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Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey to Perform Beethoven and Brahms Concert November 12 in Morristown

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Morristown, NJ--   The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey will perform Beethoven and Brahms Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, November 12 at The College of St. Elizabeth, Dolan Hall, 2 Convent Road.

The concert’s program includes “Scarlatti Suite” adapted from Alessandro Scarlatti’s La Giuditta, Beethoven’s Symphony #2 and Brahms Violin Concerto.

The concert features Robert Butts as BONJ conductor and Sungsic Yang as violin soloist.

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Maestro Butts returns from conducting Mozart in Turin, Italy to lead BONJ in this great concert.  Maestro Yang is an accomplished international performer who is based in Korea and Japan. 

Mr. Butts has conducted in Romania, Czech Republic, Russia and Germany in addition to Italy.  Some of his achievements in the US include being the only conductor in New Jersey to have conducted three Wagner operas and three Handel operas. 

In addition to conducting, Mr. Butts founded the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey and led its development from a baroque ensemble to an orchestra that plays a variety of classical and operatic music.  As a composer, Mr. Butts was a finalist at the Traynor Composition Competition.  His works have been performed in the US and Europe.

Mr. Butts has won numerous artistic honors including 2015 Honored Artist by the American Prize and Arts Professional of the Year in 2003 by Arts Council of the Morris Area (Morris Arts).

Mr. Sungsic Yang started playing violin at age four.  His education includes study at the Conservatoire National Superieur in Paris and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.  His performance and recording career includes the Mendelssohn concerto with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra; the Tchaikovsky concerto with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra; the Sibelius concerto with the London BBC symphony orchestra; performing under Yehudi Menuhin with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; performing under Lorin Maazel with the Orchestre National de France; and recording “The Streghe” by Paganini.

Mr. Yang won the 1988 Carl Flesch International Violin competition and finished third at the Paganini International Competition.  He was prize winner of Long-Thibaud and Indianapolis competitions as well.

Scarlatti Suite is a contemporary adaptation for orchestra of the magnificent music Alessandro Scarlatti composed for his oratorio La Giuditta, recently performed by The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey in collaboration with The National Park Service in Morristown.   Maestro Butts was commissioned to create the work through the AMN Foundation.

Beethoven’s Symphony #2 was written in 1801 -1802 and initially performed in Vienna in 1803.  During the period when Beethoven was composing the piece, he revealed for the first time to his friends and family that his hearing was deteriorating.  The work is happy and vigorous nonetheless.

The piece was more imposing and difficult for orchestra and audience than his first symphony.  In fact many observers of the time found it bizarre. 

The Brahms violin concerto is, according to the great violinist Joseph Joachim, one of the four great German violin concerti (the other 3 being Beethoven’s, Max Bruch’s Concerto #1 and Mendelssohn’s Violin concerto in E minor).  Joachim advised Brahms on the solo portions and then premiered the work in 1879 in Leipzig.  The 3rd movement was the inspiration for “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.  The BONJ is excited about having an international soloist of Mr. Yang’s magnitude perform the work for our audience.

The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey was founded in 1996 with music of the 17th and 18th century at its core.  The group performs a variety of genres from concertos to symphonies to operas.  Under the auspices of its Pearl and Julius Young Music Competition, the organization has nurtured the talent of many promising young musicians.  Under the auspices of its Artistic Director Maestro Butts, the orchestra’s repertoire has expanded to include 20th century and modern pieces by the likes of Joaquin Rodrigo and others.

Tickets to the Beethoven and Brahms concert are $40, adults; $30, senior; and $5 students, under 22 with ID.  Tickets can be obtained by visiting the Orchestra’s web site. www.baroqueorchestra.org , by calling the office, 973-366-8922, or at the door, the day of the performance.

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