New Jersey Symphony Orchestra announces 2021-2022 season


(NEWARK, New Jersey) – The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and music director Xian Zhang announced the Orchestra’s 2021-2022 classical season and return to live concerts after pandemic-related cancellations. The new season features artist in residence Daniil Trifonov in concertos by Brahms and Mason Bates; world premieres by resident artistic catalyst Daniel Bernard Roumain, Michael Abels, Wynton Marsalis and a quartet of jazz composers; a weekend of Beethoven’s five piano concertos with Louis Lortie; comeback engagements by Augustin Hadelich, Conrad Tao and Karen Gomyo and solo tours by musicians from the NJSO.

Embracing its identity as a statewide orchestra, the NJSO offers classic series in Newark, New Brunswick, Princeton, Red Bank and Morristown. The performance of the NJSO will follow security measures in partnership with these sites and based on guidance provided by the CDC and the State of New Jersey.

Zhang says, “The Orchestra and I look forward to performing in front of our live audience again. This season speaks to our time, with many important voices today, and celebrates great musical traditions of the past and present. We are very proud to welcome Resident Art Catalyst Daniel Bernard Roumain and Artist-in-Residence Daniil Trifonov for powerful programs that will deepen their connection with our audiences across New Jersey.

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra announces 2021-2022 season

The season opens with Daniel Bernard Roumain who interprets his Concerto for voodoo violin with Zhang on the podium. The program includes the world premiere of a new co-commission by Michael Abels, as well as Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

For the season finale, the NJSO gives the world premieres of NJSO commands from Romanian and — in a single French horn concerto commissioned for solo horn Chris Komer — from jazz composers Vivian Li, Christian McBride, Gary Morgan and Paquito D. ‘Rivera. Orchestra’s partnership with the Sphinx Organization brings Sphinx founder Aaron Dworkin to New Jersey stages for his spoken multimedia work The American Rhapsody, which tells the story of America through the words of George Washington, to the music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Symphonic variations on an African tune. The program ends with Gershwin’s An American in Paris.

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Daniil Trifonov participates in two weeks of subscription programs, performing Brahms’ first piano concerto and a new concerto that Mason Bates is writing for him, under the direction of Zhang. Trifonov’s one-year residency begins with a performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.1 in EMERGE Part 3: An NJSO concert movie on June 30.

The season includes the world premiere of a brass and percussion band commissioned from Wynton Marsalis, the US premiere of a co-commissioned Thomas Ad̬s (Slum РAbove the sea), the East Coast premiere co-commissioned by Christopher Rouse (Bassoon Concerto) and the East Coast premiere by Conrad Tao Spoons for piano and orchestra, performed by the composer.

The Orchestra celebrates innovative composers past and present, including Jessie Montgomery (Star), Tour Jeanne (Fanfare for the rare woman No. 1), Louise Farrenc (Overture in E minor) and Vivian Li (commissioned to write a movement for a jazz concerto for French horn). NJSO brings Nokuthula Ngwenyama’s Overarching message, which premiered on the east coast in April EMERGE Part 1: An NJSO concert film, on the main stage.

Other living composers of the season include Juan Pablo Jofre (Double Concerto for violin and bandoneon) and Samy Moussa (Nocturnal).

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra announces 2021-2022 season

In a highly anticipated appearance postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic, Louis Lortie performs all of Beethoven’s piano concertos through four concerts in a single weekend under the direction of Zhang.

Audience favorite Augustin Hadelich returns for the Violin Concerto in A major by the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, op. 5, No. 2, and Beethoven’s Romance for Violin and Orchestra No. 2. Karen Gomyo performs Mozart’s third violin concerto.

The season highlights the talents of the musicians of the Orchestra. Principal horn Chris Komer gives the world premiere of an innovative jazz concerto for French horn commissioned by the NJSO from four jazz composers. Solo bassoon Robert Wagner gives the East Coast premiere of Christopher Rouse’s Bassoon Concerto, which the NJSO commissioned from the composer in honor of Wagner’s 40th anniversary season with the NJSO in 2019.

Principal violin Eric Wyrick performs Juan Pablo Jofre’s Double Concerto for Violin and Bandoneon with the composer under the baton of internationally renowned conductor and composer José Luis Domínguez, who is making his NJSO main stage debut. The season will also see solo tours for solo flute Bart Feller in Nielsen’s Flute Concerto, solo cello Jonathan Spitz in Saint-Saëns first cello concerto, assistant flute solo / Piccolo Kathleen Nester in concerto Vivaldi’s piccolo in C major and associate solo violin Brennan Sweet and assistant Viola solo Elzbieta Weyman in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola.

Other highlights of the season include Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter”; that of Stravinsky Petrushka (1947); Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” Symphony, First Piano Concerto, Italian Capriccio, Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture and Continuation of Swan Lake; by Ravel Bolero; Symphony “Organ” by Saint-Saëns; Mendelssohn’s Fourth Symphony, “Italian”; by Gershwin An American in Paris and Copland Lincoln portrait.

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra announces 2021-2022 season

A pair of special concerts carry on the traditions of the NJSO. The Orchestra is hosting a festive Lunar New Year celebration in Newark to celebrate the Year of the Ox. In the next installment of the Harry Potter film concert series, the NJSO and the NJPAC co-present Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowsâ„¢ Part 1 in concert.

The NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute, a partnership between the Edward T. Cone Foundation, Princeton University and the NJSO, takes place in July. Composers Elise Arancio (To wake up), Kevin Day (Tango Oscuro), Erin Graham (Increase) and Jared Miller (Under the sea, above the sky) will have their work rehearsed by the NJSO and guest conductor Ludovic Morlot, participate in masterclasses with Institute Director Steven Mackey, receive feedback from NJSO musicians and participate in sessions with industry leaders. It ends with an NJSO performance of the work of participants at NJPAC in Newark.

Classic season tickets are now on sale for the 2021-2022 season. Complete information on ticket packages for each series and each site is available at Subscriptions can be purchased online or by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476). Single tickets will go on sale in August.

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The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra connects with the people and diverse communities of New Jersey through the power of live symphonic music to inspire, entertain and educate. Internationally renowned Music Director Xian Zhang received critical acclaim from the podium and reinforced the NJSO’s commitment to presenting diverse voices that reflect the communities the orchestra serves.

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra announces 2021-2022 season

The NJSO embraces its heritage as a statewide orchestra through stage and chamber performances at venues across New Jersey, as well as partnerships with other Garden State arts organizations, universities and civic organizations. The Orchestra’s education and community engagement programs foster meaningful and ongoing engagement with live music.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NJSO has made free virtual performances and online educational programs available, reaching more than 10 million people on the Orchestra’s digital channels. NJSO Concert Films combines world-class NJSO performances with stunning images of the people and cityscapes of New Jersey. The NJSO showcased innovative programs with other arts organizations, community ensembles and statewide partners. Musicians perform solo and chamber works from iconic New Jersey locations in NJSO Everywhere. NJSO at Home highlights intimate in-home performances, instrument demonstrations, educational videos, and hours of concert recordings.

The youth orchestras of the ONJ not only continued virtual education, but introduced a whole new dimension to the program. Students work together on a year-long creative composition project – a unique and engaging opportunity for students to explore their own musical voices and shape new works that draw from all the genres that inspire them.

The safety of our clients, musicians and staff is of the utmost importance to the NJSO. Please visit for constantly updated details focused on the well-being of the participants in our performances.

The Orchestra’s online hub for free music content is

Photos of Fred Stucker

originally published: 06/29/2021

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