In Friday’s (7/24) Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey), Peggy McGlone writes, “From the first glimpse of cellist Jonathan Spitz’s white New Balance sneakers to violinist Francine Storck’s frequent pauses to lean forward and write notes on her score, it was clear yesterday’s afternoon concert in Princeton was something different. Conductor Mark Laycock, in navy golf shirt and black slacks, even seemed startled when the audience first applauded. ‘It meets with their approval,’ he said to the musicians of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, who had just completed the first of three dances from Smetana’s ‘The Bartered Bride.’ ‘Let’s go on.’ For the first time ever, the orchestra yesterday opened a rehearsal to the general—and paying—public. It was the final of three rehearsals for last night’s concert at Richardson Auditorium, featuring a program of the Smetana dances and Beethoven’s epic Ninth Symphony with soloists and a chorus from Opera New Jersey.” The evening performance sold out so quickly that the orchestra decided to sell tickets to the rehearsal for $10. “Both performances are part of the symphony’s ongoing effort to strengthen its community ties, according to president and CEO André Gremillet.”

Photo of André Gremillet courtesy of the New Jersey Symphony

Posted July 24, 2009