Hila Plitmann, soprano
Men of the Westminster Symphonic Choir,
Joe Miller, director
|KURT WEILL||Symphony No. 1 Berliner Symphony|
|FERRUCCIO BUSONI||Piano Concerto
Marc-André Hamelin, piano Men of the Westminster Symphonic Choir,
Joe Miller, director
About the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Although the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra was officially founded almost 90 years ago, bringing together the Montclair Orchestra and the Symphony Society of the Oranges, the NJSO traces its beginnings to 1846, when the Eintracht Orchestra and Singing Society of Newark was founded.
In 1968, professional musicians replaced volunteer ones, and Henry Lewis became NJSO’s director—the first African-American director of a major symphony orchestra. Lewis expanded both the summer and winter concert series, and conducted three outdoor concerts in Newark, including one on Prince Street, site of the 1967 Newark riot. The NJSO debuted at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 1970 with Marilyn Horne and performed with Luciano Pavarotti when he made his American debut at the Garden State Arts Center in 1972. Over the next few years, the NJSO broadened its audience by expanding performances beyond Newark Symphony Hall into other New Jersey communities.
More recently, music directors Hugh Wolff and Zdenek Macal led the NJSO to heightened artistic stature and critical acclaim through recordings and radio and television broadcasts. During the Macal era, the NJSO gave its final concert at Newark Symphony Hall, and performed an opening night celebration at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, which was broadcast nationally for an audience of more than four million viewers. The NJSO’s recording of Dvorák’s Requiem and Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” led by Macal, received a Grammy Award for Best Engineered Classical Recording.
In 2003, Neeme Järvi became Principal Conductor and Music Director Designate; two years later, he became the Orchestra’s twelfth Music Director. Maestro Järvi earned critical acclaim and admiration from New Jersey audiences, while increasing national and international awareness of the NJSO’s artistic quality. He is now the orchestra’s conductor laureate.
With the appointment of Jacques Lacombe as the orchestra’s thirteenth Music Director, the NJSO is poised to continue its artistic growth while deepening its connections to New Jersey’s diverse communities. For more information, visit njsypmphony.org
About New Jersey
Site of some of the most important battles of the American Revolution, New Jersey is also the birthplace of such luminaries as Aaron Burr, James Fenimore Cooper, Paul Robeson, Meryl Streep and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Its largest city, Newark, was established by disgruntled Puritans who were unhappy with their life in Connecticut. Long a vital part of America’s industrial heart, home to the Ballantine Breweries and an important factory for Tiffany & Co., Newark was also where Thomas Edison invented ticker tape. The city’s highest point is 273 feet above sea level; its cultural acme, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Though headquartered in Newark, the NJSO is truly a state ensemble, with half its performances in other venues. They include: New Brunswick, Morristown (where Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail perfected the telegraph, its first message “A patient waiter is no loser”), Princeton, Red Bank (home to the Count Basie Theatre, named for its great native son), Trenton and Englewood (the site of Upton Sinclair’s legendary experimental Helicon Home Colony). New Jersey is only a bridge-or-tunnel length away from Carnegie Hall.