From the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic…. A Centennial Anniversary Celebration

HaPpY 275th Birthday to the City of Alexandria from the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic who will perform George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in honor of the city’s 100 anniversary. Photo WMP.

By Kelly MacConomy

As part of the ongoing celebration of Alexandria’s 275th birthday this year, the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic marks the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin’s beloved masterpiece Rhapsody in Blue with a piano accompaniment by local Gershwin specialist Thomas Pandolfi.

Gershwin virtuoso, and local legend, pianist Thomas Pandolfi will accompany the WMP in a performance of George Gershwin’s quintessentially American Rhapsody in Blue Sunday, March 24 at the Masonic Temple.
The concert takes place Sunday, March 24 at 3pm in the auditorium of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.
Rhapsody in Blue is an iconic work of musical artistry, demonstrating the virtuosity of the piano as well as the clarinet in an orchestral nod to the seminal influences of jazz and the diaspora of American musical cultures. Mr. Pandolfi is renown for his eloquent and dynamic interpretation of Gershwin’s unabashedly progressive concerto, blending brass band toe-tapping rhythms into seductive blues notes that segue subtly as waves of sweeping crescendos of grandiosity and bravado. All that’s missing is cannon fire.
The program is a showcase of American musical history culminating in the Gershwin hat-tip finale. Jennifer Higdon’s elegant blue cathedral kickstarts the program. Local arts aficionados may recall in 2017 as part of the Alexandria Film Festival, blue cathedral was performed to Michael Fallavollita’s retelling of Tale of the Kite, which garnered 25 festival awards.
Samuel Barber’s comparably groundbreaking Symphony in One Movement is a brilliant complement to Rhapsody in Blue. John Alden Carpenter’s Krazy Kat follows, mixing jazz motifs as well as Latin influences into symphonic orchestration.
Music director Anna Binneweg conducts the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic in a performance and program not to be missed. LIVING. BREATHING. MUSIC. is the brand and hallmark of this contemporary musical art organization.
Anna Binneweg, Musical Director of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic. Photo WMP.
WMP is comprised of 55 professional and semi-professional musicians. Their mission is dedicated to the promotion of continuing and expanding opportunities in experiencing live musical performance to a broadly diverse audience. Focusing wholeheartedly upon presenting American music, especially spotlighting works by underrepresented composers, their programs engender diversity and inclusion within the Alexandria community, whose storied 275 years they honor in concert.
If only George Gershwin could hear the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic celebrate Rhapsody in Blue now. You certainly can. Tickets are available at
See you at the symphony!

Kelly MacConomy

Kelly MacConomy is the Arts Editor for The Zebra Press.

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