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New Jersey orchestra set for concert to mark Year of the Pig

Updated: 2019-01-14 07:48:27

( China Daily )

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Chinese conductor Zhang Xian has been the music director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra since 2016. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will ring in the Year of the Pig at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey, in the United States, on Feb 2.

The NJSO, under the baton of its music director Zhang Xian, will present a broad range of music celebrating both Eastern and Western traditions, including premieres of Chinese composers Li Huanzhi's Spring Festival Overture and Tan Dun's The Triple Resurrection.

Separately, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, which was launched in 1988 by dancer-choreographer Nai-Ni Chen, formerly a principal dancer of Taiwan's Cloud Gate Dance Company, will give a performance choreographed to the Humming Chorus from Puccini's Madam Butterfly. And the Peking University Alumni Chorus, the New York Festival Singers and Starry Arts Group Children's Chorus will join in the concert for works, including Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, the Anvil Chorus from Verdi's Il Trovatore, the Jasmine Chorus from Puccini's Turandot and traditional Chinese songs.

Speaking about the show, Zhang, who was born in Dandong, Liaoning province, and studied piano at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, from age 11, says: "Our first Chinese New Year concert is a big part of the NJSO's effort toward boosting community relations.

"Spring Festival is an opportunity to deepen our connections not only with the Chinese community but also with the general public throughout the state, coming together to celebrate a very old tradition."

Zhang moved to the US in 1998 to complete her doctoral studies at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, where she took first prize at the Maazel/Vilar Conductors' Competition in 2002 and became American conductor Lorin Maazel's assistant at the New York Philharmonic later that year, and the philharmonic's assistant conductor in 2004.

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