- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Kennedy Center is extending the contract of Christoph Eschenbach as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra and to lead music programs for the performing arts center.

The new contract extension announced Monday will keep Eschenbach at the Kennedy Center through the 2016-2017 season. The German conductor joined the National Symphony in 2010 as its sixth music director.

Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser says Eschenbach has elevated the stature of the National Symphony.

The musicians also signaled their support. Principal Oboe Nicholas Stovall says the orchestra’s relationship with Eschenbach will continue to grow in the coming years.

Eschenbach previously led the Philadelphia Orchestra.

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