Photo by Sam Sirochman
(CAMDEN, NJ) -- New Jersey-based professional training orchestra Symphony in C launches its 2023-2024 season with its new Music Director, Noam Aviel, on Saturday, November 4, 2023 at Gordon Theater at the Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts in Camden, New Jersey. The concert features Smetana's Overture from The Bartered Bride, Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, and Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18 performed by piano prodigy Harmony Zhu. Showtime is 8:00pm.
"I am thrilled to begin this season's musical journey with Symphony in C,” Music Director Noam Aviel said. “We will celebrate with the lively opening of Smetana's The Bartered Bride, immerse ourselves in the lush melodies of Rachmaninov's beloved Second Piano Concerto, and sit on the edge of our seats for Tchaikovsky's dramatic Fourth Symphony. I am looking forward to meeting the wonderful Camden audience there!"
Symphony in C’s Virtuoso Series also returns, highlighting Symphony in C musicians within an intimate chamber music setting, with the first of three concerts at Haddonfield United Methodist Church on Sunday, October 22, 2023 at 4:00pm. The performance includes Brahms’s Horn Trio, Op. 40 and Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47 “Kreutzer”. The series continues with Mozart’s Divertimento for String Trio, K. 563 and Halvorsen’s Passacaglia for violin and viola (after Handel) on Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 4:00pm and Saint-Saëns’s Piano Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 41 and Fauré’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15 on Sunday, April 7, 2024 at 4:00pm.
Throughout the season, Symphony in C also continues its Music Matters! Educational Outreach Programs including the Symphony in C Youth Orchestra, All-South Jersey Audition Clinics, Symphony Summer Camp, school instrumental lessons at all four Catholic Partnership Schools and our newest program at the Octavius Catto School in Camden that will include Meet the Instruments, instrumental lessons, and Music Together.
Hailed for her artistic excellence, versatility and charismatic stage presence, Noam Aviel has emerged on the international scene as one of the most dynamic young conductors. She has been recognized for her musicianship, deep understanding of stylistic approaches in a wide range of repertoire from opera and symphonic to jazz, and sensitivity to the needs of the artists with whom she collaborates.
Following her recent debut with the Symphony in C in the US, Noam Aviel has been appointed the orchestra’s Music Director starting from the 2023/2024 season.
Former Associate Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony, Noam Aviel has made successful appearances conducting the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra in Sweden, KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic and Johannesburg Philharmonic orchestras in South Africa as well as San Antonio Philharmonic. In 2022 Noam made her debuts at Opera Orlando with Thomas Albert’s contemporary music drama Lizbeth and at Mobile Opera in Alabama conducting L’elisir d’amore. Noam Aviel’s future engagements include concerts with Symphony in C, German symphonic debut with Dortmund Philharmoniker, a debut at Opera Tampa conducting Hansel and Gretel, as well as returns to Mobile Opera conducting Marriage of Figaro and Opera Orlando for Massenet’s Cendrillon. Noam Aviel has worked on numerous opera productions including La Traviata, La Bohème, Macbeth, Carmen, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Lennox Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement at the Illinois Festival Opera.
Born in Israel, Noam Aviel studied voice performance and orchestral conducting at Tel Aviv University, and later continued her studies in orchestral conducting at Illinois State University in the US. In 2017 Noam Aviel was appointed Assistant Conductor, later promoted to Associate Conductor, of the San Antonio Symphony where she has led the orchestra’s extensive educational, community and outreach concerts programme working closely with Sebastian Lang Lessing. In this role she quickly gained recognition for inventive programming and has been praised in the US press as one of 25 “Renaissance Women” who have shaped the city of San Antonio.
Described by David Dubal as “part of the next great Golden Age of the piano,” Harmony Zhu performs regularly at prestigious festivals and venues worldwide, having appeared with orchestras such as the Israel Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín with such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and David Alan Miller.
Harmony has performed at many festivals worldwide including the Verbier Festival, Ravinia Festival, Oxford Piano Festival, and Aspen Music Festival. She has been featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, CBC, CBS, and From the Top, captivating and inspiring people everywhere she goes with her extraordinary musical maturity, charming charisma, and upbeat personality.
Under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Harmony helped open the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 118th season at its Opening Night Gala Concert, three months before touring with the Israel Philharmonic and appearing with the Detroit Symphony for three concerts. In the same year, Harmony performed as the only student pianist at the Juilliard Pre-College Centennial Gala Concert as well as the farewell gala for former Juilliard president, Joseph Polisi. After appearing as a soloist at the Ravinia Music Festival in the summer of 2018 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, she was invited back to Ravinia again in 2019 to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Marin Alsop. Also that year, Harmony had the great privilege to be invited as the only Pre-College student to perform at Lincoln Center's 60th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Gala as well as the Juilliard Spring Gala. Harmony had the honor of co-hosting the Lang Lang International Music Foundation’s Gala Concert, “Lang Lang & Friends: Reaching Dreams Through Music,” which was broadcast globally.
During the 2022-23 season Harmony will be presented in recital with the Harriman-Jewell Series (Kansas City, MO), Hayden’s Ferry Chamber Music Series (Tempe, AZ), and will also perform alongside distinguished YCA alum, pianist Anne-Marie McDermott in a performance of Ravel’s La Valse for two pianos as part of Young Concert Artists’ special season finale performance at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in May 2023. She will also appear in performances with the Hawaii Symphony.
Harmony won First Prize in the 2021 Young Concert Artists Susan Wadsworth International Auditions, as well as The Alexander Kasza-Kasser Prize, The Brownville Concert Series Prize, Friends of Music Concerts Prize, The Harriman-Jewell Series Prize, and The Hayden's Ferry Chamber Music Series Prize. In addition to her piano studies with Emanuel Ax and Veda Kaplinsky, Harmony also studies composition with Ira Taxin at Juilliard.
Growing up as a chess prodigy, she was awarded the title of Woman Candidate Master and holds the title of World Champion of her age group after winning the World Youth Chess Championships. In her free time, Harmony enjoys reading, drawing, photography, and birdwatching.
Symphony in C provides the next generations of musicians and composers with experiences in performance and in engaging with the community, helping musicians to develop skills and experiences for professional success. The Symphony seeks to support musicians in achieving their visions in the changing world of symphonic music.
Founded in 1952 as The Haddonfield Symphony, Symphony in C began as a community orchestra allowing amateur musicians to pursue their love of music by performing for the Haddonfield and southern New Jersey communities. Its debut performance was in January 1954 under music director Guido Terranova. Since then, it has grown into one of only three professional training orchestras in the United States preparing musicians and conductors who are on the cusp of world-class careers through concert, educational outreach and professional development programs.
In 2004, the Symphony was awarded the national MetLife Award for Community Engagement in recognition of its programs serving people with special needs. In 2006, the Symphony moved its concert series to the Gordon Theater at Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts, and changed its name to Symphony in C to reflect its commitment to the cultural and economic redevelopment of Camden. Symphony in C has been designated a Major Arts Organization by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and was awarded a Citation of Excellence.
Symphony in C performances and programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The New Jersey Cultural Trust, the Domenica Foundation, The Presser Foundation, Holman Enterprises,The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation, the Connelly Foundation, South Jersey Charitable Foundation, TD Charitable Foundation, and Subaru of America. Symphony in C is a member of the South Jersey Cultural Alliance (SJCA).