“The orchestra’s chief assets — a rich, blended string sound; nimble principal winds and French horn; a robust low brass section — were instantly evident…”
— Steve Smith, New York Times
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has been a vibrant part of the the state’s cultural scene for nearly 100 years. Beginning with its earliest performances in the 1920’s and ’30's, the ensemble has consistently collaborated with the great soloists and conductors of its day, including Percy Grainger, Efram Zimbalist, Pablo Casals, Luciano Pavaroti, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Joseph Szigeti, Yo-Yo Ma, and many more. The ensemble has also formed strong relationships with young composers and emerging artists, which it has championed through its institutes, competitions, and performance series’. Through its work with current music director Jacques Lacombe, as well as previous directors Zdenek Macal, Hugh Wolff, and Neeme Jarvi, the ensemble has grown in to one of today’s most versatile, creative, and powerful American orchestras.
Musicians of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra are graduates of some of the finest conservatories and colleges, including The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Indiana University, Beijing Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, Boston University, and Oberlin College. Auditions for positions within the orchestra are highly competitive, and held in strict accordance with contemporary audition protocols. Many members of the orchestra also perform with other ensembles, such as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Ballet Theater, American Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and numerous Broadway productions.
The musicians of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra are passionate about inspiring and teaching the next generation of musicians and citizens. The orchestra reaches more than 30,000 students around the state every year through its school performances, side-by-side rehearsals, and in-school programs. Orchestra members lead and instruct young musicians in the NJSO’s three tuition-free youth orchestras, which perform twice-yearly at venues around the state. Musicians of the orchestra work closely with New Jersey’s youth through the Newark “MANY” program, as well as the CHAMPS program (Character, Achievement, and Music Project,) which is based on the world-famous Venezuelan El Sistema program for social change and music education. Members of the orchestra are also highly sought-after private instructors, and serve on the faculty of Princeton University, Columbia University, Kean University, Sarah Lawrence College, William Paterson University, and Rutgers University, among others.
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra members are active chamber musicians and soloists, performing regularly around the world. Recent highlights include solo and chamber engagements in Peru, tours to Europe, China and Japan, and workshops and chamber collaborations with young musicians in the Philippines. Members of the orchestra have performed chamber music with Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman at Carnegie Hall, collaborated with Rudolf Serkin, Oscar Shumsky, and others, and have released CD’s of their work for various classical labels.
The musicians of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra are dedicated to providing the highest level of artistic performances to our communities, and to being a positive, vital force in the state of New Jersey. We take great pride in our roles as innovators, educators, and creators, and we look forward to getting to know you, our audience, online and in person! Please message us, share our posts, ask questions, and let us know how you feel about the music we perform every year. Thank you for your support!