NJSO cancels concerts and events through December due to COVID-19 pandemic

July 16, 2020

NEWARK, NJ—The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has canceled its in-person concerts, community engagement activities and donor events through December 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The safety of our patrons, musicians and staff is always top of mind,” NJSO President & CEO Gabriel van Aalst says. “Our current goal for returning to the stage is now January 2021. We are hard at work on alternative ways to serve our communities 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 Orchestra is continuing to engage with audiences through NJSO at Home digital content, including the virtual world premiere of José Luis Domínguez’s Gratias Tibi for socially distanced orchestra and choir. Orchestra musicians have recorded more than 40 NJSO at Home videos, from NJSO Couch Concerts—solo or virtual chamber performances from home—to features sharing insight into their instruments and their lives as professional musicians. NJSO at Home audio content includes concert broadcasts of more than 40 orchestral works. The Orchestra’s online hub for free, on-demand audio and video content is njsymphony.org/njsoathome.

For family audiences, the NJSO is presenting a four-part Carnival of the Animals video series featuring original artwork by New Jersey youngsters and special guest appearances from the Turtle Back Zoo. The series, sponsored by the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, is available at njsymphony.org/carnival.

Music Director Xian Zhang says: “We will remain active in providing virtual experiences for our patrons and community to engage with safely from home. This September, I’ll be conducting the NJSO musicians virtually as we perform the final movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony as part of our NJSO at Home experience. We are consistently looking at new ways to expand our connection with you even while we are apart.”

The Orchestra has offered its education programs virtually since March. Virtual NJSO Youth Orchestras rehearsals—led by Artistic Director José Luis Domínguez, NJSO musician coaches and teaching artists—will continue in the fall. Serving broader educational audiences, videos of NJSO masterclasses presented in partnership with the New Jersey Music Educators Association and El Sistema New Jersey Alliance are available for budding instrumentalists at njsymphony.org/learn.

Patrons who have tickets for these NJSO performances have multiple ticket options from which to choose. Details about donating or exchanging tickets are available at njsymphony.org/ticketoptions. Ticketholders can reach Patron Services at [email protected] or 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).

Van Aalst says: “The pandemic’s impact on the arts has been incredibly challenging. 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 are so grateful for the ongoing support of our patrons and institutional funders, which has been essential for the NJSO to weather the negative financial impact of canceling concerts through December. The NJSO is a true family, and we will pull through this difficult time together.”

The latest NJSO updates and frequently asked questions are available at njsymphony.org/update.


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.

Tickets are available for purchase by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or at njsymphony.org.

The Orchestra’s online hub for free, on-demand NJSO at Home audio and video content is njsymphony.org/njsoathome.

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 Senior Manager of Public Relations & Communications | 973.735.1715 | [email protected]