Violinist Randall Goosby and Music Director Xian Zhang with the New Jersey Symphony at a recent concert; Goosby played Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, and orchestra premiered a score by Chen Yi. Photo by Grace Liu Anderson.

In Monday’s (6/5) New York Times, Zachary Woolfe writes, “When the New Jersey Symphony was planning this season’s centennial celebrations, which come to a close this weekend, a question kept coming up: Would the orchestra be going to Carnegie Hall? After all, appearing at Carnegie … is a mark of excellence and validation [at] a special occasion. Like a 100th birthday. While the New Jersey Symphony has given many Carnegie performances … it decided this was not the right time to return. ‘Sure, we can go to Carnegie,’ Gabriel van Aalst, the orchestra’s chief executive, recently recalled … ‘But I strongly felt that this major tentpole celebration should be us in our state. Our supporters are here, our audiences are here.’… The New Jersey Symphony has lately punched above its weight in programming ambition—and, as the music world continues to rebuild from the pandemic, has prided itself on thinking locally rather than trying to compete with its famous neighbors. In Xian Zhang, its music director since 2016, the ensemble has an energetic, collaboration-minded leader well liked by the players…. ‘We can be more responsive to community needs,’ van Aalst said…. ‘We were very intentional that we were going to go to communities and ask, ‘What do you need from us?’ ”