Remember when people used to accomplish impressive, monumental feats before the age of 30? Me neither, because most of those people lived 200 years ago. Take Mozart, for example, who wrote his first symphony at age 9. Or 21-year-old George Washington who rode his horse out to the Ohio River Valley to confront the growing French presence, ultimately sparking the French Indian War. These days, we’re obsessed with less-than-noteworthy heroes. Like the makers of padded butt jeans and mediocre lip kits, or those who dare to take on the challenge of consuming detergent in a grossly convenient pod. We need to shift value back to real art. Real accomplishments. Real talent. Like the musicians and composers featured during this performance. Forget Coachella–the National Symphony Orchestra is where it’s at.

National Symphony Orchestra, Kennedy Center

Money Score: Good

For $25, you get everything that comes with a visit to the Kennedy Center, plus a three-hour, all-out, leave everything on the floor, mind-blowingly good symphony performance. You pay less than you would for a popular musical, but you get the same passion, talent, and spectacular ambiance. Get there early to enjoy a glass of champagne on the rooftop. I recommend dressing up to feel a little fancy while you soak in the incredible views of the city (and so your friends will understand the extent of your class as you SnapChat rooftop champagne selfies on your symphony outing).

Consciousness Score: Excellent

There is nothing better than an experience that takes you on a journey through history, culture, and life itself. I loved reading through the background of the songs, composers, and the musicians bringing everything to life on stage. The concerto featured pianist Inon Barnatan, a fill-in who brought down the house for a solid hour-and-a-half straight with his National Symphony Orchestra debut. I was in awe of the talent, and the mental stamina it must take to not screw up. The pressure would kill me. I know because I used to feel a bit of it back in the day during my slightly less excellent piano recitals.

The music–which explored the spirit of dance in Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic through music by Brahms, R. Strauss, Kodaly, and Dvorak–was expertly conducted by the new music director, Gianandrea Nodesda. It calmed my anxiety, and helped me chill out after a long work week—like a musical form of Xanax. I’d like to formally recommend that everyone spend an hour a week at the symphony. This stuff is so powerful it could even be prescribed by doctors to lower your blood pressure. (You heard it here first, navigators.)

‘All the Feels’ Score: Excellent

From the stunning chandeliers to the lush red carpets lining the theater, you cannot beat the atmosphere. The attendants were perhaps the friendliest and most welcoming people I’ve ever met, and I’m from Wisconsin. I wondered if the extra niceties might have been due to our age. I think we were the youngest people there—a sad reality. It has now become my personal mission to recruit young people to go to the symphony. We cannot let this pastime disappear with our oldest generation. Let’s ditch the Kardashians in favor of something meaningful. At the very least, give it a try. We can make the symphony trendy, I swear. Just think of it as vintage!


4.0
Score