New Jersey Symphony Presents Opening Weekend Concerts and Jurassic Park in Concert

Sep 25, 2023
  • October 14 & 15: Ellington & Dvořák: New Worlds featuring Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” conducted by Robert Spano
  • October 19–22: Schumann’s Cello Concerto including works by Jessie Montgomery and Edward Elgar
  • October 25–29: Jurassic Park in Concert with the complete film projected live as John Williams’ iconic score is performed by the New Jersey Symphony

NEWARK, NJ—The New Jersey Symphony will present ten concerts in five venues throughout New Jersey this October. The 2023–24 season opens on October 14 in Newark and October 15 in New Brunswick with concerts titled “Ellington & Dvořák: New Worlds,” which explore the music of Black composers such as Duke Ellington and William Grant Still. The concerts open with a work by living composer Valerie Coleman, which starts with a whisper and gradually builds to a melody, evoking the power and sweetness of Umoja, the Swahili word for unity (also the title of the piece).

Pianist Aaron Diehl will perform William Grant Still’s Out of the Silence, which is a gentle and ethereal hymn written in the depths of the Great Depression. The Aaron Diehl Trio performs Duke Ellington’s New World A-Comin’, which is a lush musical portrait of, in the words of Ellington himself, a “new world where there would be no war, no greed—where love was unconditional.” The trio members are Aaron Diehl on piano, Aaron Kimmel on percussion and Ben Wolfe on double bass.

The finale of the opening weekend program is Dvořák Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.” Robert Spano, music director laureate of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and current music director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will conduct.

Concert tickets are available now. Patrons can also attend an Opening Night Celebration event on Saturday October 14, which includes a dinner prelude, the concert and a fun after-party. Details at

Season-opening performances in New Jersey Symphony’s Princeton and Red Bank venues will continue on October 20 and 21, along with additional concerts in Newark on October 19 and 22. Schumann’s Cello Concerto, performed by Sterling Elliott—winner of the Senior Division of the 2019 National Sphinx Competition—will be performed alongside Elgar’s Enigma Variations and the East Coast premiere of a New Jersey Symphony co-commissioned work by composer Jessie Montgomery, titled Snapshots. Joseph Young, music director of the Berkeley Symphony, will conduct.

On October 25–29, the unforgettable main theme to Jurassic Park will be heard at four venues throughout the state, in Morristown, Red Bank, Newark and New Brunswick. Audiences can experience Jurassic Park in a unique way: projected in HD on a large screen with a full symphony orchestra performing John Williams’ iconic score live to the complete film. Constantine Kitsopoulos, a frequent New Jersey Symphony guest conductor, will conduct. The Symphony invites all fans to attend in their favorite dinosaur or Halloween costume.

Ellington & Dvořák: New Worlds

Saturday, October 14, 8 pm | New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark
Sunday, October 15, 3 pm | State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick

Robert Spano conductor
Aaron Diehl piano
Aaron Diehl Trio
New Jersey Symphony

Valerie Coleman Umoja
Still Out of the Silence
Ellington New World A-Comin’ 
Dvořák Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”

Schumann’s Cello Concerto

Thursday, October 19, 1:30 pm | New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark
Friday, October 20, 8 pm | Richardson Auditorium in Princeton
Saturday, October 21, 8 pm | Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank
Sunday, October 22, 3 pm | New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark

Joseph Young conductor
Sterling Elliott cello
New Jersey Symphony

Jessie Montgomery Snapshots (New Jersey Symphony Co-Commission)
R. Schumann Cello Concerto
Elgar Enigma Variations

Jurassic Park in Concert

Wednesday, October 25, 7:30 pm | Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown
Friday, October 27, 8 pm | Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank
Saturday, October 28, 8 pm | New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark
Sunday, October 29, 3 pm | State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick

Constantine Kitsopoulos conductor
New Jersey Symphony

The October 29 concert is performed in partnership with State Theatre New Jersey.

More information on concerts and tickets at

New Jersey Symphony

The Emmy and Grammy Award-winning New Jersey Symphony is redefining what it means to be a nationally leading, relevant orchestra in the 21st century. The Symphony is renewing its deeply rooted commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by championing new, and often local, artists; engaging audiences for whom the inspiring depth and breadth of classical music will be a new experience; and incorporating the broadest possible representation in all aspects of our organization-all to better reflect and serve our vibrant communities. Since 2021, Music Director Xian Zhang has worked together with composer, violinist, educator and social-justice advocate Daniel Bernard Roumain, the orchestra's Resident Artistic Catalyst, to offer programming that connects with diverse communities in Newark and throughout New Jersey.

Internationally renowned Chinese American conductor Xian Zhang began her tenure as the New Jersey Symphony's current Music Director in 2016. Since her arrival at the New Jersey Symphony, Zhang has revitalized programming with an industry-leading commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in mainstage concerts. In its second century of bringing concerts to the people of New Jersey, the Symphony will present audience favorites in 2023–24 including Dvořák's "New World" Symphony, Orff's Carmina Burana, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, violinist Joshua Bell leading the orchestra in Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and pianist Daniil Trifonov playing Gershwin's Concerto in F. New Jersey Symphony co-commissions include works by internationally-renowned living composers: Anna Clyne's ATLAS and Jessie Montgomery's Snapshots. Composers Rob Kapilow and Daniel Bernard Roumain will present world premieres.

For more information about the New Jersey Symphony, visit or email Tickets are available for purchase by phone 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or on the Orchestra's website.

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The New Jersey Symphony'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.