NJSO & Winter Festival to Present Tan Dun Earth Concerto, 1/17-19

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Jacques Lacombe present Mahler's masterful Das Lied von der Erde and the U.S. premiere of Tan Dun's Earth Concerto January 17-19 in Princeton, Newark and Morristown. The program opens the NJSO's 2014 Winter Festival: Earth-the fourth and final season of a multi-year odyssey spotlighting the symbolic power of natural elements that have inspired composers for centuries.

Percussionist David Cossin-who performed Tan Dun's Water Concerto with the NJSO during the NJSO's first 'Man & Nature' Winter Festival season in 2011-performs the Earth Concerto, which uses clay and ceramic instruments to complement Chinese wind instruments performed by Zhang Meng. NJSO percussionists James Neglia and James Musto are featured soloists.

Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop and tenor Russell Thomas join the Orchestra for Mahler's seminal song cycle, which draws its text from The Chinese Flute, a collection of poetry.

"The text and poetry were inspirational for Mahler," Lacombe says. "Mahler was at his best setting text to music in this song cycle. There is such a strong connection between the music and the text, and on such a grand scale. He makes a very clear and powerful statement of his love for nature and the struggle of man to find his place in the natural world."

Of the link between the program's two works, the music director says: "Tan Dun was very inspired by Mahler's work-he actually wrote the Earth Concerto to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Das Lied. In our Winter Festivals, we like to present works in a context that illuminates different layers and elements. To have ceramics and clay become instruments is a beautiful and powerful idea. [It reminds us] that music can be found in almost anything around us."

Performances take place on Friday, January 17, (8 pm) at the Richardson Auditorium in Princeton; Saturday, January 18, (8 pm) at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark and Sunday, January 19, (3 pm) at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown. Classical Conversations about the music on the program begin one hour before each performance. A Winter Festival Artisan and Information Fair will showcase displays from artisans and environmental organizations on January 18 at NJPAC.

Winter Festival partnering organizations include The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Friends of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and New Jersey Sierra Club.

For more information on the Winter Festival and related events, visit www.njsymphony.org/winterfestival.

Tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase online at www.njsymphony.org or by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).




More On: Tan Dun, James Neglia,

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