The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has organized its 2019 Winter Festival, January 10 to 27, around the theme of “Music Speaks,” featuring music and additional activities inspired by poetry, stories, and myth. The orchestra will perform works by Mahler, Mozart, Schumann, Scriabin, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, and contemporary composer Maria Schneider in six locations. Music Director Xian Zhang will lead the first “Music Speaks” program—Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22 with Emanuel Ax and Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony (inspired by Lord Byron’s poem “Manfred”)—on January 10. Other programs will feature Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra (inspired by Nietzsche’s novel of the same name) and piano soloist Daniil Trifonov in Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy, for which the composer wrote poetry to accompany the music. Also planned are Maria Schneider’s Winter Morning Walks, based on poet Ted Kooser’s collection of poetry written during his cancer recovery, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, which incorporates the song “Das himmlische Leben,” presenting a child’s vision of heaven. Pre- and post-concert events will feature dancer Maurice Chestnut and poet Kurtis Lamkin, NJSO musicians in panel discussions about their work performing in hospital settings through the orchestra’s Music and Wellness program, and performances by musicians from the NJSO Youth Orchestras.

Posted January 3, 2019