Thursday, May 31, 2018

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has named new Artistic Director of the NJSO Youth Orchestras

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has named José Luis Domínguez Artistic Director of the NJSO Youth Orchestras, signing him to a two-year contract that extends through the 2020 fiscal year a relationship that began in September 2017 when Domínguez was named Interim Artistic Director of the youth orchestras. This season, he has worked closely with NJSO Youth Orchestras artistic faculty and conducted two of its four ensembles, the Academy Orchestra and Training Ensemble.

Domínguez says: “This year with the NJSO Youth Orchestras has been a very interesting and very happy experience for me. I felt the privilege of being part of such an incredible group of professional musicians and teaching artists. The spirit of the students and the parents is unquestionable. It shows passion, and I want to take it a few steps further. If I can make Saturday the best day of their week, I’ll feel like I did my job.”

NJSO Music Director Xian Zhang says: “The students have had so much fun and learned so much working with José Luis this season. José Luis embodies all the qualities we want in a Youth Orchestras leader, and we are so excited that he will continue to lead the program.”

NJSO Education Committee member Michelle Merchant says: “As the parent of two children participating in the NJSO Youth Orchestras, I am delighted that José Luis Domínguez has been selected as the Artistic Director. To this role, he brings an unrivaled enthusiasm, a dedication to music education and a unique cultural appreciation to which the students respond so well. As a leader and role model, he will have a profoundly positive impact on the program and the community for seasons to come. I am excited about how the NJSO Youth Orchestras and the students will grow under his energizing and inspiring guidance and leadership.”

Domínguez will conduct the NJSO’s free summer parks concert series in June and July. He led the NJSO’s #OrchestraYou pro-am post-concert session in April and conducted the Orchestra’s May family concerts at NJPAC in Newark.

The Chilean-born conductor was previously 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.

A major gift made by longtime supporter Anna P. Drago recently recognized the significance of this position at the NJSO. The gift names the NJSO Youth Orchestras Artistic Director Chair in her honor.

Learn more about the NJSO Youth Orchestras at

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