Aaron Diehl performs Florence Price’s Piano Concerto and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with NJSO

Oct 17, 2018

Nov 29, Nov 30 and Dec 2 at NJPAC in Newark

Dec 1 at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick

  • Program also includes Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite, Milhaud’s La création du monde
  • Joshua Weilerstein conducts
  • NJSO Accents include Classical Conversations, singalong, prelude performance

NEWARK, NJ—Acclaimed jazz pianist Aaron Diehl performs Florence Price’s Piano Concerto and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, November 29–December 2 in Newark and New Brunswick. Joshua Weilerstein conducts the program, which also features Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite (1919) and Milhaud’s La création du monde.

Performances take place on November 29 at 1:30 pm, November 30 at 8 pm and December 2 at 3 pm at NJPAC in Newark and December 1 at 8 pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick.

Diehl brings his acclaimed improvisatory approach to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. The New York Times wrote of his New York Philharmonic debut: “Mr. Diehl played [Gershwin’s Concerto in F] magnificently. He had brilliance when called for during jazz-tinged passages of Lisztian runs and octaves. The roomy freedom of Mr. Diehl’s playing in bluesy episodes was especially affecting. He also folded short improvised sections into the score, and it’s hard to imagine that Gershwin would not have been impressed. The audience was.”

The pianist also gives the NJSO premiere of Price’s Piano Concerto, in the reconstructed orchestration by Drew University music department chair Trevor Weston that was commissioned by the Center for Black Music Research. In a profile of Price exploring the rediscovery of her works, The New Yorker writes: “She is widely cited as one of the first African-American classical composers to win national attention, and she was unquestionably the first black woman to be so recognized. Yet she is mentioned more often than she is heard … her pieces warrant more attention than they are receiving now.”

NJSO Accent events include a singalong on November 29 at 12:30 pm and a Prelude Performance by the NJSO Youth Orchestras’ Chamber Orchestra on November 30 at 7 pm. The Orchestra presents Classical Conversations on December 1 at 7 pm and December 2 at 2 pm. Patrons can bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the NJSO’s annual Toys for Tots drive at all performances. More information on NJSO Accent events is available at njsymphony.org/accents.

Concert tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase at njsymphony.org or 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).



Rhapsody in Blue & The Firebird

Thu, Nov 29, at 1:30 pm | NJPAC in Newark
Fri, Nov 30, at 8 pm | NJPAC in Newark
Sat, Dec 1, at 8 pm | State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick
Sun, Dec 2, at 3 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Joshua Weilerstein, conductor
Aaron Diehl, piano
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

MILHAUD La création du monde
GERSHWIN Rhapsody in Blue
PRICE Piano Concerto (NJSO Premiere)
STRAVINSKY Suite from The Firebird (1919)

Additional concert information and artist bios are available at njsymphony.org/rhapsody.

Bank of America is concert sponsor of the December 2 performance.



Toys for Tots
Bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the NJSO’s annual Toys for Tots drive.

Singalong Fun – Thu, Nov 29, at 12:30 pm
Come early and sing along to an entertaining selection of song favorites.

Prelude Performance – Fri, Nov 30, at 7 pm
Come early and enjoy a special performance by one of the ensembles of the NJSO Youth Orchestras, conducted by Henry Kao.

Classical Conversation – Sat, Dec 1, at 7 pm and Sun, Dec 2, at 2 pm
Learn more about the music from NJSO musicians, guest artists and other engaging insiders.



Named “a vital, artistically significant musical organization” by The Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra embodies that vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the Orchestra’s superb musicians.

Music Director Xian Zhang—a “dynamic podium presence” The New York Times has praised for her “technical abilities, musicianship and maturity”—continues her acclaimed leadership of the NJSO. The Orchestra presents classical, pops and family programs, as well as outdoor summer concerts and special events. Embracing its legacy as a statewide orchestra, the NJSO is the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and regularly performs at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and bergenPAC in Englewood. Partnerships with New Jersey arts organizations, universities and civic organizations remain a key element of the Orchestra’s statewide identity.

In addition to its lauded artistic programming, the NJSO presents a suite of education and community engagement programs that promote meaningful, lifelong engagement with live music. Programs include school-time Concerts for Young People; NJSO Youth Orchestras family of student ensembles, led by José Luis Domínguez; and El Sistema-inspired NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project). NJSO musicians annually perform original chamber music programs at community events in a variety of settings statewide through the NJSO Community Partners program.

For more information about the NJSO, visit njsymphony.org or email [email protected]. Tickets are available for purchase by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or on the Orchestra’s website.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s programs are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, along with many other foundations, corporations and individual donors.



Victoria McCabe, NJSO Senior Manager of Public Relations & Communications | 973.735.1715 | [email protected]