Saturday, January 6, 2018

NJSO Winter Festival Week III, America, Inspiring: Dvořák’s ‘New World’ Symphony

 NJSO with Xian Zhang at NJPAC 008 bow - credit Fred Stucker

                Music Director Xian Zhang conducts NJSO

—The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Xian Zhang close the 2018 Winter Festival, “America, Inspiring,” with the masterwork that embodies its theme—Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony. Presented January 26–28 in Newark, Red Bank and Morristown, the program also features Britten’s Simple Symphony and Korngold’s Violin Concerto with soloist Chloë Hanslip.

Performances take place on Friday, January 26, at 8 pm at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark; Saturday, January 27, at 8 pm at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank; and Sunday, January 28, at 3 pm at Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown.

The 2018 Winter Festival highlights the myriad ways America has inspired not only those who call it home but also those who have visited its welcoming shores. Leveraging the power of art to transcend differences, a series of NJSO Accents and special events further explore the immigrant experience and how foreign artists have illustrated American inspiration in their work.

NJSO Accent events include a Prelude Performance by the Anne Lieberson Ensemble from the NJSO Youth Orchestras on January 26. In the closing event of the Winter Festival, poets Maria Gillan and Patrick Rosal reflect on their own immigrant experiences at a post-concert poetry reading on January 28.

For more information on the Winter Festival and related events, visit


Tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase online at or by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).


Get the most from the Winter Festival with a Festival Pass! For just $150 you get a prime seat for any—or all—of the nine Festival concerts, a ticket to one of the chamber music concerts, complimentary entry to either wine tasting and a reserved front-row seat for all Festival Accent events.


WEEK III: America, Inspiring: Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony

Fri, Jan 26, at 8 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Sat, Jan 27, at 8 pm | Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank

Sun, Jan 28, at 3 pm | Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown

Xian Zhang, conductor

Chloë Hanslip, violin

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

BRITTEN Simple Symphony

KORNGOLD Violin Concerto

DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”


Prelude Performance—Fri, Jan 26, before the concert

Come early and hear the Anne Lieberson Ensemble from the NJSO's Youth Orchestras perform a selection inspired by the Winter Festival.

Poetry Reading—Sun, Jan 28, after the concert

Poets Maria Gillan and Patrick Rosal reflect on their own immigrant experiences in the closing event of the Winter Festival.

Full concert information is available at

The Jan 27 performance is generously sponsored by Bank of America.


Xian Zhang, conductor

In an acclaimed first season as Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Xian Zhang “clearly made her mark,” NJ Advance Media writes. “Now it’s time to see how high [the Orchestra] can soar.” Zhang continues her tenure in 2017–18 with performances of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Mahler’s First Symphony and Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony, among others.

In September 2016, Zhang assumed the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales, becoming the first female conductor to hold a titled role with a BBC orchestra; the season culminated in a televised BBC Proms performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, anticipating the start of a two-year project devoted to the composer’s complete symphonies. Her 2017–18 BBC NOW season includes a concert tour of Wales. Zhang is also Conductor Emeritus of Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, following completion of her tenure as Music Director from 2009–16.

Forthcoming engagements include returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orquesta Nacional de España and Savonlinna Opera Festival, as well as debuts with the San Francisco Symphony and NAC Orchestra, Ottawa. Zhang is a regular conductor of the London Symphony and Royal Concertgebouw orchestras; recent highlights include her debut with The Cleveland Orchestra and a gala concert with Renée Fleming and the China NCPA Orchestra.

Born in Dandong, China, Zhang made her professional debut conducting The Marriage of Figaro at the Central Opera House in Beijing at the age of 20. She trained at Beijing’s Central Conservatory, earning both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees and serving one year on its conducting faculty before moving to the United States in 1998. She was appointed the New York Philharmonic’s Assistant Conductor in 2002, then became its Associate Conductor and first holder of the Arturo Toscanini Chair.

Chloë Hanslip, violin

Chloë Hanslip has already established herself as an artist of distinction on the international stage. Prodigiously talented, she made her BBC Proms debut in 2002 and her US concerto debut in 2003, and she has performed at major venues such as the Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Vienna Musikverein, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, the Louvre and Salle Gaveau in Paris and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, as well as at Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Arts Space in Tokyo and the Seoul Arts Centre.

Hanslip has an extensive discography, most recently recording for Rubicon Classics. Her debut release on the label is the first of a three-disc series of the complete Beethoven violin sonatas with regular duo partner Danny Driver. Her previous recording collaboration with him—YorkBowen Sonatas (Hyperion)—received recommendations from Gramophone (Choice) and The Strad.

Other notable recordings include Bruch concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra (Warner Classics), for which she won the Echo Klassik Award for Best Newcomer (2002) and Young British Classical Performer at the Classical BRITS (2003), and a highly acclaimed recording of John Adams’ Violin Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

Hanslip’s wide-ranging repertoire spans concertos by Britten, Prokofiev, Beethoven, Brahms, Korngold, Shostakovich, Barber, Bernstein, Delius, Mendelssohn, Bruch, Elgar, Tchaikovsky, Walton and Sibelius. With a particular passion for contemporary repertoire, she has championed works by Adams, Glass, Corigliano, Nyman, Huw Watkins, Peter Maxwell Davies and Brett Dean.

Hanslip studied for 10 years with the Russian pedagogue Zakhar Bron. She has also worked with Christian Tetzlaff, Robert Masters, Ida Haendel, Salvatore Accardo and Gerhard Schulz. She plays a 1737 Guarneri del Gesù.

2018 WINTER FESTIVAL: America, Inspiring

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Xian Zhang present the 2018 Winter Festival—“America, Inspiring”—in January at eight venues across the state. The Festival celebrates foreign artists and composers whose experiences connect them to the nation’s legacy as a source of inspiration and beacon of ideals for people from all over the world.

Spanning three weekends, January 11–28, the Winter Festival includes orchestral performances at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, 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. The NJSO Chamber Players perform a special chamber music concert at St. George’s-by-the-River Episcopal Church in Rumson and Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit.

WEEK I: America, Inspiring: Respighi & Prokofiev

Thu, Jan 11, at 7:30 pm | bergenPAC in Englewood

Sat, Jan 13, at 8 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Sun, Jan 14, at 3 pm | State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick

Xian Zhang, conductor

George Li, piano

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

CHEN YI Ge Xu (NJSO Premiere)

PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3

RESPIGHI Fountains of Rome (NJSO Premiere)

RESPIGHI Pines of Rome


Talkback—Thu, Jan 11, after the concert

Listen as members of the NJSO’s international roster of musicians describe their own journeys to the US and New Jersey in the opening panel of the Winter Festival, America, Inspiring.

Wine Tasting—Sat, Jan 13, before the concert

Join wine and music expert Ron Merlino in an exclusive tasting of wines made of old-world grapes in new-world soil. $15 for the tasting, reservations required.

Talkback—Sun, Jan 14, after the concert

Principal Bassoon Robert Wagner discusses the NJSO's efforts to reach out to the many diverse communities in the Garden State.

Full concert information is available at

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