NJ Symphony Orchestra will present virtual Lunar New Year Celebration

njso lunar year


New Jersey Symphony Orchestra music director Xian Zhang.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s annual Lunar New Year Celebration will be virtual this year, with a Feb. 6 concert following the premiere of videos Feb. 1-5. We are currently in the Year of the Rat, and the Year of the Ox begins on Feb. 12.

Xian Zhang, who became the orchestra’s music director in 2016, said in a press release that one her proudest achievements in that role “is starting our annual Lunar New Year Celebration. This year, we have musical treats and special guests from around the world, including new performances from the Orchestra captured at NJPAC, heartwarming appearances from the Starry Arts Group Children’s Chorus and a worldwide collaboration from the Peking University Alumni Chorus performing Don Besig’s choral piece ‘Flying Free’ with me at the piano. I hope that this year’s virtual celebration fills our audiences with strength, joy and hope for better days in the year ahead.”

All videos will be available for free at njsymphony.org/LNY and on the NJSO’s YouTube and Facebook channels. And they will remain available for free viewing after they premiere.

There also will be a pre-concert event with Zhang and others for donors of $100 or more. For information, email Renee Pachucki at rpachucki@njsymphony.org.

Here is the schedule:

FEB. 1, 5 P.M.

Li Kaichou’s “You Look So Good With a Smile.” Featuring Starry Arts Group Children’s Chorus (Rebecca Shen, director)
“Fisherman’s Song at Eventide” (traditional). Featuring Ming Yang, violin; Jade Lucia Nieczkowski, piano

FEB. 2, 5 P.M.

Korean Cooking Demonstration by Ha-Young Jung (NJSO principal bassist)
“A Wonderful Night” (traditional, arr. Zouye). Featuring NJSO Chamber Players: Xin Zhao, violin and commentary; James Tsao, violin; Frank Foerster, viola; Philo Lee, cello.

FEB. 3, 5 P.M.

Chopin’s “Ballade No. 4 in F Minor.” Featuring Harmony Zhu, piano.
“Yang Guan San Die” (traditional). Featuring Yuxiao Chen, xun.

FEB. 4, 5 P.M.

“Blossoms on a Moonlit River in Spring” (traditional). Featuring Xuefei Yang, guitar.
Chinese Cooking Demonstration by Xin Zhao (violinist)

FEB. 5, 5 P.M.

“Gao Shan Liu Shui (High Mountains and Running Brook)” (traditional). Featuring Yang Yi, guzheng.
“Spring Celebration” (traditional, arr. Zouye). Featuring NJSO Chamber Players: Wendy Chen, violin; Alexandra Neglia, violin; David Blinn, viola; Laura Andrade, cello.

FEB. 6, 7:30 P.M.

Lunar New Year Celebration Concert. Featuring Xian Zhang, conductor and piano; Xuefei Yang, guitar; George Li, piano; Jonathan Spitz, cello; Na-Young Baek, cello; Bart Feller, flute; Peking University Alumni Chorus; Starry Arts Group Children’s Chorus (Rebecca Shen, director).

Program includes:
Lu Huanzhi’s “Spring Festival Overture”
Tchaikovsky’s “Andante cantabile for Cello and Orchestra”
Luiz Bonfa’s “Manhã de Carnaval”
Schubert’s “Der Erlkönig” (arr. Liszt)
“Purple Bamboo Tune” (traditional)
“Fisherman’s Song at Eventide” (traditional)
Chu Wang-Hua’s “Happy Days”
Don Besig’s “Flying Free”
Piazzolla’s “Libertango”
Gu Jianfen’s “Spring Dawn” and “Singing and Smiling”
“Farewell” (traditional)
“Gong Xi Gong Xi” (traditional)

For information on other NJSO virtual offerings, visit njsymphony.org/virtual.

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