Sunday, December 9, 2018

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra first annual Chinese New Year Celebration at NJPAC


The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presents its first annual Chinese New Year Celebration on February 2 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. The event includes an NJSO performance led by Music Director Xian Zhang, as well as pre-concert cultural festivities and a post-concert gala dinner.

Zhang says: “This season, the NJSO focuses on community, and our first Chinese New Year concert is a big part of that effort. Chinese New Year is an opportunity to deepen our connections not only with the Chinese community but also with the general public throughout the state, coming together to celebrate a very old tradition. It’s a great chance to showcase the talent we have in New Jersey, and I feel very pleased and satisfied that we can bring this opportunity to many families and audiences of all ages.”


The 7:30 pm concert program blends Eastern and Western musical traditions, with NJSO premieres of Li Huanzhi’s Spring Festival Overture and Tan Dun’s The Triple Resurrection. Concertmaster Eric Wyrick, Principal Cello Jonathan Spitz and pianist Min Kwon take center stage for Tan Dun’s concerto. The Orchestra welcomes the Peking University Alumni Chorus, New York Festival Singers and Starry Arts Group Children’s Chorus for works including Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, the “Anvil Chorus” from Verdi’s Il Trovatore, “Jasmine Chorus” from Puccini’s Turandot and traditional Chinese songs. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company gives a special performance choreographed to the “Humming Chorus” from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and the Edison Chinese School Lion Dance Team performs a traditional dragon dance. Actress Elena Kampouris hosts.

Special pre-concert festivities designed for the whole family include traditional Chinese music performers, calligraphy demonstrations, crafts and more, beginning at 6 pm in the Prudential Hall lobby.

Xian ZhangZhang says: “Audience members will see a pre-show in the lobby that will be just as amazing as the main concert. When you walk into the lobby, you will immediately experience the culture firsthand, with Chinese calligraphy, dancing and performances. When I first started to organize the program for Chinese New Year, I purposefully wanted to bring Eastern and Western music together. The event mixes dragon dances, traditional Chinese folk songs, modern music and very well-known Western opera excerpts. Musically, it will be very attractive for the audience, and visually, this concert will be very colorful and vibrant.”

Concert tickets start at $20 and include both the NJSO performance and pre-concert festivities. Gala event tickets include a post-concert dinner with Zhang and special guests.

Learn more at

This concert and celebration are generously supported in part by an anonymous donor in honor of Music Director Xian Zhang.


Chinese New Year Celebration

Sat, Feb 2, at 7:30 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Xian Zhang, conductor

Eric Wyrick, violin

Jonathan Spitz, cello

Min Kwon, piano

Peking University Alumni Chorus

The New York Festival Singers

Starry Arts Group Children’s Chorus | Rebecca Shen, director

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company | Nai-Ni Chen, choreographer

Edison Chinese School Lion Dance Team

Elena Kampouris, host

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra


LI HUANZHI Spring Festival Overture (NJSO Premiere)

TAN DUN The Triple Resurrection (NJSO Premiere)

VERDI “Anvil Chorus” from Il Trovatore

TRADITIONAL CHINESE SONG (Arr. Nicholas Hersh) “Farewell”

BEETHOVEN Choral Fantasy

PUCCINI “Humming Chorus” from Madama Butterfly

PUCCINI “Jasmine Chorus” from Turandot

TRADITIONAL CHINESE SONG (Arr. Nicholas Hersh) “Let’s Paddle Together”


Concert tickets start at $20 and include both the NJSO performance and pre-concert festivities. Learn more at


Jade VIP Dinner Ticket—$1,000
Admission for one to the pre-concert festival, champagne reception, concert and dinner seating. ($715 is tax-deductible)

Ruby Dinner Ticket—$500
Admission for one to the pre-concert festival, concert and dinner. ($265 is tax-deductible)

Sponsorship and dinner table packages ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 are also available. For more information, please contact Laura Bessey, NJSO Manager of Special Events, at or 973.735.1729.

Full gala information is available at


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.

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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