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NJSO presents Chinese New Year Celebration
originally published: 12/08/2018
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presents its first annual Chinese New Year Celebration on February 2, 2019 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) 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 7:30pm 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.
Zhang 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.”
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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 njsymphony.org/cny.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center is located at One Center Street in Newark, New Jersey.
Photo of Xian Zhang in rehearsal. Photo by Fred Stucker
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