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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

NJSO presents 2019 Winter Festival, ‘Music Speaks’

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

Emanuel Ax, Dawn Upshaw and Daniil Trifonov headline three-week festival, led by Xian Zhang

Concerts feature works by Mahler, Maria Schneider, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, Schumann, Strauss

NJSO Accents include performances by dancer Maurice Chestnut and poet Kurtis Lamkin, NJSO Music and Wellness Program panel

Jan 10–27 in six New Jersey venues

NEWARK, NJ—A trio of renowned guest artists with distinct musical voices—pianists Emanuel Ax and Daniil Trifonov and soprano Dawn Upshaw—headline the NJSO’s Winter Festival, “Music Speaks,” in January 2019. The Orchestra’s signature artistic event takes place across three weekends, January 10–27, in six New Jersey venues.

“For the Winter Festival, the NJSO brings in three of the top living artists,” Zhang says. “Personally speaking, it’s a highlight of my career to conduct these three soloists in three consecutive weeks.

The music director says: “The Winter Festival is the main highlight of our season theme, and this year’s theme—Music Speaks—is about music inspired by great poetry, stories and myths. Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra was inspired by Nietzsche; Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony was inspired by Lord Byron. Scriabin wrote the music for his Poem of Ecstasy, then wrote 300 lines of poetry to accompany the music.”

Ax performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22 on a program featuring Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony, based on Lord Byron’s epic poem of doomed love (January 10–13 in Englewood, Newark and New Brunswick).

Upshaw sings Maria Schneider’s Winter Morning Walks, which draws from former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s collection of poetry written during his cancer recovery, and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, which finds wisdom in a child’s vision of heaven (January 18–20 in Princeton, Red Bank and Newark).

Trifonov performs Schumann’s Piano Concerto on a program that also includes Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy and Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra (January 25–27 in Newark, New Brunswick and Morristown).

NJSO Accent events include pre-concert performances by dancer Maurice Chestnut and poet Kurtis Lamkin, panel discussions with NJSO musicians who perform in hospital settings through the NJSO Music and Wellness Program, and a prelude performance by the Anne Lieberson Ensemble from the NJSO Youth Orchestras. More information on NJSO Accent events is available at njsymphony.org/accents.

For more information on the Winter Festival and related events, visit njsymphony.org/winterfestival.

Concert tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase at njsymphony.org or 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).

WEEK I: Emanuel Ax & Xian Zhang

Thu, Jan 10, at 7:30 pm | bergenPAC in Englewood

Sat, Jan 12, at 8 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Sun, Jan 13 at 3 pm | State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick

Xian Zhang, conductor

Emanuel Ax, piano

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

MOZART Piano Concerto No. 22

TCHAIKOVSKY Manfred Symphony

NJSO ACCENTS

Poetry in Motion – Sat, Jan 12, at 7 pm
A fusion of movement, music and spoken word: dancer Maurice Chestnut and poet Kurtis Lamkin entertain in the lobby before the performance.

Additional concert information and artist bios are available at njsymphony.org/ax.

WEEK II: Dawn Upshaw & Xian Zhang

Fri, Jan 18, at 8 pm | Richardson Auditorium in Princeton

Sat, Jan 19, at 8 pm | Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank

Sun, Jan 20 at 3 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Xian Zhang, conductor

Dawn Upshaw, soprano

Jay Anderson, bass

Frank Kimbrough, piano

Scott Robinson, clarinet

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

MARIA SCHNEIDER Winter Morning Walks (NJSO Premiere)

MAHLER Symphony No. 4

NJSO ACCENTS

Music and Wellness – Fri, Jan 18, at 7 pm and Sun, Jan 20, after the concert
Join NJSO musicians who perform in hospital settings through the Orchestra’s Music and Wellness Program, as well as special guests, for a discussion about healing and the arts.

Additional concert information and artist bios are available at njsymphony.org/upshaw.

WEEK III: Daniil Trifonov & Xian Zhang

Fri, Jan 25, at 8 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Sat, Jan 26, at 8 pm | State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick

Sun, Jan 27 at 3 pm | Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown

Xian Zhang, conductor

Daniil Trifonov, piano

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra

SCHUMANN Piano Concerto

SCRIABIN Poem of Ecstasy (NJSO Premiere)

NJSO ACCENTS

Poetry in Motion – Fri, Jan 25, at 7 pm
A fusion of movement, music and spoken word: dancer Maurice Chestnut and poet Kurtis Lamkin entertain in the lobby before the performance.

Prelude Performance – Sat, Jan 26, at 7:15 pm
Come early and hear the extraordinary Anne Lieberson Ensemble from the NJSO Youth Orchestras in a special performance in the Heldrich Room.

Additional concert information and artist bios are available at njsymphony.org/trifonov.

NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

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 State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, Count Basie Center for the Arts 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; NJSO Youth Orchestras family of student ensembles, led by José Luis Domínguez; 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 Community Partners program.

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