The NJFO season, under the baton of David Wroe, opens dramatically on October 5th in Westfield and October 6th at Drew University in Madison with Invitation to the Waltz, presenting rousing waltzes and dances in full symphonic splendor.

A concert of luxurious, charming and exuberant music, the program features lilting waltzes by Johann Strauss Jr. and the dazzling elegance of Richard Strauss’ waltz-filled suite from Der Rosenkavalier. Chinese superstar Jiapeng Nie performs Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations.

 “The waltz - that outrageous and intoxicating dance that forced 19th century fathers to lock up their daughters - made a super star of Johann Strauss and captured the imagination of generations,” declared Maestro Wroe.

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“When the waltz first whirled through the ballrooms of Vienna it was a far cry from a dance like the minuet, which generally kept dancers at arms’ length from each other. The waltz allowed partners to be close and place their arms around one another as they spun around the floor and so it caused an outrage,” he explained.

The concert opens dramatically with the renowned and uplifting Emperor Waltz. If any Strauss waltz can be said to hold the honor of second place in popularity to The Blue Danube, it is probably this one. Light hearted and elegant, Emporer is really a string of waltzes reflecting happy, carefree times.

Next on the agenda, NJFO presents haunting and infectious Viennese waltzes from Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier, surely some of the most memorable music to emerge from the opera house in the 20th century.

Continued Wroe, “Come see how these master composers, and special guest, internationally acclaimed Chinese cellist Jiapeng Nie, handle the 3-beat phenomenon! We welcome you to join us for a glittering and enchanting event.”

The orchestra will be joined by the up-and-coming Chinese protégé Jiapeng Nie as soloist for Tchaikovsky’s cheerful and immensely demanding cello showpiece Variations on a Rococo Theme, one of the composer’s most popular works.

Renowned for his unique artistry and praised by the press for his “sweet yet brilliant” tone quality and “lightning-like virtuosity”, Jiapeng Nie has established himself as one of today’s most exciting young cellists. Currently on the cello faculty at the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, Nie has appeared as soloist with many major orchestras in the world, including the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Nürnberg Symphony Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic, Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, as well as at many international music festivals.

Continued Maestro Wroe: “We are thrilled and honored that Jiapeng Nie has chosen to perform Tchaikovsky’s Variations with us. The cello part is highly virtuosic and demanding of the soloist, becoming increasingly expansive and technically brilliant as the variations progress. If anyone can manage it, he can!”

The concert takes place on Saturday, October 5th at 7pm at the First United Methodist Church, Westfield. It will be repeated the next day (Sunday, October 6th) at Drew University in Madison at 3pm.

Tickets start at $30 ($15 students). For tickets and information go to