The Gate


The National Symphony Orchestra at the Wolf Trap’s Frozen Planet in Concert. (Griffin Harrington/Wolf Trap)
the gate

If summer is the busiest season for Wolf Trap National Park in Vienna, July is its busiest month. Philanthropist Catherine Filene Shouse donated 100 acres of farmland to build America’s only national park for the performing arts in 1966. Later she donated the land and funds for an indoor theater made from two adjacent 18th-century barns. The Filene Center, the park’s main venue, “where the arts come out to play,” opened in 1971 and hosts roughly 90 concerts from May through September.

4 Films with five live performances by the National Symphony Orchestra through Aug. 3. “Frozen Planet,” “Video Games Live,” “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II” (two performances) and “Singin’ in the Rain.”
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Headlining-artist debuts this summer, including She & Him, Jill Scott, OneRepublic, Ke$ha, Josh Groban, Carly Rae Jepsen and Marc Anthony.

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July performances at the Filene Center. These include pop, country, folk, jazz, blues, symphony, dance, theater and opera.

42 Years the NSO has been performing summers at Wolf Trap. Of its 11 total performances this summer, six are in July.
117 Total acres in the park, which includes the Filene Center and the Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods.
385,000 Average number of patrons every summer. Of that number, 177,000 sit on the lawn, and many bring their own picnics.
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