New Jersey Symphony to Present Grieg's Piano Concerto with Xiaohui Yang, 2/27-3/2

Related: New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Grieg, XIAOHUI YANG

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presents Grieg's Piano Concerto on a program that also features Dvor?a?k's Eighth Symphony and Sibelius' Spring Song February 27-March 2 in Englewood, Red Bank and Newark. Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali, a 26-year-old prote?ge? of Gustavo Dudamel whom Gramophone has called a "dynamic young Finn" whose "career is developing at a rapid pace," makes his NJSO debut. The March 2 performance at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark is the NJSO's second College Night event of the season.

Performances take place on Thursday, February 27, (7:30 pm) at bergenPAC in Englewood, Saturday, March 1, (8 pm) at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank and Sunday, March 2, (3 pm) at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark. NJSO Associate Conductor Gemma New chats with pianist Xiaohui Yang about the program at Classical Conversations beginning one hour before the performances on March 1 and 2.

Yang also makes her NJSO debut, performing Grieg's concerto as the Orchestra's annual Curtis Artist. For the past 14 seasons, the NJSO has annually presented one of the Curtis Institute of Music's finest student musicians as a guest artist; the first Curtis artist to perform on an NJSO classical program was pianist Lang Lang.

"Our Orchestra is very committed to supporting and presenting young talents in a highly professional environment," Music Director Jacques Lacombe says. "Xiaohui Yang comes to us from the very exciting and stimulating partnership we have with the Curtis Institute. We believe not only in welcoming renowned artists but also in finding the talent of tomorrow. Santtu-Matias Rouvali is an exciting up-and-coming conductor who will bring a fresh energy to the podium."

The program's Grieg and Sibelius works have clear Scandinavian roots, and Dvor?a?k's Eighth Symphony has a subtler connection to that culture, Lacombe says. "Dvor?a?k is one of the best symphonic composers, and his Eighth Symphony, perhaps even more than his Ninth, has a link to the Czech roots. It sounds almost earthy; it really feels like it gets to the heart of Czech romantic music."

COLLEGE NIGHT: The NJSO hosts the second College Night event of the season on Sunday, March 2, at NJPAC in Newark. A special $10 student ticket includes entrance to the Orchestra's 3 pm performance and a post-concert all-student party.

The NJSO will provide free round-trip bus transportation to the concert from select New Jersey college campuses. Pick- up times and locations will be posted at as buses become available.

The Orchestra has set aside a block of tickets as Tweet Seats, from which college students can post live concert commentary on social media. The NJSO (@NJSymphony) will tweet live commentary during the performance.

The first College Night of the season saw 139 students from colleges and universities across the state join the Orchestra at NJPAC in Newark on November 1. The NJSO hosts the season's third and final College Night at its Saturday, April 5, performance of Verdi's Requiem at the State Theatre in New Brunswick.

Tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase online at or by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476). College Night student tickets are $10 and include the concert and post-concert party. Student tickets are available for purchase online at (using promo code COLLEGE14) or by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO; Tweet Seats are available by phone only.

FOOD DRIVE: The NJSO is partnering with The Community FoodBank of New Jersey to fight hunger. At NJSO subscription concerts in March, the Orchestra and volunteers will collect non-perishable food items to donate to the Community FoodBank, which assists more than 900,000 people in 18 counties across New Jersey. Patrons can bring food donations to the concert hall and drop off items at a collection table in the lobby. More details, a full list of concerts at which the Orchestra will collect food donations and a list of acceptable food items are available at

Program notes and additional concert information are available at

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by Peter Danish