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The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Xian Zhang Present Lunar New Year Celebration

Feb 6 concert program features new performances led by Xian Zhang at NJPAC, plus at-home performances and highlights from 2019 and 2020.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Xian Zhang Present Lunar New Year Celebration

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will present a virtual Lunar New Year festival and concert to celebrate the Year of the Ox. Festival videos premiere February 1-5 at 5 pm, leading up to a celebratory concert program featuring new NJSO performances led by Music Director Xian Zhang at NJPAC, plus at-home performances and highlights from the NJSO's 2019 and 2020 Lunar New Year Celebrations.

All videos will be available for free at njsymphony.org/LNY and on the NJSO's YouTube and Facebook channels.

The festival and concert feature artists from across the globe, including Xuefei Yang (guitar), George Li (piano), Harmony Zhu (piano), Yuxiao Chen (xun), Yang Yi (guzhang), the Peking University Alumni Chorus and Starry Arts Group Children's Chorus. NJSO Principal Cello Jonathan Spitz, Assistant Principal Cello Na-Young Baek and Principal Flute Bart Feller also perform on the concert program.

The festival features traditional performances, a pair of NJSO string quartets, Chopin's Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, a Korean cooking demonstration by NJSO Principal Bass Ha Young Jung and a Chinese cooking demonstration by NJSO violinist Xin Zhao.

The concert features includes Eastern traditional favorites such as the Spring Festival Overture, "Purple Bamboo Tune," Fisherman's Song at Eventide and "Gong Xi Gong Xi," united with Western classical favorites such as Tchaikovsky's Andante cantabile for Cello and Orchestra and Piazzolla's Libertango. During the concert premiere, featured artists will provide live text commentary on YouTube.

Zhang says: "One of my proudest achievements as music director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra is starting our annual Lunar New Year Celebration. This year, we have musical treats and special guests from around the world, including new performances from the Orchestra captured at NJPAC, heartwarming appearances from the Starry Arts Group Children's Chorus and a worldwide collaboration from the Peking University Alumni Chorus performing Don Besig's choral piece Flying Free with me at the piano. I hope that this year's virtual celebration fills our audiences with strength, joy and hope for better days in the year ahead."

Event sponsors and VIP Supporters of $100 or more will be invited to an exclusive pre-concert event with Zhang, NJSO President & CEO Gabriel van Aalst and special guests, and will receive recognition in the videos and event materials. Net proceeds from the Lunar New Year Celebration will support the artistic vision of Music Director Xian Zhang.

The Lunar New Year Festival & Celebration is part of NJSO Virtual 20-21, the Orchestra's digital season. For more information, visit njsymphony.org/virtual.

The Lunar New Year Celebration is generously sponsored in part by an anonymous donor in honor of Music Director Xian Zhang. Major support for the festival is also provided by A. Michael and Ruth C. Lipper, Prudential Financial, Norm Slonaker & Linda Dujack, Margaret Lam & David Yen and BROAD U.S.A.

LUNAR NEW YEAR FESTIVAL

Festival videos premiere daily Feb 1-5 at 5 pm.

Festival Day 1: Mon, Feb 1

LI KAICHOU "You Look so Good With a Smile"

Starry Arts Group Children's Chorus | Rebecca Shen, director

TRADITIONAL Fisherman's Song at Eventide

Ming Yang, violin

Jade Lucia Nieczkowski, piano

Festival Day 2: Tue, Feb 2

Korean Cooking Demonstration

Ha-Young Jung, NJSO Principal Bass

TRADITIONAL/arr. Zouye A Wonderful Night

NJSO Chamber Players

Xin Zhao, violin & commentary

James Tsao, violin

Frank Foerster, viola

Philo Lee, cello

Festival Day 3: Wed, Feb 3

CHOPIN Ballade No. 4 in F Minor

Harmony Zhu, piano

TRADITIONAL Yang Guan San Die

Yuxiao Chen, xun

Festival Day 4: Thu, Feb 4

TRADITIONAL Blossoms on a Moonlit River in Spring

Xuefei Yang, guitar

Chinese Cooking Demonstration

Xin Zhao, violin

Festival Day 5: Fri, Feb 5

TRADITIONAL Gao Shan Liu Shui (High Mountains and Running Brook)

Yang Yi, guzheng

TRADITONAL/arr. Zouye Spring Celebration

NJSO Chamber Players

Wendy Chen, violin

Alexandra Neglia, violin

David Blinn, viola

Laura Andrade, cello

LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION CONCERT

Sat, Feb 6, at 7:30 pm

Xian Zhang, conductor & piano

Xuefei Yang, guitar

George Li, piano

Jonathan Spitz, cello

Na-Young Baek, cello

Bart Feller, flute

Peking University Alumni Chorus

Starry Arts Group Children's Chorus | Rebecca Shen, director

LI HUANZHI Spring Festival Overture

TCHAIKOVSKY Andante cantabile for Cello and Orchestra

LUIZ BONFA Manhã de Carnaval

SCHUBERT/arr. Liszt Der Erlkönig

TRADITIONAL "Purple Bamboo Tune"

TRADITIONAL Fisherman's Song at Eventide

CHU WANG-HUA "Happy Days"

DON BESIG "Flying Free"

PIAZZOLLA Libertango

GU JIANFEN "Spring Dawn"

GU JIANFEN "Singing and Smiling"

TRADITIONAL "Farewell"

TRADITIONAL "Gong Xi Gong Xi"

Pre-Concert Virtual VIP Event

Feb 6 at 6:30 pm

Event sponsors and VIP Supporters of $100 or more will be invited to an exclusive event with Music Director Xian Zhang, President & CEO Gabriel van Aalst and special guests, and will receive recognition in the videos and event materials. Net proceeds from our Lunar New Year Celebration will support the artistic vision of Music Director Xian Zhang. For more information, email Renee Pachucki at rpachucki@njsymphony.org.

The Orchestra's online hub for free NJSO Virtual 20-21 content is njsymphony.org/virtual.


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