New Jersey Symphony to Present Mendelssohn's 'Italian' Symphony, 3/8-10

Related: New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn, Italian Symphony

In 2008, Kurt Masur chose Lehninger as the recipient of the first Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship sponsored by the American Friends of the Mendelssohn Foundation; he was Masur's assistant with the Orchestre National de France, Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig and New York Philharmonic. Lehninger participated in the 2009 Malko Competition in Denmark and the 2011 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview. In 2001, he placed second in the first Eleazar de Carvalho National Conducting Competition in Rio de Janeiro, subsequently conducting top orchestras in Brazil and Argentina.

An alumnus of the National Conducting Institute, he holds a master's degree from the Conductors Institute at Bard College. He was music advisor of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas for the 2007-08 season.

Joanna Mongiardo, soprano

Internationally acclaimed soprano Joanna Mongiardo "radiates warmth through her unforced, pearly fresh timbre," writes Opera News. Recognized for her effortless coloratura and spellbinding charisma on stage, she is in high demand for both operatic and symphonic repertoire. Mongiardo performed a last-minute Blonde in The Abduction from the Seraglio for Grand Théâtre de Genève; she reprised the role for both Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf and Opéra de Nice. She appeared as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette for Dayton Opera, and she joins the Metropolitan Opera for Manon.

Mongiardo made a critically acclaimed Teatro Grattacielo debut at Lincoln Center as Rosalina in Giordano's The King. A Central City Opera favorite, she performed the title role in their 50th-anniversary production of The Ballad of Baby Doe, Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld, Thérèse in Les Mamelles De Tirésias and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi.

She has appeared with the Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minnesota and National Symphony Orchestras and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México.

Mongiardo was on fest contract with Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf for two years, which culminated in 2007 in Taipei, where she sang Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier with the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan. Other notable operatic roles include Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Despina in Così fan tutte, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Oscar in A Masked Ball, Nannetta in Falstaff, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Adina in The Elixir of Love and Anne Trulove in The Rake's Progress. She is a 2003 Sullivan Award recipient and received a master's degree in music from Yale University.

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 seven 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 www.njsymphony.org or email information@njsymphony.org. Tickets are available for purchase by phone 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or on the Orchestra's website.

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