Thursday, August 15, 2019

NJSO Opening Night Gala October 11th

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra begins the 2019–20 season—Music Director Xian Zhang’s fourth season with the NJSO—with an Opening Night Celebration Gala on October 11 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. The gala honors Turrell Fund President & CEO Curtland E. Fields and recognizes the significant contributions the fund has made to enrich the lives of children in the Greater Newark community with the experience of live symphonic music through the Orchestra’s education and community engagement programs.

The opening-weekend concert program, led by Zhang at 7:30 pm, pairs music and visuals in Holst’s The Planets, with NASA imagery in HD, and the NJSO premiere of Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Hiraeth, with an accompanying film by Mark DeChiazza. The women of Newark Voices return to bring an ethereal element to Holst’s masterwork. Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 opens the program.

The gala evening includes a pre-concert cocktail party with hors d’ oeuvres and an open bar at 5:30 pm; a post-concert dinner offers opportunities to meet and mingle with Zhang, musicians and special guests. Complimentary valet parking will be provided for all gala attendees. The gala is sponsored by Investors Bank.

All proceeds from the gala event will support the NJSO as it enriches lives through its artistic, music education and community engagement programs.

The NJSO repeats the concert performance on October 12 at 8 pm at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank and October 13 at 3 pm at NJPAC. Concert tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase at or 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).

COCKTAILS & CONCERT TICKET: $280* per person (includes a tax-deductible contribution of $90)
Pre-concert cocktail party, concert seating and valet parking.

COCKTAILS, CONCERT & DINNER TICKET: $780* per person (includes a tax-deductible contribution of $485)
Pre-concert cocktail party, concert seating, gala dinner and valet parking.

*Discounted tickets are available for patrons who already have tickets to the October 11 concert.

Sponsorship and Dinner Table packages ranging from $2,000 to $25,000 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

Curtland E. Fields, Turrell Fund President & CEO
Curt Fields became a trustee of the Turrell Fund, a foundation serving children, in 1997. The fund’s mission is to give at-risk children the basic elements for success in life. For more than 25 years, the Turrell Fund has generously supported the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s education and community engagement programs in the greater Newark area, including NJSO Youth Orchestras, Concerts for Young People and the Preschool Program. These programs afford students an appreciation for the arts and the benefits of a quality music education, and they enliven our community with vibrant cultural opportunities.

Fields was appointed president & CEO of the fund in 2005, after a distinguished 31-year career with AT&T. As a senior executive officer of AT&T, Fields served as president of the $2 billion Consumer Services Division, and prior to that as president of AT&T’s largest operating region, in the Midwest. His experience with the company included assignments of increasing responsibility in finance, operations and marketing, as well as key activities in the Office of the Chairman. He also served as a director of the ATC Technology Corporation until its acquisition in 2010 by privately held GENCO; Lucent Technologies, Inc., through its initial public offering; and the AT&T Universal Card, until its acquisition by Citigroup.

A native of Washington, DC, Fields holds an undergraduate degree in architecture and engineering, with high honors, from Princeton University. He also holds an MBA in finance and marketing, with honors, from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Fields serves on the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Center Theater in New York City and Caucus Educational Corporation, and he has a been an NJSO trustee for 16 years.

Holst’s The Planets in HD
Friday, October 11, at 7:30 pm | NJPAC in Newark
Saturday, October 12, at 8 pm | Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank
Sunday, October 13, at 3 pm | NJPAC in Newark

XIAN ZHANG conductor
Women of NEWARK VOICES | Heather J. Buchanan, conductor

ELGAR Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1
SARAH KIRKLAND SNIDER Hiraeth (with film by Mark DeChiazza) (NJSO Premiere)
HOLST The Planets—An HD Odyssey (with film) (produced by Duncan Copp)

Learn more at

Bank of America is concert sponsor of the October 13 performance.

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 and the NJSO Youth Orchestras family of student ensembles, led by José Luis Domínguez. NJSO musicians annually perform original chamber music programs at community events in a variety of settings statewide through the NJSO Community Partners program.

Tickets are available for purchase by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or at

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YouTube: @NewJerseySymphony

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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