NJSO Special Announcement

Updated July 16, 11 am

For the safety of our communities, the NJSO has canceled concerts and events through December 31, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read a letter from NJSO President & CEO Gabriel van Aalst, find answers to your questions and more.

A Message from President & CEO Gabriel van Aalst

Dear NJSO Family:

Back in March when the NJSO began postponing and ultimately canceling concerts due to COVID-19, we were cognizant of the possibility the impacts of the pandemic would linger into the fall. Of course, we hoped for the best and gave as much time as possible to determine whether we could return in October as planned. Keeping the safety of our patrons, musicians and staff top of mind, we unfortunately are forced to make the difficult decision to cancel all scheduled in-person mainstage performances, community activities and donor events through December 31, 2020.

Our current goal for returning to the stage is now January 2021. With so many canceled concerts and pandemic-related safety concerns to consider, we are reviewing our scheduled programing and determining what changes will need to be made. These canceled concerts were to feature great repertoire and guest artists, and this time gives us an opportunity to reevaluate our onstage plans for our audiences.

In spite of this difficult news, I can say we are hard at work on alternative ways to serve you in in the fall, and we plan to announce those initiatives shortly after Labor Day. Safety will guide our decisions, but we are committed to developing new and innovative ways to stay connected with you. 

The pandemic’s impact on the arts has been challenging—significantly so for the NJSO. The loss of ticket revenue from our canceled performances due to the pandemic, including our Opening Night Celebration Gala, is now projected to be $3.3 million. We are strategizing and planning so that we not only see our way through this difficult time, but also rise and thrive as we head towards our centennial celebration in 2022. We still need your support. Please make a donation if you are able. The NJSO greatly appreciates all you’ve done to support us!

To our loyal subscribers, we are here for you. We are committed to providing the best possible solution to your canceled concert tickets. My hope is that you’ll consider donating your tickets to help support the NJSO through this time. Should that not be possible, we have multiple ticket options for you. Our Patron Services team is ready and available to assist you.

We are pleased to share that Xian Zhang will be leading the NJSO in a movement of Beethoven 5, virtually. If you’ve enjoyed our #OrchestraYou and Gratias Tibi video productions, this is for you. We plan to release the performance in September; it will be available on our website and all of our social media channels.

If you haven’t checked out NJSO at Home on our website or social media channels, I highly encourage you to do so. We currently have a content library of 15 recorded concert broadcasts (more than 40 works) and 42 videos of virtual performances shared and, it’s growing. Digital content production at this scale is truly a new venture for us. What we’ve been able to produce is all the more astonishing when you consider we’ve only been at this style of content creation for a few months. We are only at the tip of the iceberg of what we can accomplish, so be on the lookout for new and innovative content.

Our commitment to music education continues. The NJSO Youth Orchestras will continue virtually in the 2020–21 season until it is deemed safe to resume in-person activities. I’d like to recognize the achievements of Youth Orchestras Artistic Director José Luis Domínguez, the NJSO musician coaches and teaching artists who made certain that our musical community of more than 230 dedicated students didn’t miss a beat this past spring. I encourage you to watch their inspiring work in action here.

We may still be apart physically, but we will continue to creatively serve, engage and provide joy to communities across the state during this time. The NJSO is truly a family, and we’re grateful to count you among its members.


Gabriel van Aalst
President & CEO
The Ruth C. and A. Michael Lipper NJSO President & CEO Chair

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