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New Jersey Symphony Blends East and West to Celebrate Lunar New Year

originally published: 12/06/2023

New Jersey Symphony Blends East and West to Celebrate Lunar New Year

(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Symphony will present a special performance celebrating the Lunar New Year and ringing in the Year of the Dragon, featuring conductor Yue Bao and pianist Tony Siqi Yun, at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) on Saturday, February 3, 2024, at 7:30pm.

First developed by music director Xian Zhang in 2019, the Lunar New Year Celebration honors the start of the Chinese calendar by weaving together the best in classical music from the East and the West. Guest conductor Bao leads a program that includes “Yellow River Boatman’s Song” from Xian Xinghai’s Yellow River Concerto, one of the most famous pieces to come from China in the 20th century, and Spring Festival Overture by Li Huanzhi, who was influenced by Xian.

In addition to playing the Yellow River Concerto selection, Yun will perform the “Allegramante” movement from Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, showing the versatility of this rising star in classical music, who won the Gold Medal at the First China International Music Competition in 2019. The performance also includes selections from Huang Ruo’s Folk Songs for Orchestra, Dvořák’s Slavonic Dance No. 8, Verdi’s “Va Pensiero” from Nabucco, and Zhou Tian’s Gift.

The Symphony will be joined by the Peking University (PKU) Alumni Chorus, which consists of former members of PKU’s student choir alongside singers from the Chinese community in New York and New Jersey. The evening will also feature a performance by the Edison Chinese School Lion Dance Team.

All ticket holders are invited to attend a pre-concert Cultural Exchange Festival in the lobby with musical performances, crafters, demonstrations and more starting at 6:00pm. More information and concert tickets are available

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Lunar New Year Celebration VIP Event: Patrons can enhance their concert experience with the Lunar New Year Celebration VIP Event. In addition to the concert, the VIP event adds early access to the pre-concert Cultural Exchange Festival preferred seating for the concert, an after-party with sumptuous desserts, and additional VIP perks such as a VIP reception before the concert and valet parking. More information and event tickets are available at

2024 Lunar New Year Celebration Celebration of the Year of the Dragon

Yue Bao conductor

Tony Siqi Yun piano

Peking University Alumni Chorus

Edison Chinese School Lion Dance Team

New Jersey Symphony

Newark → Saturday, February 3, 7:30 pm, New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Li Huanzhi Spring Festival Overture

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Xinghai “Yellow River Boatmen’s Song” from Yellow River Concerto

Ravel “Allegramente” from Piano Concerto in G

Ruo Huang Selections from Folk Songs for Orchestra

                          I. Flower Drum Song from Feng Yang

                          IV. Girl from the Da Ban City

Dvořák Slavonic Dance No. 8, Op. 46

Verdi “Va Pensiero” from Nabucco

Traditional Jasmine Flower Song

Zhou Tian Gift

The Emmy and Grammy Award-winning New Jersey Symphony is redefining what it means to be a nationally leading, relevant orchestra in the 21st century. The Symphony is renewing its deeply rooted commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by championing new, and often local, artists; engaging audiences for whom the inspiring depth and breadth of classical music will be a new experience; and incorporating the broadest possible representation in all aspects of our organization-all to better reflect and serve our vibrant communities. Since 2021, Music Director Xian Zhang has worked together with composer, violinist, educator and social-justice advocate Daniel Bernard Roumain, the orchestra's Resident Artistic Catalyst, to offer programming that connects with diverse communities in Newark and throughout New Jersey.

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Internationally renowned Chinese American conductor Xian Zhang began her tenure as the New Jersey Symphony's current Music Director in 2016. Since her arrival at the New Jersey Symphony, Zhang has revitalized programming with an industry-­leading commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in mainstage concerts. In its second century of bringing concerts to the people of New Jersey, the Symphony will present audience favorites in 2023–24 including Dvorak's "New World" Symphony, Orff's Carmina Burana, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, violinist Joshua Bell leading the orchestra in Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and pianist Daniil Trifonov playing Gershwin's Concerto in F. New Jersey Symphony co-commissions include works by internationally-renowned living composers: Anna Clyne's ATLAS and Jessie Montgomery's Snapshots. Composers Rob Kapilow and Daniel Bernard Roumain will present world premieres.



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