Nat’l Chamber Ensemble’s Holiday Concert Dec 10 Features Winner of Young Artist Achievement Award

What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with the music of Strauss, Mozart, Schumann, and more? The National Chamber Ensemble’s (NCE) annual Happy Holidays! concert takes place December 10, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre. Mary-Claire Burick, president of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, will be the guest host for the evening.

General admission tickets are $33 for adults and $17 for students, plus applicable service charges. Tickets are available online at and at the box office one hour prior to the performance. Group discounts for 10 or more are available by calling (703) 685-7590. Season subscriptions, which include all five concerts, are still on sale and priced at $135 thereafter. For more information, call (703) 685-7590 or visit The theater has free garage parking and is two blocks from the Rosslyn Metro. A wine and cheese reception with the artists follows the concert.
Soprano Rebecca Littig, who made her European debut at age 24, has graced many of the world’s stages including Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, the Vienna State Opera, and London’s Royal Opera Covent Garden. She will perform Mozart’s joyful “Exsultate, Jubilate K165,” written by the composer – while still in his teens – specifically for Italian castrato Venanzio Rauzzini. Littig will also lead the audience in a carols sing-along at the conclusion of the concert.
Joining Littig will be Natasha Dukan (piano), Jorge Orozco (violin), Vasily Popov (cello), Leo Sushansky (violin), and Uri Wassertzug (viola). In addition, the winner of the Outstanding Young Artist Achievement Award will make his or her Ensemble debut.
The Outstanding Young Artist Achievement Award competition is currently being held for string musicians ages 12 to 18. The selected student will receive a scholarship and a crystal trophy, in addition to the opportunity to perform during the Happy Holidays! concert. NCE has supported young talent and has created performance opportunities of young musicians since its inception in 2007. The deadline to submit an application for the contest is Thursday, October 27. For more information, visit
The evening’s repertoire also includes a Hanukkah medley, Tchaikovsky, and Bach. A group of students from elementary school to college age will accompany the Ensemble on the Bach selection, “A Concerto for Two Violins.” The students come from a variety of organizations, including Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras, American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras, and Levine Music.

National Chamber Ensemble’s internationally acclaimed musicians have redefined the meaning of chamber music by incorporating tango, jazz, klezmer, opera, ballet, modern dance, and multimedia into programs with traditional classical masterpieces. The Ensemble has hosted premiere works by top contemporary classical composers such as Lowell Liebermann, Gary William Friedman, Dick Hyman, and Alexander Goldstein.

The 2016-17 NCE season also features A Night in Vienna on October 22, Vive la France: The Magic of Saint-Saens on February 11, The Four Seasons of Vivaldi and Piazzolla on March 25, and Music of Our Time on May 13. 

About Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre
Located at 1611 N. Kent Street, Arlington VA
Parking: Free garage parking, entrance on Arlington Ridge Road
Metro: Blue/Orange/Silver – Rosslyn Station
About National Chamber Ensemble
The National Chamber Ensemble was founded in 2007 to provide opportunities to appreciate and enjoy the art of chamber music, bringing together performers, audiences, and composers. Through its performances and commissions of original musical works, NCE presents a full range of chamber music repertoire from the classics to the contemporary. Its internationally-acclaimed musicians provide outstanding performances of chamber music in an intimate setting. The Ensemble has presented several world premieres and hosted visiting guest artists such as international clarinet star Julian Milkis (the only pupil of Benny Goodman), opera diva Carmen Balthrop, and America’s most often performed and recorded living composer Lowell Liebermann, among others. Over the years, NCE has collaborated with Ballet Nova, Choralis Children’s Choir, Russian Chamber Art Society, and Bowen McCauley Dance. NCE strives to build a sense of closeness between performers and audience that enhances the feeling of community and a deeper musical experience.
The National Chamber Ensemble is supported in part by the Arlington Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts.
The National Chamber Ensemble is partially supported by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
 Performer Biographies
Rebecca Littig (Soprano)
Rebecca Littig has had an exceptional career on many of the world’s opera stages. She made her European debut at age 24 as a principal member of the solo ensemble of the Stuttgart Staatsoper. Her subsequent career has taken her to leading opera theaters throughout Europe including the Royal Opera Covent Garden in London, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Dresden’s Semperoper, the Gran Theatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Grand Theatre de Geneve, Vienna State Opera, and Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colon. Festivals include the Richard Wagner Bayreuth Festival and France’s Festival Aix-En-Provence. American engagements include the Washington Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, and St. Louis Opera. Miss Littig has been a featured as a concert soloist at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Wolf Trap Filene Center, and Buffalo Symphony, and has been featured in solo recitals at the Phillips Collection, the Lyceum in Alexandria, and the Church of the Epiphany Tuesday Concert series. Read more about Rebecca.
Natasha Dukan (Piano)
Natasha Dukan began her musical studies in her native city of Split, Croatia, where she won numerous national competitions. After appearing at the 1986 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, she went on to win first prize in an international piano competition in Stresa, Italy, the same year. In 1996, Ms. Dukan received a full scholarship to study with Julian Martin at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore. She earned a Graduate Performance Diploma in 1998 and was immediately admitted (on full scholarship) to the prestigious Artist Diploma Program, which she completed in 2000. Read more about Natasha.
Jorge Orozco (Violin)
Violinist Jorge Orozco is a faculty member at the Levine School of Music and the Georgetown Visitation School. He is also conductor at Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras. Under Mr. Orozco’s direction, MCYO has performed at Strathmore, the Kennedy Center concert hall, and Carnegie Hall. Mr. Orozco is an active chamber music performer in the Washington Metropolitan area and is also the concertmaster of the Metropolitan Orchestra at Montgomery College. Read more about Jorge.
Vasily Popov (Cello)
Cellist Vasily Popov keeps an active concert schedule, having performed both as a soloist and a member of chamber ensembles in the world’s finest concert halls in Europe, Japan, and the United States. Mr. Popov has been awarded prizes and diplomas in a number of national and international competitions. His CDs are produced by Arte Nova Records, BMR, Excelsior, Intercount Music, Madacy Records, and Melodia labels. Read more about Vasily.
Leonid Sushansky (Violin)
Violinist Leo Sushansky has been acclaimed widely for his “Gorgeous tone… Compelling musical personality…Passionate intensity” by The Washington Post. He has appeared with many orchestras, as a recitalist and chamber musician in esteemed concert halls worldwide, and has been featured on numerous radio and television programs. He opens his tenth season with the National Chamber Ensemble in the role of Artistic Director and performer. He returned to the Kennedy Centers Terrace Theater in March 2016 to perform the monumental Chaconne by J.S. Bach with Bowen McCauley Dance. Read more about Leo.
Uri Wassertzug (Viola)
Uri Wassertzug has appeared widely as a member of chamber music groups and as a guest artist, including performances in New Zealand and Alaska. He was a founding member of the Sun Quartet, which serves on the faculty of California State University, Sacramento He appears on CDs with both the Sun Quartet and the Empyrean Ensemble, a new-music group. In 1998, Mr. Wassertzug joined the Washington National Opera/ Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in Washington DC, and he performs frequently as Guest Principal Violist with the National Philharmonic. Read more about Uri.

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