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National Symphony Orchestra

National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), Washington, D.C., founded in 1931 by Hans Kindler, who conducted the orchestra until 1949. Its first home was Constitution Hall; since 1986 it has been affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to a regular schedule of concerts, the NSO performs for state occasions, presidential inaugurations, holiday festivities, and other national and international events. The orchestra also a pops season, holds summer concerts on the Capitol's West Lawn and at Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Va., and tours widely. Music directors of the orchestra since Kindler have been Howard Mitchell (1949–70), Antal Dorati (1970–77), Mstislav Rostropovich (1977–94), Leonard Slatkin (1996–2008), and Christoph Eschenbach (2010–).

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