award® nominee Gaby Moreno
  • Tony Award® winner Kelli O’Hara
  • “Star Wars” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” star Kelly Marie Tran
  • Pianist Zhu Wang
  • Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems in a world premiere collaboration with Artistic Advisor to the NSO, Ben Folds
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