WESTFIELD, NJ -- The New Jersey Festival Orchestra, led by Music Director David Wroe, has unveiled its plans for 2016-17 season. Audiences can expect a series of dynamic musical experiences to rival anything in New York City and beyond.

The season begins dramatically on Saturday, Oct. 1, with a spontaneous combustion of jazz and classical – a sparkling homage to Gershwin presenting two of the composer’s best-loved orchestral works: “An American in Paris” and “Concerto in F,” featuring internationally acclaimed virtuoso pianist and Gershwin specialist Jack Gibbons.

Audiences are invited to celebrate the holiday season with some popular musical traditions. On Saturday, Dec. 10, NJFO presents “Home for the Holidays,” featuring special guests, The Three Christmas Tenors.  This seasonal stroll of timeless classics, sentimental favorites and symphonic pops is sure to bring joy, smiles, and holiday memories to young and not so young alike. The festivities continue on New Year’s Eve in Westfield with “On the Town,” a superb revue of American musical theater classics presented in glorious symphonic splendor featuring renowned guests direct from the Broadway stage and beyond.

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On Saturday, March 4, 2017, a cast of internationally acclaimed guest performers assembled from Maestro Wroe’s extensive contacts in European and American opera houses joins NJFO to present “La Traviata,” acted and in costume. One of Verdi’s most glorious works filled with soaring arias and passionate duets, this magnum opus will not leave a dry eye in the house!

The season comes to an inspiring and soul-stirring conclusion on Sunday, May 21, 2017, with Mahler’s monumental “Symphony No. 1,” aptly nicknamed “Titan”. With its innovative harmonies, technically challenging orchestration, and spellbinding emotional range, this is the ultimate in dazzling bravura and epic instrumentation, according to organizers. Before the presentation of Mahler’s epic work, guest virtuoso Sophia Bacelar will perform Tchaikovsky’s cheerful and immensely demanding cello showpiece “Variations on a Rococo Theme.”

“Without a doubt, we at NJFO are on a roll, carried forward by what I believe to be another magnificent program and an enthusiasm from our audiences that has been unmatched in my tenure,” Wroe said. “I, for one, can’t wait for the new season to begin!”

The 2016-17 concert program of the New Jersey Festival Orchestra marks its 34th season of this premier professional musical organization, and the 19th anniversary of Wroe as musical director. Concerts are presented through the generous support of The New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.