Golden Years of the National Symphony Orchestra: Stories and Photographs of Musicians and Maestros presents a rich and intimate perspective of the orchestra as it evolved in prominence and international expanse throughout the past nine decades. Through hundreds of stunning photographs captured by NSO violinist William Haroutounian, the tenure of seven NSO conductors, major guest artists, and NSO members are brought to life, giving a rare and exciting glimpse of musical life on stage, backstage, and on tour.
Alongside these photographs are experiences from the members themselves, pieced together by Joanne Haroutounian. Humorous stories of mishaps during rehearsals and performances balance with some of the most historically significant moments in classical music history—from Mstislav Rostropovich’s return to Russia with the NSO and sheer excitement of the mobs to the sudden death of Gina Bachauer minutes before she was scheduled to perform in Athens. The book memorializes this rich and varied history and will enhance an appreciation for concert life.
Joanne Haroutounian served on the music faculty of George Mason University for over thirty years. She is the founder and executive director of the MusicLink Foundation, a national organization that provides music instruction to promising students in need.
William Haroutounian, violinist, is the longest serving member of the National Symphony Orchestra, having joined the orchestra in 1963 during Howard Mitchell’s tenure. During his 54 years of service, he has captured thousands of images in rehearsal settings from the unique vantage point of a musician in the orchestra.
Introduction: NSO Golden Moments Encapsulated
Chapter 1: The Tenure of Hans Kindler (1931-1949) - The Early Years
Chapter 2: The Tenure of Howard Mitchell (1949-1969) - The National What? Recognition of the National Symphony
Chapter 3: The Tenure of Antal Dorati (1970-1977) - Expanding the Scope: Repertoire, Recordings, and Awards
Chapter 4: The Tenure of Mstislav Rostropovich (1977-1994) - Slava Persona, World-wide Exposure
Chapter 5: Conductors, Artists, and Composers Across the Years
Chapter 6: The Tenure of Leonard Slatkin (1996-2008) - American Focus, Residencies
Chapter 7: The Tenure of Iván Fischer (2008-2010) - Caretaker
Chapter 8: The Tenure of Christoph Eschenbach (2010 - 2017) - European Traditions
Chapter 9: NSO Musicians - Stories of Colleagues
Chapter 10: The Tenure of Gianandrea Noseda (2017-Present) - Maestro Appassionato
A loving tribute to the music and musicians who have inhabited the world of the National Symphony Orchestra. With stunning photographs from William Haroutounian, this book brings to life the sounds and stories that have been played and told for these past ninety years.
Enjoy the many stories of my current and former colleagues in this beautiful book.