“The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra announced its 96th season Friday afternoon,” writes James C. Taylor in Monday’s (1/29) Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ). “Music Director Xian Zhang described the season as one that celebrates ‘diversity.’ … The orchestra will premiere three works by female composers. The season begins Oct. 5 with the U.S. premiere of composer Kate Whitley’s ‘Speak Out,’ a piece based on Malala Yousafzai’s speech at the UN, on the same program with Beethoven’s epic 9th Symphony,” featuring a chorus of Newark residents and singers from Montclair State University. Zhang “says her increased familiarity with the players means that the identity of the band is becoming clearer, which is why she feels the season title, ‘Music Speaks’ is fitting…. Highlights from the season … include the NJSO premiere of Ligeti’s ‘Romanian Concerto’ … a concert celebrating the Chinese New Year, and two cinema concerts with the orchestra accompanying two Star Wars films.” The orchestra will perform Florence Price’s Piano Concerto with jazz pianist Aaron Diehl and Maria Schneider’s Winter Morning Walks with soprano Dawn Upshaw. The orchestra will perform new works including a piece by Andrew Norman and Amjad Ali Khan’s Samaagam for Sarod, Concertante Group and String Orchestra.” The orchestra performs throughout the state.  

Posted January 30, 2018