Orchestra presents two symphonies in Newark, New Brunswick and Morristown

NEWARK, NJ —The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presents Mahler’s First Symphony, “Titan,” and Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, “The Age of Anxiety,” March 12–15 in Newark, New Brunswick and Morristown. Music Director Jacques Lacombe conducts; pianist Kirill Gerstein joins the Orchestra for Bernstein’s masterwork. March 13 is also the second annual #OrchestraYou; the NJSO invites concertgoers who play orchestral instruments to join NJSO musicians for a post-concert session in the lobby of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark.

Performances take place on Thursday, March 12, at 1:30 pm and Friday, March 13, at 8 pm at NJPAC in Newark; Saturday, March 14, at 8 pm at the State Theatre in New Brunswick and Sunday, March 15, at 3 pm at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown.

“Kirill and I performed Bernstein’s ‘Age of Anxiety’ together in Montreal a few seasons ago. It’s a difficult piece, and we both felt really good about our interpretation of it, so I wanted to find another occasion to play it together,” Lacombe says. “It was just a matter of finding the right program, and this pairing with Mahler’s First Symphony makes a perfect combination. Bernstein had such a great relationship with Mahler’s music, which was neglected even in Vienna, and his piece is about debating and dealing with the meaning of life. Mahler’s music often wrestles with those same questions, with dealing with who we are. That’s an interesting connection.

“‘Age of Anxiety’ is quite introspective—the first half of the piece is a set of variations in which the music is constantly revealing itself. Then there is a jazz element, a four-minute section that’s essentially piano solo with only percussion and double bass—a side of Bernstein we’re more familiar with—and then a big, powerful ending. It’s a different Bernstein that we see, and with music like this, you can understand why he was so excited about composers like Mahler.”

The NJSO invites concertgoers to perform on their own orchestral instruments alongside NJSO musicians at the second annual #OrchestraYou on Friday, March 13, at NJPAC in Newark. Education & Community Engagement Conductor Jeff Grogan will lead #OrchestraYou in Farandole from Bizet’s L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2.

At the NJSO’s celebrated #OrchestraYou session last March, more than 70 concertgoers, students and amateur musicians discovered the joys of playing live music with members of a professional orchestra. Hundreds of concert attendees, families and friends watched the session unfold from the Prudential Hall lobby and balconies, sharing photos and comments on social media.

“The energy in the room was indescribable,” Grogan says of last year’s event. “Everyone—#OrchestraYou members and audience alike—was cheering each other on in an incredibly supportive way. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.”

#OrchestraYou is free and open to all ticketholders for the NJSO’s March 13 concert featuring Mahler’s “Titan” Symphony; advance registration is required by March 6. To download music and register for #OrchestraYou—and to view press from last season’s event—visit www.njsymphony.org/orchestrayou.

#OrchestraYou is an NJSO Accent event. Inspired by the concerts and designed to inspire audiences, NJSO Accents are pre- or post-concert events that complement the concert experience and provide audience members with more opportunities to personally connect with the music and music makers. Learn more at www.njsymphony.org/accents.

NJSO Accents in Newark are generously sponsored by the Prudential Foundation.

Tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase online at www.njsymphony.org or by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).

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