NJSO and Music Director Xian Zhang present virtual Lunar New Year Celebration

Jan 26, 2021

Feb 1–5: Festival
Feb 6: Concert

  • Festival videos premiere Feb 1–5 at 5 pm at njsymphony.org and on YouTube and Facebook
  • Feb 6 concert program features new performances led by Xian Zhang at NJPAC, plus at-home performances and highlights from 2019 and 2020 NJSO Lunar New Year Celebration concerts
  • Guest performers include Xuefei Yang (guitar), George Li (piano), Harmony Zhu (piano), Yuxiao Chen (xun), Yang Yi (guzhang), Peking University Alumni Chorus, Starry Arts Group Children’s Chorus
  • Festival and concert are free to the public
  • NJSO hosts pre-concert VIP event with Zhang and special guests for donors of $100 or more
  • Available on demand after premiere

NEWARK, NJ—The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presents a virtual Lunar New Year festival and concert to celebrate the Year of the Ox. Festival videos premiere February 1–5 at 5 pm, leading up to a celebratory concert program featuring new NJSO performances led by Music Director Xian Zhang at NJPAC, plus at-home performances and highlights from the NJSO’s 2019 and 2020 Lunar New Year Celebrations.

All videos will be available for free at njsymphony.org/LNY and on the NJSO’s YouTube and Facebook channels.

The festival and concert feature artists from across the globe, including Xuefei Yang (guitar), George Li (piano), Harmony Zhu (piano), Yuxiao Chen (xun), Yang Yi (guzhang), the Peking University Alumni Chorus and Starry Arts Group Children’s Chorus. NJSO Principal Cello Jonathan Spitz, Assistant Principal Cello Na-Young Baek and Principal Flute Bart Feller also perform on the concert program.

The festival features traditional performances, a pair of NJSO string quartets, Chopin’s Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, a Korean cooking demonstration by NJSO Principal Bass Ha Young Jung and a Chinese cooking demonstration by NJSO violinist Xin Zhao.

The concert features includes Eastern traditional favorites such as the Spring Festival Overture, “Purple Bamboo Tune,” Fisherman’s Song at Eventide and “Gong Xi Gong Xi,” united with Western classical favorites such as Tchaikovsky’s Andante cantabile for Cello and Orchestra and Piazzolla’s Libertango. During the concert premiere, featured artists will provide live text commentary on YouTube.

Zhang says: “One of my proudest achievements as music director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra 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.”

Event sponsors and VIP Supporters of $100 or more will be invited to an exclusive pre-concert event with Zhang, NJSO President & CEO Gabriel van Aalst and special guests, and will receive recognition in the videos and event materials. Net proceeds from the Lunar New Year Celebration will support the artistic vision of Music Director Xian Zhang.

The Lunar New Year Celebration is part of NJSO Virtual 20–21, the Orchestra’s digital season. For more information, visit njsymphony.org/virtual.

The Lunar New Year Celebration is generously sponsored in part by an anonymous donor in honor of Music Director Xian Zhang. Major support for the festival is also provided by A. Michael and Ruth C. Lipper, Prudential Financial, Norm Slonaker & Linda Dujack, Margaret Lam & David Yen and BROAD U.S.A.

 

LUNAR NEW YEAR FESTIVAL

Festival videos premiere daily Feb 1–5 at 5 pm.

Festival Day 1: Mon, Feb 1

LI KAICHOU “You Look so Good With a Smile”
Starry Arts Group Children’s Chorus | Rebecca Shen, director

TRADITIONAL Fisherman’s Song at Eventide
Ming Yang, violin
Jade Lucia Nieczkowski, piano

Festival Day 2: Tue, Feb 2

Korean Cooking Demonstration
Ha-Young Jung, NJSO Principal Bass

TRADITIONAL/arr. Zouye A Wonderful Night
NJSO Chamber Players
Xin Zhao, violin & commentary
James Tsao, violin
Frank Foerster, viola
Philo Lee, cello

Festival Day 3: Wed, Feb 3

CHOPIN Ballade No. 4 in F Minor
Harmony Zhu, piano

TRADITIONAL Yang Guan San Die
Yuxiao Chen, xun

Festival Day 4: Thu, Feb 4

TRADITIONAL Blossoms on a Moonlit River in Spring
Xuefei Yang, guitar

Chinese Cooking Demonstration
Xin Zhao, violin

Festival Day 5: Fri, Feb 5

TRADITIONAL Gao Shan Liu Shui (High Mountains and Running Brook)
Yang Yi, guzheng

TRADITONAL/arr. Zouye Spring Celebration
NJSO Chamber Players
Wendy Chen, violin
Alexandra Neglia, violin
David Blinn, viola
Laura Andrade, cello

 

LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION CONCERT

Sat, Feb 6, at 7:30 pm

Xian Zhang, conductor & 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

LI HUANZHI Spring Festival Overture
TCHAIKOVSKY Andante cantabile for Cello and Orchestra
LUIZ BONFA Manhã de Carnaval
SCHUBERT/arr. Liszt Der Erlkönig
TRADITIONAL “Purple Bamboo Tune”
TRADITIONAL Fisherman’s Song at Eventide
CHU WANG-HUA “Happy Days”
DON BESIG “Flying Free”
PIAZZOLLA Libertango
GU JIANFEN “Spring Dawn”
GU JIANFEN “Singing and Smiling”
TRADITIONAL “Farewell”
TRADITIONAL “Gong Xi Gong Xi”

Pre-Concert Virtual VIP Event
Feb 6 at 6:30 pm

Event sponsors and VIP Supporters of $100 or more will be invited to an exclusive event with Music Director Xian Zhang, President & CEO Gabriel van Aalst and special guests, and will receive recognition in the videos and event materials. Net proceeds from our Lunar New Year Celebration will support the artistic vision of Music Director Xian Zhang. For more information, email Renee Pachucki at [email protected].

 

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]

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More Info for 2021 Lunar New Year Celebration
Feb 1 - 6, 2021 
2020-21 Season

2021 Lunar New Year Celebration

Virtual Concert & Festival—Celebrate the year of the Ox with the NJSO!

A weeklong virtual festival leads up to the Lunar New Year Celebration Concert. The festival highlights community performers and cultural groups, traditional performances, cooking demonstrations and more.

Lunar New Year Celebration Concert

An NJSO tradition continues with the third annual Lunar New Year Celebration Concert! The Peking University Alumni Chorus and Starry Arts Group Children’s Chorus return for this joyous virtual concert.

Sat, Feb 6 at 7:30 pm

 

Xian Zhang, conductor & 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

LI HUANZHI Spring Festival Overture
TCHAIKOVSKY Andante cantabile for Cello and Orchestra
LUIZ BONFA Manhã de Carnaval
SCHUBERT/arr. Liszt Der Erlkönig
TRADITIONAL “Purple Bamboo Tune”
TRADITIONAL Fisherman’s Song at Eventide
CHU WANG-HUA “Happy Days”
DON BESIG “Flying Free”
PIAZZOLLA Libertango
GU JIANFEN “Spring Dawn”
GU JIANFEN “Singing and Smiling”
TRADITIONAL “Farewell”
TRADITIONAL “Gong Xi Gong Xi”

Programs and artists are subject to change.

Enter the (virtual) photo booth!

Show your family and friends that you’re celebrating Lunar New Year with the NJSO community! Take your NJSO photo booth selfie and mention njsymphony.org/LNY and #NJSOLunarNewYear when you share it on social media!


Lunar New Year Celebration Festival

Scan the QR code with your mobile device to open the Lunar New Year Celebration YouTube Playlist and watch all of the current videos, or view each festival video below.

LNY YouTube Playlist.jpg

Festival Day 5: Fri, Feb 5

TRADITIONAL Gao Shan Liu Shui (High Mountains and Running Brook) | Watch on YouTube
   Yang Yi, guzheng
TRADITONAL/arr. Zouye Spring Celebration | Watch on YouTube
NJSO Chamber Players  
   Wendy Chen, violin
   Alexandra Neglia, violin
   David Blinn, viola
   Laura Andrade, cello

Festival Day 4: Thu, Feb 4

TRADITIONAL Blossoms on a Moonlit River in Spring | Watch on YouTube
   Xuefei Yang, guitar
Chinese Cooking Demonstration | Watch on YouTube
   Xin Zhao, violin

Festival Day 3: Wed, Feb 3

CHOPIN Ballade No. 4 in F Minor | Watch on YouTube
   Harmony Zhu, piano
TRADITIONAL Yang Guan San Die | Watch on YouTube
   Yuxiao Chen, xun

Festival Day 2: Tue, Feb 2

Korean Cooking Demonstration | Watch on YouTube
   Ha-Young Jung, NJSO Principal Bass
TRADITIONAL/arr. Zouye A Wonderful Night | Watch on YouTube
   Xin Zhao, violin & commentary
   James Tsao, violin
   Frank Foerster, viola
   Philo Lee, cello

Festival Day 1: Mon, Feb 1

LI KAICHOU “Your Smile is So Beautiful” | Watch on YouTube
   Starry Arts Group Children’s Chorus | Rebecca Shen, director
TRADITIONAL Fisherman’s Song at Eventide | Watch on YouTube
   Ming Yang, violin
   Jade Lucia Nieczkowski, piano

 

Become a VIP Supporter for Special Access

Pre-Concert Virtual VIP Event
Feb 6 at 6:30 pm

Join us! Event sponsors and VIP Supporters of $100 or more will be invited to an exclusive event with Xian Zhang and special guests, and will receive recognition in the videos and event materials. Net proceeds from our Lunar New Year Celebration will support the artistic vision of Music Director Xian Zhang.

Sponsor and Supporter Info

Questions on sponsorships or VIP support? Contact Renee Pachucki at [email protected] or 862.800.5848.

 

The Lunar New Year Celebration is generously sponsored in part by an anonymous donor in honor of Music Director Xian Zhang. Major support for the festival is also provided by A. Michael and Ruth C. Lipper, Prudential Financial, Norm Slonaker & Linda Dujack, Margaret Lam & David Yen and BROAD U.S.A.

Premieres daily; all performances available on demand after the premiere