National Geographic : 1983 Jan
A capital moment came in the John F. Kennedy Centerfor the PerformingArts in 1981 when Mstislav Rostropovich, center, cellist and music directorof the National Symphony Orchestra, embraced Maxim Shostakovich, right, guest conductor, andMaxim's son, Dmitri,pianist.They performed works by Maxim's father, the late Dmitri Shostakovich, to celebrate the 75thyear of his birth.All are exiles from the U.S.S.R. Such moments arefar from rarein what was once a small town on the Potomac, now grown to a sophisticated internationalcity. Opera, symphony, dance, and theater programsabound, as well as free classical and pop concerts, an alive-and-welljazz scene, a vigorous network of art museums and galleries, spirited repertorytheater and dance, and seven universities. The city's character, rooted in quiet neighborhoods in the shadow of national monuments, transcends the veneer of a powerhouse for transitorygovernments. Beneath the political clatter of "datelineWashington," there lives a surprisingly divergentpopulation of 640,000, who use and enjoy the city as a special kind of hometown. Washington, D. C.