Thursday, September 14, 2017

José Luis Domínguez Interim Artistic Director of NJSO Youth Orchestras


The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has named José Luis Domínguez Interim Artistic Director of the NJSO Youth Orchestras, effective September 16. Domínguez will work closely with the NJSO Youth Orchestras’ artistic faculty and will conduct two of its four ensembles, the Academy Orchestra and Training Ensemble.

The Chilean-born conductor joins the NJSO Youth Orchestras after 13 years as Resident Conductor of the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra. 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.

Domínguez says: “I am honored and delighted by this opportunity to work with an extraordinary organization such as the NJSO and NJSO Youth Orchestras. I look forward to joining this wonderful musical family and getting to know Newark and the community. I believe we will be a great team, and look forward to making music together.”

This season, the Youth Orchestras present concerts on Saturday, December 2, and Sunday, March 25, at Science Park High School in Newark. On Friday, December 1, the Academy Orchestra gives a special performance to open an NJSO concert at NJPAC in Newark.

“I have no doubt that José Luis’ artistic leadership will be nothing short of transformational for the NJSO Youth Orchestras,” NJSO Vice President of Education & Community Engagement Marshell Jones Kumahor says. “His undeniable talent as an artist, his expertise as an educator and his generosity of spirit promise to be the perfect fit for our musical community.”

NJSO violinist and String Ensemble leader Naomi Youngstein says: “I’m thrilled that José Luis is joining us to work with our wonderful youth orchestra students. From the moment I saw amazing video of his work in Chile, I hoped that he could bring his knowledge, experience and positive spirit to our musicians. Here’s to a terrific season!”

Learn more about the NJSO Youth Orchestras at


One of Chile’s most prominent orchestral conductors, La Serina 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 in 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 won 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.


Part of the NJSO Academy

The NJSO Youth Orchestras give qualified middle- and high-school students—especially African-American and Latino youth in the Greater Newark area—unparalleled opportunities to achieve personal and musical excellence. Coaching by NJSO musicians and a supportive peer-to-peer environment provide quality learning and performing experiences and build a unique culture of collaboration. The achievements of this program and its impact on the lives of these young musicians have received national recognition from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

Four distinct ensembles—the Academy Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, String Ensemble and Training Ensemble—perform two full concerts each year and participate in masterclasses and workshops with renowned guest artists. In addition, the Training Ensemble offers joint instructional and performance opportunities with its sister program, the NJPAC Symphonic Band. Through this partnership (known as Music Advancement for Newark-area Youth, or MANY), the two organizations lay the foundation for students’ membership in their more advanced ensembles.

The NJSO Youth Orchestras annually serve more than 200 students from 11 counties across northern and central New Jersey.

Students who play orchestral instruments can apply for membership in the NJSO Youth Orchestras. For more information,


A partnership designed to provide students in the Newark area with high-quality instrumental music instruction

Initiated by two of New Jersey’s premier performing arts organizations—New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO)—MANY offers programs for beginning and experienced instrumental music students alike.

Participants study string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments to develop musical and instrumental proficiency while building leadership skills. MANY also aims to prepare young instrumentalists for acceptance into performance-based educational programs within the community, including the Arts High School Orchestra and Concert Band, Newark School of the Arts, NJPAC Brick City Jazz Orchestra, Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens program and NJSO Youth Orchestras.

Annually serving more than 100 students, MANY bridges two programs: the NJPAC Symphonic Band and the NJSO Training Ensemble. The NJPAC Symphonic Band, for grades 5–8, is designed for students with little or no prior instrumental experience and provides a musical foundation in woodwinds, brass and percussion. The NJSO Training Ensemble, for grades 5–10, provides intensive musical instruction and leadership development to advanced beginner and intermediate string students.

Lawrence Liggins directs the NJPAC Symphonic Band; José Luis Domínguez directs the NJSO Training Ensemble.


Through the education programs that comprise the NJSO Academy, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra provides intensive coaching and instruction for musicians of all ages. The lauded youth orchestra program, El Sistema-modeled NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project), NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute, NJSO Coach-in-Residence Program and customized in-school clinics and master classes create participatory learning environments across the state that foster meaningful connections with live music.


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 the 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 performances, NJSO Youth Orchestras family of student ensembles 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’s REACH (Resources for Education and Community Harmony) program.

For more information about the NJSO, visit or email Tickets are available for purchase by phone at 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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