Classical, Pops and Family Programs Set for New Jersey Symphony's 2013-14 Season

Related: New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

The NJSO welcomes world-class soloists-superstars, rising young virtuosos and gifted players from the Orchestra itself-to headline its concert programs this season.

Guest artists:

  • "Pianist Geri Allen is one of the most accomplished women in jazz today ... She shares her deep knowledge and passion for exploring African-American culture," NPR writes of the pianist who opens the NJSO season with the world premiere of her own NJSO commission. September 27-29.
  • Afro Blue, Howard University's premier vocal jazz ensemble, rose to national prominence on NBC's "The Sing- Off" competition. The group sings African-American spirituals with Newark church choirs in between movements of Dvo?ák's "New World" Symphony as part of a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. on the NJSO's season-opening concerts. September 27-29.

  • The New York Times praises Hilary Hahn's "pinpoint precision in fast, intricate passages and the singing tone she typically produces in slow, long-lined music." Hahn joins the NJSO for Brahms' Violin Concerto. March 13-16.

  • "Dynamic young Finn [Santtu-Matias Rouvali's] ... career is developing at a rapid pace," writes Gramophone. The 26-year-old protégé of Gustavo Dudamel makes his NJSO debut with a program of Sibelius, Grieg and Dvo?ák. February 27, March 1-2.

  • "When you have the services of an artist as suave and eloquent as clarinetist Anthony McGill, it only makes sense to put him in the spotlight and keep him there," The San Francisco Chronicle writes of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra's principal clarinet, who performs Danielpour's Clarinet Concerto-an NJSO co-commission written specifically for McGill-with the NJSO. May 1-4.

  • "[James Ehnes] produced a handsome, keenly focused tone and delivered the piece with athletic technique, a fluidly even execution of the arpeggiated chords in the opening-movement cadenza and exquisitely floated harmonics throughout," The Washington Post writes of a recent performance by the violinist who performs Beethoven's Violin Concerto for the NJSO's classical season finale. May 30-31, June 1.

    NJSO artists:

  • Concertmaster Eric Wyrick, a favorite of NJSO audiences, performs Strauss' heartfelt violin concerto. March 21- 23.

  • Acting Principal Oboe James Roe and Associate Concertmaster Brennan Sweet perform Edward T. Cone's gentle and witty Cadenzas for Oboe and Violin as part of the New Jersey Roots Project. January 9-12.

  • Violinist Darryl Kubian, an accomplished theremin player, performs the theremin on the Orchestra's first family concert program of the season. November 30.

  • Assistant Conductor Gemma New conducts "Music of the Americas," a family-concert musical tour featuring music of Copland and Gershwin alongside dances of Argentina and Mexico. Violinist Héctor Falcón performs Canadian composer Dompierre's Les Diableries. February 8.


The NJSO performs its POPS series on Saturday evenings at NJPAC in Newark and, in collaboration with the State Theatre, on Sunday afternoons at the State Theatre in New Brunswick.

  • Home for the Holidays: Enjoy New Jersey's best celebration of the season with your NJSO and friends! Grammy- nominated crooner and guitarist John Pizzarelli joins the Orchestra for timeless holiday standards. A large chorus of top high-school vocalists shares the stage for classic carols and fun favorites, and the festive brass of the Salvation Army Montclair Citadel Band is sure to fill you with holiday cheer. Perfect for the entire family. December 14-15. The December 15 performance is presented in collaboration with the State Theatre in New Brunswick.

  • Music of the Beatles: Classical Mystery Tour: A tribute to the 50th anniversary of The Beatles coming to America, jam packed with your favorite tunes-sung, played and performed exactly as they were written. Hear "Penny Lane" with a live trumpet section, experience the beauty of "Yesterday" with an acoustic guitar and string quartet and enjoy the rock/classical blend of the hard-edged "I Am the Walrus." February 8-9. The February 9 performance is presented in collaboration with the State Theatre in New Brunswick.

  • The Wizard of Oz with Orchestra: Seventy-five years after The Wizard of Oz debuted on the big screen, watch it again in all its glory, accompanied by your NJSO performing the Harold Arlen score. "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" with the incomparable Judy Garland as Dorothy and lovable Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion-you can even dress up as your favorite character and win a prize! April 26-27. The April 27 performance is presented in collaboration with the State Theatre in New Brunswick.

  • Cirque de la Symphonie: Dazzling. Thrilling. Death defying. Delicate. Awe inspiring. A troupe of exceptional artists- aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers and strongmen-joins your NJSO for what Review Vancouver has called "truly amazing choreography and acrobatic feats performed in perfect timing to classical music." Lacombe conducts. June 7-8. The June 8 performance is presented in collaboration with the State Theatre in New Brunswick.


The young and the young at heart will enjoy discovering the instruments of the orchestra, great stories told through music and rich orchestral repertoire featured in this magical and interactive series, which the NJSO presents on Saturday afternoons at NJPAC in Newark. Actor Ben Steinfeld is artist-in-residence for the 2013-14 Family Series. The NJSO Family Series is presented by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.

  • Shooting for the Stars: All of your little astronauts will enjoy exploring music inspired by the infinite reaches of the galaxy! With music from Holst's The Planets, Strauss' dramatic Also Sprach Zarathustra (known to parents and grandparents as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey) and the themes from Star Wars and Star Trek, we'll travel through space and reach for our dreams. November 30.

  • Music of the Americas: Grab your musical passport for an exciting journey through the Americas. From the iconic sounds of Copland's "Simple Gifts" and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue to the whirling dances of Argentina and Mexico, everyone in the family will enjoy this musical tour. February 8.

  • Meet the Orchestra: Tweet, crash, oomph, plink, warble, pluck ... Meet each instrument of the orchestra in turn through Britten's delightful Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. Don't be fooled by the title-kids and grownups alike will be enthralled by it. Explore all the different sounds that an orchestra can make, and cheer on your favorite instrument family! June 7.
  • Pre-Concert Adventures-specially created interactive programs perfect for the whole family-are an opportunity to learn more about the music, participate in fun activities, play games and meet NJSO musicians in the NJPAC lobby an hour before each concert.


  • Bell & Lacombe: Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell has entranced audiences worldwide with his sweet sound, technical prowess and inspired interpretations. He joins Jacques Lacombe and the NJSO for an evening of beautiful music, including Ravel's Tzigane and Sibelius' virtuosic Violin Concerto. May 9. Presented in collaboration with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

  • 17th Annual UJA Benefit Concert: From beloved storybook ballets by Tchaikovsky and Delibes to the bursting energy of dance music by Leonard Bernstein, this program brings the excitement and beauty of ballet music into the concert hall. The rich sounds of the Orchestra create a magical landscape for the imagination to dance. May 18.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra is comprised of some of the country's finest musicians. The Orchestra is proud to have Jacques Lacombe as its Music Director. Artistic excellence, innovative programming and community engagement are hallmarks of its mission. To best serve the people of New Jersey, the Orchestra brings its programs to six outstanding venues throughout the state. Education and community engagement programs enrich the listening experience for children and adults alike. Select performances of the NJSO are broadcast regionally and throughout North America.

For more information about the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, visit or email Tickets are available for purchase by phone 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or on the Orchestra's website.

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More On: Richard Strauss, Tan Dun, Hector Berlioz, Joshua Bell, James Roe, Darryl Kubian, Count Basie, John Pizzarelli.

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by Peter Danish