NJSO Presents PANDA-MONIUM: Music From The Animal Kingdom

NJSO Presents PANDA-MONIUM: Music From The Animal KingdomThe New Jersey Symphony Orchestra takes concertgoers into the animal kingdom in "Panda-Monium: Music from the Animal Kingdom" family concerts on Saturday, May 12, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. On this wild concert adventure, concertgoers will hear animals fly, buzz, waltz and do the polka, all through music.

Performances take place at 2 pm and 3:30 pm in NJPAC's Victoria Theater; Interactive Pre-Concert Adventures begin in the lobby one hour before each performance. NJSO Youth Orchestras Interim Artistic Director José Luis Domínguez conducts; OluShola Cole hosts.

In the overture to Die Fledermaus, composer Johann Strauss offers many different musical ideas, including music for dancing at a ball and music that imitates a bat's wings in flight. Another airborne creature in Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee," in which different instruments in the orchestra play short, very fast notes to imitate the vibration of a bee buzzing just by your ear.

Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet uses long notes and arcs of sound suggest proud swans gliding smoothly on top of water. In Rimsky-Korsakov's "Dance of the Birds," the woodwind family creates the sounds of birds calling between the trees. In Stravinsky's ballet The Firebird, instruments sound like a giant magical bird, unfurling her red and gold wings and taking off into the sky.

Leroy Anderson's The Waltzing Cat is a jaunty waltz, periodically interrupted by meows from the string section. "Les Toréadors" from Bizet's Carmen shows off the bravery of bullfighters, and the music, rich with brass and percussion, sounds like a folksong bullfighters might sing as they strut to the arena.

Stravinsky's Circus Polka uses the heavy beats of percussion to mimic the tread of an elephant in an old-fashioned circus. Wendel's Under the Big Top is an exciting romp at a fast tempo, decorated by musical effects that sound like the tricks and twirls of a live company of acrobats and clowns.

Pre-Concert Adventures

Learn more about the music and participate in fun hands-on activities during this interactive time that's perfect for the whole family, with an instrument petting zoo and other special activities in the lobby. The Pre-Concert Adventure begins at 1 pm for the 2 pm performance, and at 2:30 pm for the 3:30 pm performance. Ticketholders should attend the Pre-Concert Adventure immediately prior to their concert.


Panda-Monium: Music from the Animal Kingdom

Sat, May 12, at 2 pm and 3:30 pm | NJPAC in Newark

José Luis Domínguez, conductor

Shola Cole, host

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Program features selections from:

STRAUSS Overture to Die Fledermaus

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV "Flight of the Bumblebee"

TCHAIKOVSKY Scene No. 1 from Swan Lake

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV "Dance of the Birds"

ANDERSON The Waltzing Cat

BIZET "Les Toréadors" from Suite No. 1 from Carmen


WENDEL Under the Big Top

STRAVINSKY Finale from The Firebird (1919 revision)

More information is available at www.njsymphony.org/events/detail/panda-monium-music-from-the-animal-kingdom.

The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey presents the 2017-18 NJSO Family Series.


José Luis Domínguez, conductor

One of Chile's most prominent orchestral conductors, La Serena native José Luis Domínguez began his career at age 21. From 2003-16, he was Resident Director of the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra, one of Latin America's most important orchestras.

He annually directs programs with the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Chile, with whom he served as Principal Conductor before assuming his current roles as Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Senior Advisor. He has led the youth orchestra on tour internationally and conducted its operatic debut, a performance of Donizetti's Don Pasquale that was regarded as a major breakthrough for the Chilean and Latin American system of youth orchestras. He led the premiere of Sebastián Errázuriz's Bitácora de un Sueño to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Foundation for Youth Orchestras of Chile.

He regularly guest conducts the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia. At the invitation of the Ministry of Culture, he led Mozart's Requiem in memory of Nobel Prize Laureate of Literature Gabriel Garcia Márquez in a live televised broadcast from the Cathedral of Bogotá for an audience including the President of Colombia, dignitaries and the highest cultural authorities of the region.

Conducting highlights have included a production of Carmina Burana with prestigious Spanish company Fura Dels Baus, New Year's performances with the Staatsoperorchester de Braunschweig in Germany and performances with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic at Teatro Colón, with Renée Fleming in Chile and at the Summer International Music Festival in Frutillar. He has led operatic performances at the Opéra Théâtre Saint-Étienne in France and garnered praise for his performances of Verdi's Rigoletto and Massenet's Thaïs at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago. In 2016, he garnered the Circle of Critics Award for his performances with the Symphony Orchestra of Chile.

The Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra premiered his debut ballet as a composer, The Legend of Joaquin Murieta, at the Teatro Municipal in November 2009; the acclaimed work will be released on an upcoming Naxos recording. His Requiem oratorio dedicated to Fernando Rosas, creator and founder of the Foundation for Youth Orchestras of Chile, received premieres by the National Youth Orchestra of Chile and Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra.

OluShola A. Cole, host

OluShola A. Cole was born in the United Kingdom to Nigerian and Caribbean parents and is proud of her "early onset bouts" of chasing the carnival in Antigua, public dancing in London's Brixton Market and singing at high volume on the city's double-decker buses.

Classical training in piano, trombone, movement and voice has led to debut shows at Carnegie Hall with Bobby McFerrin in his "Instant Opera" concert, The Hip Hop Continuum with Rennie Harris at Jacob's Pillow's Cultural Traditions Program and the off-Broadway hit STOMP. Hands on research of social movements such as house dance, samba, West African dance, hip-hop, tango and capoeira have inspired Cole to observe the relationships between oppression and the artistic, coded response of groups in the underground. Cole's work also centers around her ongoing project Jenny.Was.A.Pirate.Hater with her newest works-in-progress, The Biographie of Service, The Tales of Pirate Jenny and #PirateRadio. Cole's work as an emerging international artist has debuted through investigations and performances with artists Franko B and VestandPage in Belgrade, including Andrigo & Aliprandi in Venice for the Venice International Performance Week.

Cole attended the University of Connecticut, receiving a Bachelor of General Studies degree with a minor in women's studies. She completed her MFA from Mount Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Cole is excited to revisit her classical roots with the NJSO and looks forward to learning and sharing with everyone involved in this symphonic odyssey.


Named "a vital, artistically significant musical organization" by The Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra embodies that vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the Orchestra's superb musicians.

Music Director Xian Zhang-a "dynamic podium presence" The New York Times has praised for her "technical abilities, musicianship and maturity"-continues her acclaimed leadership of the NJSO. The Orchestra presents classical, pops and family programs, as well as outdoor summer concerts and special events. Embracing its legacy as a statewide orchestra, the NJSO is the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and regularly performs at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and bergenPAC in Englewood. Partnerships with New Jersey arts organizations, universities and civic organizations remain a key element of the Orchestra's statewide identity.

In addition to its lauded artistic programming, the NJSO presents a suite of education and community engagement programs that promote meaningful, lifelong engagement with live music. Programs include school-time Concerts for Young People; NJSO Youth Orchestras family of student ensembles, currently led by José Luis Domínguez; and El Sistema-inspired NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project). NJSO musicians annually perform original chamber music programs at community events in a variety of settings statewide through the NJSO Community Partners Program.

For more information about the NJSO, 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.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra's programs are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, along with many other foundations, corporations and individual donors.

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