NJSO and DreamPlay Films present Still & Dvořák: An NJSO Concert Film

Jan 12, 2021
  • Premieres Jan 14 at 7:30 pm at njsymphony.org and on YouTube and Facebook
  • Music Director Xian Zhang conducts
  • Concert program features Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings, Still’s Mother and Child, Puccini’s I Crisantemi and Coleridge-Taylor’s Deep River
  • Zhang and Concertmaster Eric Wyrick perform Deep River piano/violin duet
  • Film directed by Yuri Alves
  • Produced by DreamPlay Films
  • Available on demand after premiere

NEWARK, NJ—The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and DreamPlay Films present Still & Dvořák: An NJSO Concert Film, premiering January 14. Music Director Xian Zhang conducts. The film is directed by award-winning, Newark-raised filmmaker Yuri Alves and produced by DreamPlay Films, part of Newark-based DreamPlay Media.

The film premieres on January 14 at 7:30 pm at njsymphony.org/dvorak and on the NJSO’s YouTube and Facebook channels.

The program pairs Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings with Still’s Mother and Child and Puccini’s I Crisantemi. In an NJSO concert first, Zhang will take to the piano for an intimate performance of Coleridge-Taylor’s arrangement of the spiritual Deep River with Concertmaster Eric Wyrick on violin.

Zhang says: “William Grant Still was an American trailblazer, and I loved sharing his beautiful and poignant work Mother and Child with the NJSO. Its songful sense of nostalgia and tenderness pairs perfectly with works of Puccini and Dvořák. And it’s a special treat to make my NJSO debut as a pianist alongside Concertmaster Eric Wyrick for Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s magnificent arrangement of the spiritual Deep River.”

To provide a high-quality video and audio experience on audiences’ televisions and speakers, DreamPlay Films filmed the performance with cinema cameras. Longtime NJSO audio engineer and multiple Grammy Award winner Tim Martyn recorded and mixed the audio for the concert, recorded on stage at NJPAC in Newark in October.

Director Yuri Alves says: “It was an honor to direct this project, which features a superior NJSO performance of some of the most beautiful music ever. My aim was to match the visual quality to that of the splendid music, which meant reimagining both the presentation of the stage performance and fusing it with the lived experience of local residents, who are living through an exceptionally challenging time.”

Producer Igor Alves says: “I think this work is a revelation, both in concept and in process, as it shows the fruitful potential of uniting talented artists from different disciplines to create special work together. I’m grateful for NJSO's trust and leadership, as it expands beyond the expectations of what a classical orchestra is and what it can do.”

NJSO President & CEO Gabriel van Aalst says: “Yuri Alves and DreamPlay Films continue to powerfully capture the NJSO concert experience with our fabulous musicians and Xian Zhang’s dynamic conducting. Audiences will love being immersed in this great orchestral music with cinematic visuals from the NJPAC stage and beyond.”

This film, which will be available on demand after the premiere, is part of NJSO Virtual 20–21, the Orchestra’s digital season. For more information, visit njsymphony.org/virtual.



Thu, Jan 14, at 7:30 pm

Xian Zhang, conductor & piano
Eric Wyrick, violin
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Yuri Alves, director
Igor Alves, producer
DreamPlay Films
Tim Martyn, audio producer

STILL Mother and Child
PUCCINI I Crisantemi
DVOŘÁK Serenade for Strings


Yuri Alves

Filmmaker Yuri Alves has written and directed films, primetime television programs and commercial projects in the US and Europe. Alves’ films have screened at over 100 film festivals worldwide, earning 20 awards. Alves’ projects include Grind, On the Cusp and Exit Road and the European primetime television series “Tempo Final” and “Filha da Lei.” Alves is the co-founder and creative director of DreamPlay Media and served as head of production at Fox Digital Studios. Alves is represented by the agency Brawler Los Angeles. Alves was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Portuguese parents, and raised in Newark, New Jersey. For more, visit yurialves.com | Instagram: @yurialvescinema.


DreamPlay Films

DreamPlay Films develops and produces narrative and documentary films, television programming and more. DreamPlay Films is a division of DreamPlay Media, an original and creative media company, based in Newark, NJ. For more, visit dreamplayfilms.com | dreamplaymedia.com.


New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

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 and the NJSO Youth Orchestras family of student ensembles, led by José Luis Domínguez. NJSO musicians annually perform original chamber music programs at community events in a variety of settings statewide through the NJSO Community Partners program.

The Orchestra’s online hub for free NJSO Virtual 20–21 content is njsymphony.org/virtual.

Connect with Us:
Website: njsymphony.org
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @NJSymphony
YouTube: @NewJerseySymphony
Email: [email protected]

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.


Press Contact

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


More Info for Still & Dvořák: An NJSO Concert Film
Jan 14, 2021 
2020-21 Season

Still & Dvořák: An NJSO Concert Film

Produced by DreamPlay Films

Free! Watch it on demand after the premiere.

XIAN ZHANG conductor & piano

YURI ALVES director
IGOR ALVES producer
TIM MARTYN audio producer

Our second virtual concert will include one of Dvořák’s most popular works, Serenade for Strings. Coleridge-Taylor’s arrangement of the spiritual Deep River features Music Director Xian Zhang performing on the piano for the very first time with the NJSO in concert, joined by Concertmaster Eric Wyrick on violin. Captivating performances of Still’s Mother and Child and Puccini’s I Crisantemi also grace this program.

This NJSO Concert Film is conducted by Music Director Xian Zhang, directed by Yuri Alves and produced by DreamPlay Films.

Premieres Jan 14 at 7:30 pm and is available on demand after the premiere.