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NJSO presents Wagner's The Ring Without Words

originally published: 12/17/2019

NJSO presents Wagner(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presents the NJSO premiere of Wagner’s The Ring Without Words—the late American conductor Lorin Maazel’s arrangement of music from Wagner’s four-opera Ring cycle—in the finale of the 2020 Winter Festival, January 17–19 in Princeton, New Brunswick and Newark.

Music Director Xian Zhang conducts a program that also sees the return of Simon Trpčeski, who made his NJSO debut on Zhang’s first program as music director, for Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto. The program opens with the Prelude to Act I of Wagner’s Lohengrin.

Performances take place on January 17 at 8:00pm at Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, January 18 at 8:00pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick and January 19 at 3:00pm at NJPAC in Newark.

NJSO Accent events include a Prelude Performance by young musicians from the NJSO Academy on January 17 at 8:00pm and “The Ring: A Closer Look”—an exploration of Wagner’s epic Ring opera cycle by pianist and musicologist Jeffrey Swann—on January 19 at 1:30pm. More information on NJSO Accents is available at

Tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase at or 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476). Student tickets are $10, available at one month in advance.

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2020 Winter Festival: ‘In the Spotlight’

The NJSO’s 2020 Winter Festival, “In the Spotlight” features three weeks of epic works from the stage, inspired by Zhang’s love of opera and ballet. The festival’s opening weekend features selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet ballet, paired with the NJSO premiere of Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto—featuring returning pianist Inon Barnatan—and “The Moldau” from Smetana’s Má vlast (January 3–5 in Newark, Red Bank and Morristown). The January 3 concert opens with the annual featured showcase performance by the NJSO Youth Orchestras’ Academy Orchestra.

In a new collaboration, the NJSO welcomes singers from the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program for scenes from Mozart’s Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro. The all-Mozart program also features Concertmaster Eric Wyrick’s annual solo appearance with the Orchestra (in the composer’s Fourth Violin Concerto); it opens with Exsultate, jubilate, a church solo from Mozart’s teenage years (January 9–12 in Englewood, Newark and New Brunswick).

More information on the Winter Festival and related events is available at

NJSO presents Wagner

2020 Winter Festival Week III: Wagner’s The Ring Without Words

Fri, Jan 17, at 8:00pm | Richardson Auditorium in Princeton

Sat, Jan 18, at 8:00pm | State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick

Sun, Jan 19, at 3:00pm | NJPAC in Newark


XIAN ZHANG conductor




WAGNER Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin

LISZT Piano Concerto No. 2

WAGNER/arr. Maazel The Ring Without Words (NJSO Premiere)

NJSO Accents

Prelude Performance – Jan 18 at 7 pm

Hear captivating young musicians from the NJSO Academy perform in State Theatre New Jersey’s Heldrich Room.

The Ring: A Closer Look – Jan 19 at 1:30 pm

Pianist and musicologist Jeffrey Swann explores Wagner’s epic opera cycle on stage before the NJSO performs The Ring Without Words.

NJSO presents Wagner

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 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.

Photos by Fred Stucker

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