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New Jersey Festival Orchestra Announces Dynamic New 2015-2016 Season

NJFO season opens on Oct 10-11 with Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue Credits: Elizabeth Ryan

The New Jersey Festival Orchestra (NJFO) has unveiled its plans for the 2015-2016 season. Audiences can expect a series of original and dynamic musical experiences to rival anything in New York City and beyond.

According to Dr. Norman Luka, President of the NJFO Board of Trustees, the new NJFO season presents a series of bold and innovative initiatives guaranteed to revitalize the concert-going experience.

Commented NJFO Music Director David Wroe: “A thrust of our concerts this year encompasses presenting the familiar in unfamiliar contexts, or rather leading traditional winners into the arena in shiny new armor. We plan to make accessible, through new and vibrant versions, the musical poetry of some of the greatest artistic minds the world has known.”

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The NJFO season opens dramatically on October 10-11 with Gershwin’s familiar Rhapsody in Blue presented with a world premiere of a brand new chorus complementing the symphonic and solo piano forces. Featured soloist is the internationally acclaimed, award-winning pianist and composer Michael Fennelly and the new choral section will be performed by Harmonium Choral Society. Rounding off the concert are two more life-affirming works, Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture and the epic yet triumphant majesty of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth symphony.

On Sunday November 8 at Bickford Theater in Morristown NJFO presents a jaw-dropping reorchestration of Gustav Mahler’s monumental 9th symphony. A New Jersey premiere, this “bonsai” presentation expertly retains the exquisite architecture and expressive power of Mahler’s original mighty work while adding a new white-hot intensity to the performance.

Audiences are also invited to celebrate the winter season with some of NJFO’s most popular holiday traditions. In December NJFO presents Home for the Holidays, a seasonal stroll of timeless classics, sentimental favorites and symphonic pops sure to bring joy, smiles, and holiday memories to young and not-so-young alike. The festivities continue on New Year’s Eve with Dancing the Blues Away, a superb revue of American musical theater classics presented in glorious symphonic splendor featuring renowned guest vocalists direct from the Broadway stage and beyond.

In March 2016 a cast of internationally acclaimed guest performers assembled from Maestro Wroe’s extensive contacts in European and American opera houses joins NJFO to present, acted and in costume, Puccini’s La Boheme. One of Puccini’s most glorious works, this magnum opus will not leave a dry eye in the house!

The NJFO season comes to a climactic finale with two monumental masterpieces featuring Chinese choirs from New York and New Jersey. Xian’s Yellow River Cantata, with its famous “Ode to the Yellow River,” meets Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with its awe-inspiring “Ode to Joy” chorus to present a new take on musical solidarity, humanism and heroism heralding from opposite ends of the earth.

Expect NJFO performances in Westfield and beyond, including Bickford Theater in Morristown, Drew University in Madison as well as a series of features at the Mayo Performing Arts Center where NJFO accompanies Kristin Chenoworth, Bob Newhart, Jackie Evancho and more.

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


Single tickets are $26-$70. Save up to 25% with one of our discounted ticket packages. 

Single tickets and discount packages may be purchased directly from the NJFO office (224 E. Broad Street) or by calling the box office at (908) 232-9400 from 10am to 3pm.  Avoid ticket fees and handling charges by purchasing tickets online at www. For further information call (908) 232 9400, email or go to

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